Never a greater disappointment than when a place is recommended by more than one person then you are forced to question if their opinion was not formed under duress or following some obscure form of water torture.
At Hatzikelis all dreams of fresh fish and local cuisine were demolished like the Colossus of Rhodes stomping on your painstakingly crafted Lego castle.
The meal turned sour with the wine. Which incidentally was also sour. We ordered from an extensive and interesting looking wine list which looked like it showcased a strong selection of Greek wines. Happy to see Sigalas on the list - a winery I knew of - we looked forward to splashing out. When the bottle came it's cork was popped as fast as possible and the waiter was awkwardly hiding the label from view. When I tasted it, a basic plonk, I questioned him. Upon being shown the bottle to be something much cheaper he simply said " Same thing!" and ran off. But they still charged us the 30 euros of the Sigalas. We Brits might not be the sharpest tools in the toolbox but any old grape isn't any old grape and it is dispiriting to be treated like mugs. The table beside us suffered the same fate with a rosé. Ignore the wine list, they clearly don't stock anything on it and are trying to flog their house plonk under this silly ruse. Stick to the house plonk and hope they don't do you the indignity of charging you the GDP of a small country for it.
On to the fish. I had cuttlefish - braised in its own ink which the waiter patronisingly assumed we had never eaten, probably imagining that the extent of our culinary knowledge was being slapped round the chops with jellies eels doused in builders tea and that Britain has yet to emerge from rationing.
The cuttlefish were nice but nothing I haven't had better elsewhere. My partner's sole in light flour - cue dreams of light, super fresh fish with a light coating of flour and a lovely side of fresh salad, was like a Greek nightmarish interpretation of Fish n Chips. Battered like a desperate housewife in soggy coating, the fish could have been anything. The lot covered in chips and cubes of cucumber.
We attempted to run away before the watermelon was forced on us. At the recognition we didn't want watermelon, we were offered a giant slab of custard pie instead (the meal's only highlight).
You will find not a single Greek persom eating here. Just a lot of bemused looking people wondering how they spent neaely 100 euros on a plate of fish and salad and likely suspecting the owner is the cousin of every hotel GM in Rhodes which can be the only reason this place is so often recommended.
Disappointed doesn't begin to describe it.
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