15677

The Scallop Shell, Bath: restaurant review

We head to The Scallop Shell in Bath for simple, delicious and impeccably sourced shellfish, grilled fish and fried fish with chips and all the works, and even a few glasses of bubbly.

In a nutshell

Bath welcomes a no-fuss seafood grill and takeaway from Gary Rosser, with impeccably sourced produce and an impressive drinks menu.

Advertisement

Menu know-how

Starters are unfussy plates of the freshest shellfish available on the day from sustainable, artisan fisheries in the West Country. Salty pancetta, garlic and parsley butter cuts through fresh palourde clams in little marbled shells, meaty River Fowey mussels are served simply, letting their flavours tell their own story, and Weymouth Bay scallops arrive two-in-a-shell to make up for their dainty size. Bread from local favourite, Bertinet Bakery, soaks up buttery, garlicky juices that taste of the sea.

Portions are generous but not so much so that they’ll ruin your appetite for a main of market-sourced fish (choose from a selection resting on ice in a huge bath tub that separates diners from chefs) either grilled or fried.


Menu must-orders

Plump for hake, if it’s on the menu, and you’ll be rewarded with a giant ball of crisp, light batter encasing a soft, flaky centre. Proper chippie chips, crisp and fluffy, are perfect dippers for a side of mushy peas, and a scallop shell is put to elegant use as a receptacle for tartare sauce. Skate is a whole different ball game – golden-grilled layers of delicately flavoured firm white fish, also served with those chippie chips.


What we liked

The Scallop Shell is unpretentious and artily rough around the edges – tick your menu requests on a paper menu and hand to the jolly manager in her local beer and ale-lined cubbyhole. Frills can be found when you want them, though: prosecco or champagne, for instance, proves a perfect pairing for fish and chips, the acidity and bubbles cutting through the crisp batter.


What’s the room like?

Think cosy, beach-side chic – weather-beaten wooden tables and chairs sit beneath a canopy of ropes and exposed lighting gleams from upturned colanders and lobster pots. Cool chefs juggle deep fryers and grills in the open kitchen behind the bath tub, adding to the buzzy, friendly vibe.


The Scallop Shell, 22 Monmouth Place, Bath, BA1 2AY; thescallopshell.co.uk

Reviewed by: Alex Crossley

First published: October 2015


You may also like…

How to make the perfect tempura for fish and chips

The Bath Priory Hotel: kitchen garden tour and meet the chef

Bath weekend break guide: the best places to eat, drink and stay

Skinny fish and chips recipe

Advertisement

How to make healthy chips without a deep fat fryer