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Loch Fyne Covent Garden
Jan 4th, 2010 by Olivier

Loch Fyne Covent Garden restaurant
2-4 Catherine Street
London WC2B 5JS

Loch Fyne Covent Garden

If you are into theatre, Loch Fyne at Covent Garden is very conveniently located between Fortune Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Duchess theatre. I already reviewed this restaurant many months ago, and I am back this time for lunch with some colleagues.

Fish soup

The fish soup with garlic bread was a bit of a mixed experience. That is, the soup itself was quite average and also not hot enough. The garlic bread accompanying it, however, was very good – plenty of real garlic, and nice and crusty.

Pan fried sea bream

The pan fried sea bream was also good. It was a decent size (it looks a bit small in the photo, but actually wasn’t) and was nicely cooked with firm flesh and a crispy skin. The one thing missing here was any seasoning – I’m not especially given to having to add salt to my food, but in this case a little dash of it was needed. With that addition, it was a good meal.

Tarte tatin

The tarte tatin was a bit ordinary, and a slightly strange take on this classic dessert. Overall inoffensive, but nothing to return for either.

Cost and conclusion: I was not the one paying the bill. One complaint I would make about this restaurant was the incredibly slow service. We were a group of 10, which is always going to slow things down. But an hour between the starter and main course is really too long – and in all we were there nearly 3 hours. The last time I visited this restaurant, I concluded that it was probably a decent place for groups for lunch. I would change that view slightly and now say good for groups with time to spare.

Loch Fyne on Urbanspoon

Quayside Seafood Restaurant Singapore
Dec 4th, 2009 by Olivier

Quayside Seafood Restaurant
Blk 3A Clarke Quay, Alfresco
Singapore 179021

http://www.quaysidedining.com

Quayside Seafood Restaurant

View from the restaurant

View from the restaurant

Another view

Another view

The Quayside seafood restaurant is located on the waterfront near Clark Quay, which is to say, right in the tourist trap area. This doesn’t necessarily mean bad food, but it does mean very high prices. This particular restaurant had a range of fish and seafood available live in tanks, which meant it was possible to choose which fish, lobster or crab you wanted before it was cooked. A bit gruesome, but at least you’ve a good idea that it is fresh. Most of the seafood is local. I did note, however, Scottish bamboo clams (razor clams) on the menu, so at least some of it is imported from afar.

Chilli crab

Chilli crab

There were five of us for dinner, and we ended up selecting a range of different dishes from the menu to share. Amongst these was a chilli crab ($36 per kg, $46.80 in total), which was reportedly excellent. I didn’t try it myself, finding the selection process just a bit too gruesome for my taste that evening, but those who partook came away very happy. We also had a tofu dish with vegetables ($16), which was quite good and surprisingly hot.

Scallops with vegetables

Scallops with vegetables

Another option was scallops with vegetables ($22). This dish I wasn’t so impressed by as the scallops had little flavour (they might have been better pan seared with some balsamic). The “drunken prawns” ($48) were also quite average – prawns steamed with some sort of alcohol. Horfun noodles with seafood ($22) I found to be a bit slimy in texture for my taste. As drinks we took two tiger beers ($18), and orange juice ($7), calamansi ($4) and a small bottle of water ($7).

The service was friendly and efficient, and the surroundings very pleasant with a nice view accross the water. On a balmy Singapore evening, it is really a very pleasant place to eat.

Cost & conclusion: The total for the five of us was $190.30 plus 10% service charge and 7% GST (food is the one thing in Singapore where the GST is not already included in the price), bringing the total to $223.90.  Even considering that we were right in the middle of a tourist trap area, I found this to be very overpriced with most dishes not at all spectacular. After paying the bill, I was given a $50 voucher for a discount on another visit – but I don’t think I’ll be returning any time soon. Not terribly far away one can get better food at a price (even tourist prices) that beats the benefit of a $50 discount at this place.  Still, the surroundings are pleasant and if you’re keen on a quayside venue, the food here is at least likely to be fresh.

Restaurant Les Crustacés 8 Quai aux Briques 1000 Brussels
Jun 6th, 2009 by Olivier

Restaurant Les Crustacés
8 Quai aux Briques
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Tél. : 02.511.56.44

Les Crustacés

Reviewed on Saturday 6 June 2009

Les Crustacés (crustaceans) is a restaurant specialised since 1963 into fish dishes, mussels, seafood platters and lobsters. It is still possible to eat meat but then why would you go there? :-) The place is in an old house made in bricks and inside the design is cosy. The little dining rooms are quite pleasant. It is located near Ste Catherine Church and in the former Marché aux poissons (fish market) area, a place well known for its seafood. We chose this restaurant as it looked a bit less touristic than some of its neighbours.
Their menu is quite large with many set menus: a €23  3 course menu with fish or meat, a 3 course lobster menu starting at €33, a tasting menu at €38 with aperitif and coffee included and a €47 menu with aperitif, vines and coffee included. There is an excellent 3 course lunch deal at €12 and of course you can choose à la carte as well. 
There were three of us for dinner: I took a menu, offering 3 courses for €33. The others chose entrée and main course a la carte. Our starters were Moules gratinees (€12), cocktail crevette (€15), and Coquille St Jacques gratinée (included in menu price). The Coquille St Jacques was exactly as expected, and very good – it just could have been a little larger (only two scallops in there!). The moules gratinees was likewise reported to be very good and well cooked. The cocktail crevette was not really as expected – it was a salad with crevettes (small shrimps) but reported to be surprisingly good.
As main courses we had a half lobster (homard) in butter sauce (included in menu), and two soles meunières (butter fried sole, €25 each). All were very tasty, though perhaps the lobster just a touch overcooked. This was all washed down with a very pleasant bottle of blanc de blanc (white wine, €20), and a bottle of mineral water (€7!!).
Having taken a menu, I was the only one with dessert. I chose vanilla icecream with red fruit coulis. This turned out to be a mix of strawberries, plums and actually a passionfruit sauce – fine, since I like passionfruit and it was very good (but again, not exactly what I was expecting).
We ended the meal with two double espressos and a thé infusion (€4 each). All very good – no weak or burnt coffee here.
Since it was a business dinner I did not take photos of everyone’s dish – as you can understand  ;-)

Coquille St-Jacques gratinée au fromage

Coquille St-Jacques gratinée au fromage

Moules gratinées au fromage

Moules gratinées au fromage

½ Homard Grillé beurre

½ Homard Grillé beurre

Glace Vanille et son Coulis de Fruits Rouges

Glace Vanille et son Coulis de Fruits Rouges

Cost and conclusion:  the full bill was €149 service charge included in the price meals. The itemised bill is 2 double espresso (€4 each), 1 infusion (thé – €4 ), 1 bottle of blanc de blanc (€20),  1 litre of mineral still water (€7 !), 1 moules gratinees (€12), 1 cocktail crevette (€15), 2 sole meuniere (€25 each) and the €33 menu. Not too bad for three people in Brussels, including wine! The price for the bottle of water was outrageous though!


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