Friday, 5 June 2009

Battered Scampi

I have a confession: I crave battered scampi. Not the run-of-the-mill breaded or battered stuff obtainable from supermarkets; nor the banal, so-called "scampi" featuring on menus in certain restaurants.

No, I refer to real scampi, otherwise known as langoustines or Dublin Bay prawns. I prefer it lightly battered and served with real French-fried potatoes which are crisp and dry on the exterior; and lightly fluffy on the interior. A garnish of lettuce, tomato and garden peas would also suffice. Sauce Tartare is essential for me, too; I can take it by the barrel-load.

I am making a call, indeed a plea, from the wilderness here: does anyone know of an establishment in Northern Ireland which serves genuine, freshly-battered langoustines as described above? If so, please do let me know.

Undoubtedly there are establishments in the Metropolis - you know, in Mayfair or St James's - which come up to the mark. Opulent, smart, carpeted, wood-panelled restaurants with a reverential ambiance; not necessarily fish restaurants, though ones which cater for and are attuned to the traditional British palate. Northern Ireland is bereft of such grill-rooms and brasseries, is it not?

Addendum: The Lobster Pot restaurant in Strangford served truly delicious scampi and chips thirty years ago; as did the Saltwater Brig bar near Kircubbin in County Down.


stu said...

Sounds delicous! Not sure if they have this particular dish on the menu, but Mourne Seafood Bar is wonderful. But then you were there recently I seem to perhaps not?

belfast cabby said...

Tim your best bet is saltwater brig just outside portaferry, In a former life i fixed fruit machines for a living including the brigs they used to get there seafood straight from the boats that morning. it was always v v good although its been a few years since i have been so i cant confirm if there still as good.

Timothy Belmont said...

Many thanks for that, Stu. I didn't notice it on their menu the day I visited; perhaps another time.

Ahhhh, Saltwater Brig! We used to have snacks there a lot, just before it changed hands half a dozen years ago. Spot on, Belfast Cabby: guess what I ordered and how much I relished it? Correct! I wonder if their standards are still the same...