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MyShrews Reviews: The View at Hencote
11 Apr 2022

We were overjoyed to visit Hencote and discover there – along with the best view in town – a new, reasonably priced fine dining menu, writes My Shrewsbury's Katy Rink. 

The new Spring Menu at Hencote's restaurant The View has climbed down more than a few rungs on price in recognition of rising living costs and now delivers staggering value, from two courses for £22 (midweek). 

The offerings are totally delicious from start to finish without compromising on quality (this is still very much fancy, fine dining). 

And with the sun setting and that view over the vines on Winney Hill, the spires of Shrewsbury and Haughmond Hill beyond - the experience is truly incomparable. We enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks at the table, picking out our favourite Shrewsbury landmarks, as the light faded to gold then red, then gave way to the twinkling lights of town.  

With these prix fixe options, Hencote has hit the sweet spot. You'd better go quick as I predict they're about to fill up fast. 

We were overjoyed with our food which was so fresh, exquisitely presented and light on the palate – the joys of spring indeed. My mackerel was delicate and pretty, with little daubs of dill cream, slivers of grapefruit and fennel. 

The Market Fish came with a potato cake that looked cleverly like a giant chip but was layered with paper thin, crispy shards of potato (pommes Anna).

The servings – particularly of the cod – were modest, but I would far rather have a smaller portion of something cooked with singular skill, than to overindulge food I can cook at home. 

Dry aged steak from Hencote

My husband took time out between mouthfuls to explain why his 10oz sirloin steak, dry-aged in house and cooked on the custom built Charcoa grill (one of only three in the UK) was infinitely better that the ‘rubbish’ I serve him. He's a hard nut to crack, but Hencote's chicken terrine, steak and chips and super light egg custard tart, with a raspberry gel and raspberry sorbet, smoothed his rough edges – praise from him is praise indeed! 

It was hard not to over-do it as we swapped mouthfuls – his pulled chicken terrine, with King Oyster puree, pickled mushroom, spring onion and cep cracker, was so beautifully balanced. 

I like a bit of post-match analysis, so quizzed Head Chef Phil Lye on the creation of this impeccable dish: “It’s done in stages; first we braise the legs until soft and remove from the broth. Then we reduce that to a thick syrup, remove the skin from the cooked legs and roast until crispy to make the base of a chicken crumb, then create a separate stock from the leg bones which we use to sauce the slow-cooked chicken breast on the main courses and tasting menu. Leaving as little waste as possible is key to our methods.” 

Phil’s a former commis chef at La Tour in Birmingham who also worked the grill in Marcus Wareing’s The Gilbert Scott restaurant in London before rising through the ranks at Hencote. He’s proud to use fresh and high-quality ingredients – cheeses from local artisan Moydens, fish shipped in overnight from Celtic Fish & Game in Cornwall, meat from Corbetts and Aubrey Allen, fresh fruit and veg sourced through Neil France in Wem and charcuterie from Shropshire Salumi.

I might flag up that the orange sorbet and orange gel the chocolate cremeux lacked the astringency needed to cut through the velvety, but rather weighty texture of the chocolate cream. And my fish was very slightly too salty - but this really is nit picking - when the sum total was a very special night out. 

Hencote staff from beginning to end couldn't have done enough for us. They were all lovely people and a credit to their employers. 

The concession to tighter wallets is very much appreciated - if you've not yet experienced Hencote now is your opportunity and with the sun about to come out, sitting on that balcony, with that view, will be very hard to beat! 

The View at Hencote - Hencote Lane, Shrewsbury - SY4 3AA

The Balcony at Hencote