Where I ate:
Loch Fyne, Duke Street, Ipswich
Anyone that knows me will know I love seafood, so after a tough week at work, a trip to Loch Fyne was definitely on the cards – even though I was driving and couldn’t enjoy a much-needed glass of wine! It must have been the fourth time I’d been to the restaurant and I’ve never had a bad meal there. The table was booked for 6:45, which gave me enough time to get there from work, as well as re-apply my makeup and on arrival, there were only four other tables occupied. It got busier as we ate though – including a large party of 10 who sat next to us.
I always love the interior of the restaurant as there are so many large windows – meaning it’s always really bright and airy. Sitting by the window, it’s nice to sit and people-watch, while the evening sun shone through. Even though the decor is minimalist, it’s very welcoming and you immediately feel comfortable and at ease.
The service was excellent, as usual – but then again there’s no reason for it to be anything less, when there are so many waiting staff and only a handful of tables in use. I find it encouraging when the staff mention recommendations or point out the specials – which is what the waitress did on this particular visit.
What I ate:
Tempura battered squid with seasonal salad, followed by crème brûlée
After starting with the bread box, which I was disappointed with – I remember a previous visit, there were a number of speciality breads cut in thick hunks; this wasn’t the case this time, we were presented with a couple of slices of French bread and a few wafer-thin slices of granary – I opted for the tempura squid from the starters menu.
I’d been meaning to order the squid for some time and it was certainly worth the wait. It was definitely generous for a starter portion: four large pieces of squid, plus a tentacle and it was presented beautifully, with edible shoots, spring onion and chilli. The dipping sauce was incredible, although it was described as a chilli jam on the menu, it was sticky or gelatinous like a jam. While it packed a punch with heat, there was also a slightly sweet element – the waitress said it was plum, but it didn’t taste at all fruity. She also said it was very popular, although I couldn’t manage the whole pot. The batter was light, although it could have done with being crispier – it wasn’t soggy, but it was a little soft for my liking.
I had the seasonal salad to accompany my meal and it was lovely, largely because it wasn’t your typical side salad. It contained rocket, tomato, radish and pear, with a drizzle of oil so was quite unusual. But it was lovely and fresh and I actually really enjoyed it – I didn’t even need (or want!) chips.
For dessert I chose the crème brûlée, because it’s my favourite! It was yummy and just the right consistency – the only downside was that the sugar hadn’t fully set so there wasn’t that delightful crunch as I stuck the spoon in. Served with two mini shortbread rounds which just melted in the mouth, it was the perfect end to a perfect evening.