We have paid Loch Fyne in Gosforth a visit a few times before, either for breakfast or lunch and always enjoyed it. When I noticed their set menu (3 courses inc 1 side for £12.45) was available on Friday nights until 7pm, I booked us a table.
Loch Fyne is a converted church that specialises in seafood and is lovely both inside and out. There is a large bar area, open plan kitchen, seafood counter, large dining room and mezzanine level.
First impressions were really good - atmosphere was light and airy, children were given the obligatory crayons and colouring sheet and our drinks orders were taken straight away. I did comment to my husband that it was strange that we were only one of two tables in the whole place at 5pm on a Friday night - if you went up the road to scalinis, you would struggle to find a table at this time.
We ordered a bread board for the children (£1.95) which was freshly carved by the waitress and plentiful (3 slices per person). The butter was also at room temperature which always gets a tick in my book.
From the set menu I ordered the crab cakes. They were really delicious with a perfect balance of flavours.
My husband ordered the potted mackerel, also from the set menu which was also a big hit.
Extra kudos for the waitress asking if we wanted our children's meals brought with our starters or main.
Once our starters had been cleared however, things went downhill......
One waitress brought a finger bowl out for my mussels and then somebody else tried to take it away (before I had even set eyes on my mussels). Then our main courses were brought out but they didn't bring any cutlery. My mussels were sent out with both fries and hand cut chips? Everything just felt so un-organised.
Our main courses were delicious though. I had the mussels in white wine sauce:-
Hubby had the salmon fish cake:-
All 3 children had a huge portion of pasta. The children's meal is £6 for a main course and ice cream - with drinks charged as an extra. So at £7+ this is double the cost of an under 5's meal at prezzo (plus you would get an extra course!) Not great value, but still nice.
Then more chaotic service ensued - a waitress started to clear our table but seemed to have too many tables to deal with at once as she seemed easily distracted. She cleared one of our plates away - took another tables order. Then cleared another of our plates away - then cleared part of another table. Then cleared another of our plates away..... You get the picture! I have never experienced anything like it. It must have taken her 25 minutes to clear our table from start to finish. Not good. We ordered desserts when she cleared out last plate.
Bearing in mind the wait we had already encountered - the wait for our desserts seemed to take forever! This is not ideal when you are out in the early evening with 3 small children! Eventually our waitress reported that there was a problem with our creme brûlée as the blowtorch had broken so they had to cook them under the grill! When they did eventually arrive they were very disappointing and had the texture of a custard tart. We asked for the bill. It did not arrive.
When we had finished, our bill still had not appeared so I went to the bar to pay. They tried to overcharge us £30!
Once they sorted our bill out, I was pleased that is was only £53. £53 for 3 courses for 5 people including wine is excellent value. I won't be returning though and think there is a clear reason loch fyne was so quiet. When we visit a restaurant service is very important to us. We like to feel looked after and that the restaurant actually welcome us. We do not want to be ignored and left to feel as a waitress's after thought! Especially when we are paying £50+ for the privilege.