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“Great fish, uncomfortable atmosphere” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Surf and Turf at Shelley's Plaice - CLOSED

Surf and Turf at Shelley's Plaice
Trinity Street, Dorchester DT1 1TT, England (Formerly Billy the Fish)
01305 757428
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Price range: $6 - $30
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Surf and Turf at Shelley's Plaice (Formally Billy the Fish). Your local fish and steak restaurant with a personal flair. Enjoy locally sourced fish with a large range of dishes, including gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options.Has an open kitchen so you can see Shelly and her team whipping up delights for you. Open for lunches and evening meals. Great for special occasions and group bookings.
Ferndown, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great fish, uncomfortable atmosphere”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

We had beautifully cooked fish - my wife, having had a bad experience with a crab dish somewhere else, is now hooked again (pun intended). Unfortunately we had a mixed experience with the proprietor/staff, which made us feel uncomfortable. Firstly, not a welcome but a somewhat abrupt 'Have you booked?' was the opening line. With friendly banter soon forthcoming I put this down to genius chefs being 'characters'. However, a customer before us seemed to have a query with his bill - he acted quite calmly but was accused of 'shouting' and then afterward the situation was discussed with another family member in front of us, including that this customer was no longer welcome. This made us feel quite nervous as previously the same customer had looked like part of the family! What had he done? Could we make the same mistake? Ashley seemed so keen to sell the monkfish that he wrote that down instead of what I'd ordered - thankfully the mistake was admitted and I ended up taking the extra dish home. Correcting mistakes well is a great piece of customer service, it's such a pity the other elements let the place down. Also my wife had an enormous piece of salmon. It was delicious but we'd have sooner paid a bit less for a smaller portion. The side orders of sauteed potatoes and salad were also beautifully presented and very tasty. Shelley if you read this please get some customer service training - I sincerely wish you all the best but I won't be rushing back. Pity, as the food is great!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Delicious night to remember”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

Shelley's Plaice - no longer called Billy the Fish - is a glorious surprise in the middle of Dorchester. Apart from the rather chilly weather, you could easily imagine yourself in a fish bar in the Caribbean from the atmosphere and decor of the restaurant. Shelley herself is a real character, very welcoming and friendly and with a wonderful line in pre-Beatles pop music. And she can cook fish!! We ate gurnard - I'd never had it before but on her recommendation we both chose it and it was cooked superbly - enormous platefuls too, you could not possibly leave hungry! And don't miss Ashley's Eton Mess for pudding. Strongly recommended for a fun evening out.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Luscious Saturday Lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

We'd heard about Billy The Fish now run by Shelley and how it was worth a visit and we were not disappointed. The place was empty when we arrived but that didn't put us off as Shelley and Ashley were quick to welcome us in with some friendly banter. I had the hot potted crab and my Husband the Brill fish cake. What can I say. The Potted Crab was fantastic. A very decent sized portion which came with thick granary toast and a gorgeous meditteranean side salad, really tasty and really filling. The fish cake was delicious too and with some sauted potatoes, mixed with an array of mediterranean veg, on the side were fabulous. The place is definitely quirky (which we loved) and the staff wonderfully eccentric (which we loved even more). During our visit some obviously well loved locals came in, one of them, an old chap, wanted to have a go at making his own fish cake (they let children do it apparently) and Shelley was wonderfully accommodating. Her locals obviously love her. The fish is as fresh as it could be and Shelley is a great cook. Ashley was also a great host and our lunch was superb value for money, lunch for two with two drinks £31, perfect. We loved this place. I agree with a previous reviewer, if you want posh and formal this is not the place for you but if you want amazing food with some local hospitality and a bit of a laid back atmosphere this is definitely the place for you. We will be returning shortly with friends to share our experience. Thanks guys for a really relaxing, special lunch. See you soon

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fish cooked to perfection, quirky venue.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

Unusual place but a must for those who like eating seafood ( although non seafood available too). Door off a small alley leads into a room decorated in nautical style and open kitchen. We all had different seafood dishes and would suggest sticking to catch of the day: all the seafood was beautifully cooked although some of the accompanying dishes (garlic bread, salad) were rustic in presentation. Service slightly random but perfectly pleasant

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Good fish! Today's catch cooked in front of you in this cosy unique mediterranean style eatery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

Friendly and great fun. Good fish beautifully cooked. My poached monkfish was delicious. Plus Oliver, aged 7, loved supervising the cooking of his excellent pollock fish fingers. Shelley's fish counter means you can buy fresh fish to take home too: an added bonus!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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