The Company Shed

On the basis of a glowing review in a Sunday newspaper, I persuaded my wife and mother, who both love seafood (sadly, I don’t)  to visit this celebrated shack. The review alluded to “the best fish and chips you’ll ever eat”, as an alternative to the “seriously good platter”, so I planned to join them. We arrived early and put our name on the waiting list and sat on the outside benches with others holding our bottles and portions of bread. The glistening fish on a table just inside the front door which were being sold fresh suggested we were in for a treat. Our first disappointment was learning there was no fish and chips on the menu. Indeed, there was no cooked fish to be had at all. So, I traipsed off down the road to eat alone in another ‘shack’, leaving my nearest and dearest drooling at the mouth with anticipation. An hour later I returned. Their sombre faces told me all had not gone well.  In my wife’s words:
“After waiting an hour and a half for our lunch we felt quite faint, especially as it was so hot. Avidly, we tested the single king prawn. Oh! Tasteless and woolly. Let’s try the cockles – sandy and devoid of sea flavour. The crab and the prawns on the shell were equally bad. There was only one mussel, which had the texture of cardboard. Oh dear! We had been so much looking forward to this. Overall, we had the impression that nothing we ate was fresh, and very little locally sourced. It all tasted as if it had been brought in frozen. We assumed it was a case of reputation causing increased demand leading to insufficient supply. We were glad to leave this awful, noisy, steamed up, hot and airless place, and to get somewhere we could eat something nice to take the stale taste out of our mouths. As for the service – the girl bringing our platter dropped some of it on the floor as she came towards our table, and had no hesitation in scooping the bits up and rearranging them in front of our astonished eyes. To cap it all, we had to pay extra for a dollop of ‘garlic mayonnaise’, which came out of a bottle!”

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