For an authentic taste of the mountainous Scottish coast that doesn’t require you to leave St Albans, why not try the new menu at Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill, in Verulam Road?

The restaurant is easy to find as it has enough outdoor seating for 50 customers and a fish counter separate to the restaurant that sells smoked fish and a range of delicatessen products.

Feeling the chill of the winter breeze, we decided to find a table indoors and suddenly felt like we had been transported to the seaside as the tantalising aromas of seafood vied for our attention.

It was interesting to learn more about the history of the restaurant as we waited for our meal. The business was originally started as a small oyster bar by Johnny Noble, the owner of the historic Ardkinglas Estate on the west coast of Scotland and his colleague Andy Lane, a fish farmer and biologist.

Both men described themselves as “oyster enthusiasts” and began their empire by growing oysters in the loch and selling them to restaurants all over the UK. They then opened their own oyster bar in 1988 and now have 37 restaurants across the country, where much of the shellfish and smoked fish still comes direct from the fresh running waters of the loch.

Unfortunately, we did not feel adventurous enough to sample the oysters however, we were impressed with the quality and taste of the other items on offer.

For our starter, we tried the salt and pepper squid (£7.20), which was served with sesame seeds and chilli jam. The saltiness of the squid complimented the sweetness of the jam, although the surprising kick of the chilli left us requesting an extra jug of water.

I tried the crab and lobster burger (£17.80) for my main, which arrived in a seeded brioche bun that was filled with tender grilled lobster meat with a crab patty and smothered in cocktail sauce.

My friend was in the mood for a classic home comfort and opted for a fish finger sandwich (£9.95) that was also served in a seeded brioche bun and had a lavish helping of tartare sauce.

The portion sizes of the meals were very generous, but left us enough room to order a peanut butter cheesecake (£6.15), made up of creamy milk chocolate and a salted caramel ganache.

Loch Fyne is a welcoming restaurant regardless of whether you are in the mood for a quick snack or a seafood feast straight from the lochs of Scotland.

Set menus with two courses for £11.95 and three for £13.95 are available if that fish finger sandwich still seems a bit steep.

Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill, Verulam Road, St Albans, AL3 4DA. Details: