The Scallop Shell - Bath
Fish and chips. They are synonymous with British culture, and, it goes without saying, they are our nation's favourite dish.
But, where on our island can we find some of the best fish and chips that will leave us wanting to return for more and more?!
I am going to put my opinion on the (fishing) line here and say, I think I have found one of them. And, believe it or not, there's no beach within reach! The restaurant in question is very close to home...
A multi award-winning fish and chip restaurant and sea food grill opened by Garry Rosser, in 2015. Championing traditional favourites and seasonal delights, from early-rise coastal markets, The Scallop Shell is simply where you want to perch your derrière for unquestionably tasty fish dishes.
The Scallop Shell is one of Bath's most prized culinary gems (ask any local, I'm sure they'll agree!). Spanning two floors, the restaurant mixes industrial features with nautical nods to life beside the sea. There's even a roll top bath filled to the brim with crushed ice, to serve the purpose of storing freshly caught fish before it's either fried or grilled.
The upstairs dining quarters is a more recent addition. Here the restaurant has recently launched a new bar and a smart outside terrace. The terrace, which will be open until the end of British Summer Time, is covered with a canopy roof which is adorned in fairy light bunting that cleverly and creatively resembles fishing nets. Diners can happily and comfortably enjoy dining alfresco without having to brave the elements. There is even a log burner for when the weather turns.
This is where Scott and I dined last Monday evening.
And, oh (batter) crumbs! Were we in for a treat!
To begin our culinary sea journey, we started with 'Sea-Harvested Mussels (Elberry Bay) with Garlic, Shallot and Parsley' (£6.00).
If they could have sung from the plate, they'd have been singing the sweetest of tunes! Plump, tender, crammed with a heady garlic, shallot and fresh parsley sauce - simply delicious.
As was the 'Crisp Fried Goujons with Garlic Aioli' (£6.00). I believe the most important tell-tale sign of a seriously good chippy comes down to the taste and texture of the batter. If it's soggy, dripping in grease, or it hasn't taken on that gorgeously golden hue, then it's a no-go.
Well, I can safely say that you won't see or experience any of that here! The fish was fantastically fried and utterly moreish. I will mention that the portion size was very generous for a starter though - especially if you are going to follow this dish with the classic fish and chips!* It may be worth sampling one of their lighter starters instead.
*Cue the next dish! We swapped our mains midway as we were keen to sample one another's dishes.
Here we have the 'Prime Cod Fillet (North Atlantic MSC Approved) with Chips and Tartare Sauce' (£13.95)...
As well as 'Cornish Skate Wing with Chips and Garlic Aioli' (£13.95).
I can't help but keep the compliments rolling in! Every component of both dishes was piping hot, beautifully cooked, tasting fresh from the ocean, and from the land.
Don't even get me started on those chips! And dunked into the mushy peas? The perfect partners in crime!
After our feast, I had a quick explore indoors, where I noticed a stack of fluffy blankets, ready for diners to borrow on chillier nights...
Here is the contemporary bar I mentioned earlier, and a few more interior shots too...
Cosy corners and booth style eating...
Finishing on a sweet note, we left with full stomachs, high spirits and a strong desire to return again soon!
If you haven't visited The Scallop Shell yet, then I urge you to come out of your shell! For a peak of their sample menu and ways to book a table, pop over here.
I'd like to thank Kate Authers for the kind invite to review the new alfresco terrace, the team at The Scallop Shell for their hospitality, and to Lorenzo and Cornelia, for their attentive service too.