The Scallop Shell Praise cod – there’s a fabulous new fish restaurant in town
Bath is woefully undersupplied with good seafood restaurants (especially following the tragic surprise closure of Blunos) so the newly-opened Scallop Shell is just what we needed. I popped in last week for their launch night and couldn’t help being rather impressed.
Tucked away a little on Monmouth St, The Scallop Shell offers an extensive takeaway menu, as well as a great seafood grill. The styling of the restaurant is a mix of industrial (exposed wiring, unfinished surfaces) and a bit of jaunty nautical (weathered wood, ropework lobster pots) that’s unexpectedly cosy, and there’s a friendly informality to the service – you scribble down your own order on a clipboard and drop it off at the bar when you’re ready. And I defy anyone not to be just a little bit impressed by the bath tub that stands between you and the kitchen – overflowing with gorgeous pink lobsters, scallops in their fan-shaped shells, and bright-eyed fish with iridescent scales, all packed in glittering ice like a salty seadog’s treasure chest.And so to the menu. Throughout the evening, heaped platters of delicious snippets from the grill were constantly circulating, served up in the titular scallop shells on beds of seaweed, and washed down (of course) with a bit of bubbly. It’s extremely tough to pick a favourite but I think the grilled mackerel with sweet chilli sauce might just take the ship’s biscuit – honourable mentions must also go to the Dorset oysters served on the shell with shallot vinegar (a beautifully sweet & tangy compliment to the salty shellfish) and the Weymouth Bay scallops with garlic butter. I hope you won’t think me common if I confess that I also loved the humble battered cod with tartare sauce – it might be a simple treat but it’s rather easy to get wrong. Fortunately in this case all the usual pitfalls were avoided – not a hint of soggy batter or dry fish to be found.
All that remains, therefore, is for me to urge you to visit as soon as you possibly can, and hope that I haven’t put you off with too much effusive praise. In my own defence, I can only say that it’s all honestly true, and I myself will be hotfooting it back there as soon as I can possibly think up an excuse. Or maybe I won’t bother with an excuse.
Sal Godfrey is a blogger and food writer from Bath who loves scribbling, cooking and eating, and provides creative content services for foodie companies.
Images courtesy The Scallop Shell