April 21 2013

The Scallop Shell: dive in, Piggies!

A flourishing farm shop, a fantastic fresh fish counter, a fabulous florist; cheerful chickens, pootling pigs… and real fish and chips: are we in foodie heaven? Looks like it. On Saturday evening, The Pig sallied forth to the award winning White Row Farm complex (a mere 20-minute drive from Bath, just down the road from Frome) – and we urge you to do the same.

Fish aficionado Garry Rosser started his cheffing career at Mitch Tonks’ original FishWorks restaurant on Green Street, Bath (remember that, Piglets?). Today he heads up his own lively fishmonger and cookery school The Scallop Shell,  which he very considerately supplemented last year with a thriving fish and chip shop. Garry and his team specialise in sourcing fresh fish from reputable, sustainable sources. The business isn’t about  food as fuel, or profit margins – it’s all about the enjoyment of food and caring about where it comes from… and that’s the USP that defined every last bite of our fabulous fish and chip supper.

Taking an alfresco picnic table to the front of the shop (although there are, please note, plenty of tables inside to make the most of when cosy is called for), we tucked into mighty portions of sweet, fresh cod and lesser-spotted – in a fish and chip shop, anyway – smoked haddock, both clothed in an elegant cloak of divinely crisp, light batter, served with beef dripping chips (hoorah!), mushy peas so zingy and pea-ful that they can only have been mushed mere hours before we met them, and supremely tarty tartare sauce. Expect to pay circa £6-8.50 to dive into your own choice of piscatorial delights from a seasonally changing menu; once you’ve taken this advice, expect to return time and again to indulge your fresh fish fix. Non-fish fans, meanwhile, can tuck into a boisterous beef/veggie for £6.75, salads go large for £2.50 and little people get their own £4.50 menu.

Garry Rosser: you have earned yourself official Pig Guide Food Hero status.

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