What on earth has happened to Nardinis?


I had a very disappointing lunch in Nardinis in Largs a few weeks ago.  Now, it’s hard to go wrong with fish and chips but they managed it: the fish was thin and grey; the chips were pale but not interesting.  To give the waitress her due, when she asked how I’d enjoyed my meal, I told her that I hadn’t and she said she’d pass on my comments to the chef.

I noticed that the couple beside us were having a soup and sandwich combination and their tomato soup looked a suspicious shade of orange.  Much worse however was the sight of ready-sliced shiny plastic ‘cheese’ between what looked like quite a good bit of bread and some thickly sliced firm tomatoes.  Why then cut such corners with the cheese?  On the menu, it was listed as “cheddar cheese” and had it been me, I’d have been expecting the bits to have been cut from a good quality block and not pulled out of a packet.

The building is the same attractive place with the vibrant mural and there was a real live pianist.  It has its prime position on the front and there are plenty of potential customers. But the eating experience was such a let down.  I’ve lost track of the whole sorry family saga and don’t know who’s got it now but they need to get a grip and stop trading off their past glories.

When I started this blog, the loon said my theme would be “how much better things were in the nineteen fifties”; I laughed at his misrepresentation but a little uneasily as maybe there was an element of truth in what he said.  Is it so wrong to go back and expect a place to be the same?  Am I just having a good old wallow in nostalgia?  Or should folk expect to get a decent plate of fish and chips at Nardinis at all times?

If they’re not going to supply a good experience, there’s maybe others nearby who will – at least according to The Herald Magazine who are praising up a new place right on the promenade: The Fish Works.  That’s where I’m going next time I’m in Largs.  As for the declining state of The Herald, that could be a whole blog on its own.

We didn’t get a Nardini’s ice cream as we usually do but went back to where we’d earlier spotted vegan coconut stuff – and very good it was too.  Now I can’t remember the name of the shop which is annoying, sorry, but you’d never have known that there was no milk cream in it at all.  Doubt if we’d have had that choice in 1956.

We ate it walking along the front, then sat and watched two dolphins leaping for about 10 minutes or so until some character in a speedboat raced noisily past and we saw them no more.


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