THERE is fish and chips and then there is fish and chips as served by the Scallop Shell in the Bath city centre.

The restaurant, which opened just under a year ago, is as far from the greasy offerings served in some local takeaways as you can imagine.

It is decorated bang on trend in industrial style with some quirky touches such as metal colanders as lamp shades and scaffolding poles as supports for shelves, but also with a nautical touch provided by rope, baskets and wood.

A display of fish is in front of the main counter and emphasises the freshness of everything served in both the restaurant and takeaway section.

It has the feel of an upmarket burger joint and the friendly staff quickly explain to those visiting for the first time how things are done.

I visited on New Year’s Eve lunchtime with my daughter and her boyfriend and we were all enthusiastic about everything, from the service to the food.

The only drawback I could find was that there is just one communal loo for the whole restaurant.

Diners are given a paper menu and each table is asked to mark how many of each dish they would like and then take it to a servery, but you do not pay until the end.

This proved to be a very efficient way of dealing with a busy dining room and during our whole visit there was never a queue of more than two people.

Unusually for a fish and chip shop, there was a wide range of starters and we opted to share one of scallops in butter and another of scampi.

They both cost £5 and were served on little plates on wooden boards decorated with seaweed.

I did try a tiny bit of seaweed in case it was more garnish than decoration but this proved a mistake.

For the main course two of us went for cod and chips at £10.50 each and the third for fishcakes costing £9.50.

The cod was beautifully fresh and fell apart while the batter was crisp without a hint of grease.

Two large fishcakes came with a generous pile of thick cut chips and my daughter said they were full of fish rather than breadcrumbs and other fillings that can make them stodgy.

The clientele was a mixture of family groups, some with young children, couples and shoppers – and the lively but unhurried atmosphere made it a good place for everyone to take a break from the sales.

Scallop Shell

22 Monmouth Place,


01225 420928

Open: Noon–9:30pm, Monday–Saturday