We did it. After our awful experience in Henley-on-Thames, we reluctantly dragged ourselves back to Loch Fyne, this time in Wokingham, to see if anywhere else did it any better.
tasty, if very small, with a thick and sticky chilli jam. The charcuterie board had a good selection of meats including peppered boar and salami, served with some fresh granary bread. Finally potted mackerel was good, though it hadn’t been left out of the fridge for long enough and therefore was a little too cold and congealed. All-round though, not bad.
Service then suddenly got horrifically slow. Customers had actually left so there was less to do but our drinks orders were frequently forgotten and our waiter would disappear for long periods of time before forgetting us altogether. After a long wait for a our mains, including time added where we had to ask for extra dishes that had been forgotten, everything eventually was on the table. The char-grilled burger was tiny in comparison to its brioche bun and the taste was not of the premium standard you might expect from Aberdeen Angus beef; it didn’t taste fresh or char-grilled. Equally, the rest of the contents, including bacon and cheese, was all a little soggy. The twice-cooked chips were much better, though had a tendency to be crispy on the outside with very little fluffy filling and just faded away in your mouth. The other main, king prawn tagliatelle Provençale, was served luke-warm instead of hot and the prawns were considerably more baby-sized than king. The squid was tasty but the fresh coriander and parsley were hard to taste. The side dish of seasonal mixed veg consisted of peas, carrots and soggy broccoli, all swimming in a little dish of water, and all tasting as if they’d been defrosted in the microwave. In conjunction with the service we’d received, it was not up to the standard we thought appropriate.
Dessert was a special of raspberry crème brulee where the raspberry did not fit but the crème brulee was successfully made. The shortbread was buttery but still too sticky and soft to be authentic shortbread rather than just biscuit. Raspberry sorbet was delicious – though it’s unknown whether it’s made on site or not.
The manager did admit that there was “no excuse for slow service, no excuse at all,” but unfortunately his professionalism at the end did not take away the bad taste left after two bad visits to this chain. The food is mediocre at best and it seems the staff are generally (there are exceptions of course) not well trained and inefficient. Whereas after my last visit I had a reason to return, now I have a reason to never go again.