OK, it pains me to do this. Pains me. But it cannot be helped: I have been forced to amend my glowing review of ICELANDIC FISH AND CHIPS, as the place has fallen rather severely from grace here at the Weather Report.
It all started last Saturday night when EPI and I went there for a bite. The place was hopping and we were instructed to order and pay for our food BEFORE checking to see if there was a decent table available. [It has a front room, and a back room, only partially visible from the front.] There is a rather brusque [read: rude, even by Icelandic standards, which is saying a lot] man working there, who instructed us to sit down at a table for two that happened to be in a high-traffic area, right next to the cash register and the self-serve area for cutlery, water and such. [Did I mention the place was hopping? Virtually the butt of every customer in the place would have made direct contact with our food.]
YT: We’d rather have another table, if that’s OK.
RUDE MAN: There are no other tables available.
YT: Nothing in the back?
RM: No, and I don’t know when one will become free.
At that point I probably would have turned and left, were it not for the minor consideration of having already paid.
So EPI and I had a brief consultation, in which YT bitched about terrible Icelandic service, and EPI tried to convince YT – unsuccessfully – that we should just do as we were told and sit down at the table.
YT: [assertively, to rude man] We’ve decided to wait for another table.
RM: Okay, but I don’t know when one will become available!
At that point, YT wandered into the back room – and what did she see? A table for two, unoccupied, albeit with dirty plates all over it. Granted, it was situated virtually next to the loo and the air back there was stuffy and smelled dangerously like unflushed toilet water, but hey, it was preferable to the other option.
So we sat down, and received fine service for the rest of the meal. The food was good and it appeared that the waitstaff were aware of our grumbling, because they truly made an effort. And so, ICELANDIC FISH & CHIPS was redeemed.
Until last night when I went there again, this time with my cousin, who is visiting from Canada. We lined up, ordered our food, paid, and then wandered into the back room.
Once again, the rude man appeared [impossible to shake!] to question our choice of seating. Evidently it was not to his satisfaction that we should sit down at a table for four, despite the fact that a couple who had just ordered before us had just sat down at a table for four right next to us. No – he instructed us to sit down at the table for two that EPI and I had occupied two nights earlier – the one with the toilet smell.
As YT stood there, all flustered and deciding what to do, the rude man turned and said [wait for it …]
Oh, boy. N’er before has a “WHAT??“ evoked such animosity. Stewing, we returned to the front room, and took a seat at the table in the butt-brushing high traffic area. But, lo! Just at that point, a table for four in a prime location next to the window was making ready to leave. Meanwhile, two punters were just about to order, and were eyeing the table by the window. So YT and cousin did the only do-able thing under the circumstances – made a beeline for the table for four, next to the window.
A moment later, the waitstaff came along to clear it. A few minutes after that, rude man appeared with a fresh paper tablecloth.
RUDE MAN: All right girls [!!], now lift up all the stuff on the table! [i.e. so he could get the tablecloth on.]
Seriously. This had gone beyond exasperation. Or had it? – Sadly no, because compounding the atrocity of the service was the fact that a) they brought the wrong type of fish [I ordered plaice, they brought spotted catfish], b) the fish had an odd taste, like it was not quite fresh, c) the normally delicious lime-ade, which until now has been one of the best things about eating there, tasted like turpentine and was completely undrinkable. In fact, I still feel vaguely nauseous at the mere recollection.
And so. ICELANDIC FISH AND CHIPS has been awarded not one, but two thumbs down from the Iceland Weather Report, and shall henceforth be known as ICELANDIC POOR & SERVICE. Bleh!!
Has been gorgous these last few days. The grass is green, the flowers are in full bloom, the light is translucent. The Most Beautiful Place on Earth at this time of year if you ask me and no, I’m not biased at all. Current temps 11°C [52F], sunrise at 2:56 am, sunset at 12:02 am tomorrow.