I thought I'd have no problem finding Shrimpy's - back in the days when I was a regular on the dance-floors of The Cross and Bagleys I would often stop in at the petrol station at the turn off point from York Way, which led eager party people to the series of warehouses and railway buildings that were home to some mighty fine clubbing establishments. But I had forgotten how much that area has changed, even though I had visited recently to check out Eat St - whilst some great old Victorian industrial buildings still exist, there is now a massive building site surrounded by hoardings plus all sorts of new buildings and it took a moment to get my bearings. Anyway the other half and I finally found The Filling Station, home to Shrimpy's and met our friends Ben & Gen. Shrimpy's has been getting good reviews from both bloggers and newspaper critics (even AA Gill was relatively positive) and is definitely a place du jour. To get to Shrimpy's you have to walk through the forecourt al fresco diners, with Homeslice pizza providing the food
sitting in a converted petrol station. The other half and I started with an off-menu whisky sour and it was by far and away the best we have had (and believe me, we've had a few...). Ben & Gen had suitably colourful drinks (as you can see) that they also said were delicious. My starter of seabass ceviche with crispy plantains was fresh, zingy and spot on. For main course there was only one option for me, after having read so much about it I was always going to have the soft-shell crab burger and it did not disappoint. Even though the other half was gagging at me chowing down on an intact crab (albeit battered) I tucked in with relish and absolutely loved every mouthful. I also had some humita on the side - which I had never heard of and was sort of like posh creamed corn, but way more delicious. My companions also loved their sweetcorn chowder and fried chicken so all in all some very happy diners.
Shrimpy's is the brainchild of Pablo Flack and David Waddington of Bistrotheque fame, it's no surprise that this place is such a winner. I had heard that booking was tricky but we managed to get an early table for 4 on a Saturday night with no dramas and apparently they always save some bar places for walk-ins, so get yourselves down to Shrimpy's ASAP, it's ace. And maybe if you listen carefully you will hear the ghostly echo of some thumping beats from times past at The Cross & Bagleys (if you've suddenly just had a wave of nostalgia, this article is a great reminder of what this area used to be all about...)