Today we visited Ashley’s Wine Bar on Shoplatch for a quick bite to eat and a couple of drinks. We’d not previously reviewed here before and we have been meaning to ever since they had their re-vamp back in 2012. We’ve often driven past at night and seen that it’s a bit of a ‘social-hub’, so lunch time beckoned on us and invited us in.
As we arrived, it was quiet, due to it being midday and the majority of people probably lunch-out a little bit later than we had decided. Nevertheless, we entered the bar / restaurant anyway where we were greeted by a member of staff who was standing behind the bar. She was pleasant, polite and helpful.
The beverages were first to be ordered; A bottle of Corona and a small coke. The Corona wasn’t as cold as we would have liked and it this made it taste a little stronger than usual. When the bottles are chilled to a lower temperature, the bottle ‘necks’ are frosty and they produce a much better taste. The lime wedge we asked for was also far too big; intending to push it down to fully submerge it into the lager, when in fact it was a struggle to stop the juice from squirting everywhere when we tried. No a major issue but it is a bonus when these little things are right first time.
Upon leaving the bar, we were given some menus from the waitress. We decided to sit outside as it was a little too hot and stuffy inside and the sun was beaming down outside. We grabbed a seat in the semi-cordoned off (separating restaurants next to each other) in the l-shaped seating amenity where if anything it was a little too cramped. It was great to have a open-plan view of the market and Pride Hill but we didn’t have that much room. Re-arranging the seats would have meant facing the windows of the restaurant so we didn’t bother.
Our food order
The first thing we noticed is the menu. It was encased in a thick leather-type folder – Keeping it dry and food-free is great – It would save on reprinting costs and it could be passed from table to table without looking filthy after somebody had used it – The major problem was that it was almost illegible – A specific font had been used to depict all the available dished and it was very hard to read. Some people would really struggle to have read this – Luckily we decided to eat outside so we had natural light on our side – Sitting inside may have proved a little more difficult.
We ordered two mains:
‘Dip ‘A’ Stick Wrap, Nachos, Salad Garnish & Coleslaw’ – £6.95
‘Lasagne, Garlic Bread, Salad Garnish & Coleslaw’ – £6.95
These two dishes were picked from the right-hand side of the menu – Where it was 2 dishes for £12 – There was a good selection and variety of dishes to choose from which would make it ideal for a family lunch time if there are different tastes within the group.
Our food arrived around 12-14 minutes later in good time and they were delivered on some rectangular cut slates. This seems to be a popular serving method in and around Shrewsbury so it was good to see Ashley’s keeping in line with the ‘food fashion’. The waitress warned us that the lasagne in particular would be very hot as it had just come from the oven and the wrap would also be untouchable for the near future – We approached both dished with caution!
The wrap wasn’t as hot as the waitress made out but it we are thankful she mentioned it – Just incase. A good bit of customer service. It was tasty – The wrap was folded horizontally and then cut into 2 pieces. It contained with a orangey-coloured smooth filling which reminded us of something which had been processed. The salad was fresh and it was drizzled and glazed in a piquant mustard-tasting sauce – Pleasantly tangy.
The nachos were crispy as they normally would be and they were served in a mini deep fat fryer mesh-like bowl – This added to the ‘uniqueness’ on Ashley’s as it’s something we haven’t seen elsewhere as of yet – These little dishes keep popping up everywhere – What will it be next?!??
The coleslaw was also missing from the wrap dish – Not something we wanted to mention at the time because we felt it was a mistake which could have easily been avoided. Double checking the food and re-checking each dish before it is served should be a high priority in any eating establishment.
The lasagne was in fact hot and it had to cool down first before we even attempted to it eat. It was smaller than we thought in size and the tastes didn’t really come through when we got a good fork full of all the layers. It was a little bit greasy on top but it didn’t ruin the dish. The garlic bread, however, was very good – A little bit crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – Rich in garlic butter and a little salty to bring out that magnificent taste of the great garlic bread. A great side to the lasagne dish which wasn’t at it’s best.
Towards the end of our meals, unfortunately started to rain. The waitress immediately came outside and mechanically rolled out the rain diverter which made the last five minutes of a stay a lot less wet and much more pleasant – Nice little touch and to show they are paying attention to their customers.
The price was a little too high for the actual amount of food we had. £7 is a lot and we expected to have much bigger portions. Yes, it was only a lunchtime meal – But we feel value for money was poor.
On the other hand, the service was excellent and the staff were very knowledgable about the menus – We questioned them about one of our meals and a potential meal we were going to order and all the information was provided to us straight away.