Date night had rolled around again, much needed at the end of a seemingly endless half term week, which saw Mr Mammy (conveniently) have to go away on business and leave Mammy at home with the three Poppets, one of whom has decided that now is the ideal time to perfect the pre-teen tantrums that Mammy thought wouldn't arrive for at least another year. Wine was needed, in copious amounts and with a side order of good food to boot...
The Loopy Shrew was our destination, occupying the old Bellstone building in Shrewsbury, although looking very different to the old place, having undergone a very stylish transformation, with a trendy wine bar to the front of the building, and a split level restaurant to the rear. It should be worth noting that the Shrew is owned by the same group as the Porterhouse (https://www.hungrymammy.com/porterhouse-sy1) but offers a very different dining experience indeed!
The staff at the Loopy Shrew are very trendy (think plaid shirts and nose rings) and oh so welcoming, with the dreadlocked barman very patiently telling me all the types of white wine on offer to me and not batting an eyelid when I ordered boring old Pinot G again.
The menu at the Shrew is modest, but offers a good mix of dishes, from classics such as Fish and Chips to Sweet and Spicy Lamb Tagine via superfood salads and chargrilled steaks, and so with a large glass of Pinot and a pint of Joules Blonde we settled in to make our choices...
Starters were chosen relatively quickly, and after a quick game of well-if-I-order-this-starter-I'll-have-to-order-this-main Mr Mammy decided on the Ham Hock,Roast Chorizo and Chicken Terrine, which arrived with Melba Toast, Fruity Red Pepper Salsa and Mustard Aioli. The terrine was served in a generous slab with a stack of toasts on the side. It is a pet hate of mine when the portions do not relate to each other,and you end up with half your terrine left over and only a pile of salad leaves to try and spread it on to, so the generosity with the toast at the Shrew got a big tick. Another thing that Mr M awarded five stars to was the flavour, rich, deep and slightly spicy from the chorizo, and the red pepper salsa providing a bit of zing to cut through the richness, needless to say the food didn't last long (I'm thinking of entering him into some competitive eating contests, he's bound to win gold on his first go!).
My starter was Smoked Duck Breast served with Feta Cheese, Blood Orange, Walnuts, Whiskey Marmalade and Cress. I could go into minute detail about this one and write paragraph after paragraph, but we all have lives to get back to, so know this, this dish was one of the nicest things I have eaten in a VERY long time, everything came together perfectly and it was all over far too soon...
Main course had a lot to live up to then.
Our main courses arrived almost immediately after our starter plates were removed, and while a break between courses would have been good, the food that had arrived was so tempting that we readjusted our napkins, loosened our waist bands and set to work.
I chose the Pork and Scallops, served with a Summer Vegetable Ragu, Thyme Rosti and Asparagus. The scallops and pork were both beautifully cooked, the crackling was crunchy, the thyme rosti and asparagus were both tasty enough, but the summer vegetable ragu foxed me. I'm not sure what I was actually expecting, but what arrived was similar to a pea puree, with what looked like broad beans and baby onions stirred through it. It was delicious, but it was very....unusual. Overall a very good, very moreish dish, this was going well!
Mr M chose the Medallions of Shropshire Beef, served with Fondant Potato, Wilted Spring Greens, Radish, Shallots and Red Wine Jus. The beef arrived perfectly pink, the potato was perfectly cooked and even the vegetables got eaten. Mr Mammy was a happy man that night...
Desserts consisted of Chocolate and Orange Arctic Roll and Pimms soaked Strawberries served with Basil ice-cream (yes, basil ice-cream, and it was amazing!!!) and with coffees and a couple of rounds of drinks our £85 bill was more than reasonable.