Having been brought up on the coast and being used to FRESH fish, which I loved, since leaving the NE of England I am not a great lover of fish and chip. In the majority of cases I find the fish is often what we in Hartlepool called ‘overland’ so it had been travelling for a long time before reaching the plate. The only other place I really enjoyed fish and chips was on a visit to Blackpool and that was literally a flying visit, drive down the illuminations, buy the fish supper and continue to pass through. I wasn´t impressed with Blackpool and can´t see how people can compare it to Tenerife either with or without the sun.
So back to the fish and chips. Friends suggested we had a meal at Scampi’s in Las Americas. I have eaten there once a few years ago and from what I remember the food was OK but I was put off by the service, which was horrendous. However, things change, people move on so I was happy even if a little apprehensive at giving Scampi’s another try.
Jim and I were the first to arrive and the place was very busy, all the outside tables were taken except one small one and two that had been pushed together with reserved notices on them. I asked the young man if these had been reserved for us and suggested names they may have been booked in. He said he had no idea but suggested the waitress might know. She told us ‘We don´t make reservations’ …. My immediate thought was well there are three reservation notices on tables so what the heck… Don´t say she was the person who hacked me off last time!
We sat down anyway. Above the serving counter, a television plays to itself, as the images flickered and danced their way across the small screen. We did a bit of people watching and after a few minutes, our friends arrived. They were greeted warmly and we were given the menus. I asked if the fish really was cod as often it is advertised by rarely served. After this was guaranteed we all ordered, three large cod with mushy peas, 1 haddock with mushy peas and two small cod – mine without peas (I was erring on the side of cautious because I hate mushy peas and I was still unsure about the fish).
The moment of truth arrived it all looked lovely, the aroma of sizzling batter that smothers the freshly caught cod made my nose tingle and my mouth opened slowly waiting for the first bite. Wow, they were delicious, I ate more and more, in fact, I cleared my plate, which is totally out of character, but the taste transported me back to my youth – this was the beginning of an evening to remember.
By now the crowd had thinned and the waitress that I thought at first was surly turned out to be quite nice, I suppose being rushed off your feet (she was no spring chicken) means at times you can be a bit sharp. However when I was talking to her afterwards, like wot you do in the ladies, she was very pleasant and kindly give me a couple of tooth picks from behind the bar. I asked the cook if he minded me taking a picture of the frying area that was spotless but there were not many fish left to photograph as it was now almost closing time. Even the man having a quiet beer by the door, who I presume to be the owner, wished us an enjoyable evening.
All in it was a nice experience, good service and delicious food – more so because it was far better than I had anticipated and I will certainly not be leaving it another three years before my next visit.