Where and what is it?
A brand-new sibling for smash hit seafood restaurant The Scallop Shell (which you can read a bit more about on my blog here), this is the latest addition to Moorland Road’s fabulous foodie scene. The Oyster Shell is a takeaway specialising in fish and chips, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Why this place?
The Oyster Shell puts takeaway in a whole new league, but they’re keen to preserve everything we love about the brilliant British chippy. They’re not hiding behind hoopla or getting fancy for the sake of it, so you can expect classic fish and chips done as perfectly as possible, with a focus on four key elements – fresh fish sourced from day boats in Devon and Cornwall, the best potatoes for chips, batter beautifully seasoned and made to a finely calculated consistency (which is more important than you might realise), and expert management of the oil (hot, fresh and regularly rotated, unlike the greasy pits you find in a lot of takeaways).
Having nailed the most important part, though, The Oyster Shell are also bringing in a few fabulous touches from the restaurant biz that you wouldn’t usually expect to see in a takeaway, like daily specials, beautiful plate-worthy presentation and a fantastic menu of sauces – their tartare sauce is gorgeous and they make a mean curry sauce, but I also love that they offer sweet chilli jam and my favourite thing, aioli, which frankly I will eat with absolutely anything.
What should I order?
The cod & chips here is, quite simply, superb. The aforementioned attention to detail has paid off and they’ve totally nailed it. I wouldn’t blame you if you stuck with a classic, but there are a few other things on the menu that deserve a shout-out too. I couldn’t resist trying their bubble & squeak Scotch egg, which is a fabulous idea – there’s something about the combination of rich, velvety egg yolk with the glorious flavours of Sunday roast vegetables that makes the perfect cold-weather comfort food. I was also blown away by their fishcakes, which might be the best I’ve ever tasted – light and fluffy yet packed with flavour, and seasoned to perfection. I could have eaten six. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favourite, but next time I go back, I think I’ll be having the fishcakes.
How much will I spend?
The Oyster Shell’s lunchtime deal is an absolute steal: £6 for cod, chips and mushy peas between 12pm and 3pm. They’ve also got a great menu of smaller portions, featuring things like fish fingers, sausages and those fishcakes, all served with chips and all for under £6. Most of their regular classics will set you back between £8 and £10, and daily specials go up to about £13. Considering how good the food is, and all the effort they put into sourcing and preparing their ingredients, the whole menu is a bit of a bargain in my opinion.
Is it really that good?
Yes. Go there immediately.