We were in search of ''Symi Shrimp'', a pink, stir fry of delicious, crisp, crunchy, salty baby crustaceans which has been the local food rage as of late. Trying to avoid the commercial venues along the main harbor, we ventured to a sleepy, lone taverna behind the clock tower and sat next to the lapping Aegean.
Baby-faced waiter: Yes please?
Four middle aged ladies: Rosé house wine, please.
Baby face disappears inside and returns five minutes later: Sorry...
Four middle aged polite women: OK, no problem - white house wine, please.
Baby face: Ok! (eventually brings out a small carafe of warm, cloudy, yellow vinegar)
Sound of females choking
One middle aged witch: Can we please have the fish roe starter?
Baby face: Sorry...
Another middle aged witch: Symi shrimp please ?
Baby face shuffles: Sorry....
Blonde (w)itch: Surely you have some octopus?
Baby face wrings his hands.
Girls get up to go: No offense please - Maybe some other time - thank you.
Baby face chasing us down the dock: But you have to pay!
We then relocated to the chic Manos, initially snubbed because it is very much the ''in'' place in Symi whilst we had been searching for the underdog. True to the reviews and feedback, the Manos staff were excellent with our snacks, including saganaki, tarama salata and a well done pink Symi shrimp, and the rosé was perfectly chilled. We continued with an excellent nightcap at Pantelis with a large, stuffed calamari and squid in black ink washed down with a very lethal honey-ouzu home brew.