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Giacopazzi's, Eyemouth, review - fish tea and ice-cream are on the menu at this institution

This place has just undergone a refurbishment

Published: June 18, 2022
Categories:
Food: 
7.5/10
Ambience: 
7.5/10

I fed all my 2ps into the slot, in a failed attempt to win a Paw Patrol key-ring that I didn’t even want.

We’d already ruled out a few other activities on our morning visit to the harbour town of Eyemouth. I was too scared of the bouncy-looking boat trip on the rib.

I’m more of a lying on the deck of a yacht being fed Ferrero Rocher sort of person.

Wild swimming is a hard no. Too cold, and he’s not great in the water, since his calves seem to contain rusty lead pipes rather than bones. I don’t want to have to do a failed Baywatch. It’s not quite time for the Herring Queen Festival and the 18th century Gunsgreen House - a merchant and smuggler’s house, where they now produce their own gin - is shut for essential maintenance until April 2023. So that was ruled out too.

Thus, we found ourselves in the amusement arcade by the beach.

They serve “real coffee” according to the sign outside, and cobalt slushies, but I wasn’t there for the drinks. I’d found a lint-covered pound coin in my handbag and got excited about the flurry of retro brown coins that popped out of the change machine. I sunk them in the horse racing arcade machine and the therapeutic coin pushing game. You know the ones.

None of it would be the same with contactless. I don’t think my debit card would fit through the slot.

Despite only winning 6p, when my green horse came in, I almost forgot about our booking at the institution that is Giacopazzi’s on the harbour front.

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This family business, which was opened in 1898 by Lorenzo Giacopazzi, has just had a makeover. As well as a new gelato parlour at the side of the main building, the bistro has a smart new look, with pale wood furniture and lobster prints on the walls.

As far as the restaurant menu goes, it’s A3 sized and quite intense, with pizza, burgers and lots of chippie suppers, like steak pie, white pudding or chicken nuggets.

Starters were out of the question, since we had an inkling that portions would be hearty, though we could have opted for nachos, chicken goujons, soup or fishcakes. Contrary to popular belief, we are not complete oinks.

I tried to direct my husband towards the pensioner’s fish deal (£9.50), as I don’t think they’d ask for ID, but he went for the full price fish tea (£13.95). Missed an opportunity there. It was a goodie, with a thick and craggy copper-coloured coating on the haddock fillet, which was rolled at one end, like those acetate fortune teller fish you get in Christmas crackers. Apparently, a tail like this indicates “indifference”, but he was definitely a fan. The soft and fat chips were also great, and this option came with the traditional trimmings, including a little paper pot of decent tartare sauce, loose leaf breakfast tea and the prerequisite slice of springy white bread with foil-wrapped butter.

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I’d gone for something a bit more exciting with the the fish dog (£9.95), which had been billed as a “must try when you visit”. I’d sort of expected a piscine sausage of some sort, but this was just another fillet of fish, except in a huge and flour-dusted soft ciabatta roll that also contained sweet mushy peas and tartare. More chips on the side and a wedge of lemon.

I’m so glad that we resisted starters. It was a Gaby vs Food situation, and I tapped out.

We needed a pause and a walk round the block before tacking ice-cream at the box fresh parlour next door. I went for a portion of salted caramel and another of the less sophisticated Kinder Bueno (£3.50 for two scoops). I almost didn’t want to ruin their display, since the ice-cream looked so satisfyingly neat piped into their metal trays, with raked ridges like a Zen garden. I think I made a decent choice though, especially when it came to the biscuit chunks that were in the chocolate-bar-inspired version.

He was a fan of the raspberry ripple, with its gummy and dragon’s blood-esque rivulets, though wasn’t too keen on the mint choc chip. Nobody ever is. There’s the thought of it, then there’s the Listerine flavoured reality. Still, three perfect scoops is all you need, especially after a fish dog and chips.

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Avoid the amusements and spend all your 2ps here.

Giacopazzi’s

20 Harbour Road

Eyemouth

Berwickshire

(018907 50317, www.giacopazzis.co.uk)

Fish dog

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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