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Try some Italian meals off the menu at Cucina di Giovanni.
My wife and I visited today after almost a year ago. We had a somewhat disappointing experience, then.
We were pleasantly surprised! The food, lamb curry and liver, respectively, was more than ample, tasty and well presented. The service and advice were very good too.
The atmosphere is "warm and friendly"- a pleasant venue for "all occasions".
The pizzas that we saw, being served to other patrons, looked so inviting that we decided that we would return and sample them ourselves soon.
My partner and I decided to visit this charming little Italian restaurant last night. The menu looked promising, and judging by the packed restaurant, we assumed that the food must be good as well. I was also very impressed with the winelist, which was quite comprehensive and very reasonably priced. I had the marrow bones with snails and my partner the chicken livers to start. The marrow bones were roasted beautifully, but the cream sauce was over reduced and salty. My partner's chicken livers were bitter, burnt and over-cooked. The waiter however was so charming we chose not to complain. It did take a while for both starters and pizzas to arrive, but as we were in great company, were in no hurry. When the pizzas arrived, although not great, were perfectly tasty, but that I am afraid, is where the fun ended. The obnoxious, inebriated owner, Peter, was stumbling around the restaurant abusing his staff. They kitchen is visible from the restaurant, so we, as paying guests, were able to hear every word of his abusive outbursts. I have been in the industry for 17 years, at top establishments all over the world, and I have never, ever witnessed such ridiculous and unacceptable behavior, especially on behalf of an owner. After 15 minutes of abuse I felt it was necessary to intervene, but, at the insistence of my partner, we rather asked for the bill in an effort to salvage the evening. I will never forget the lost and pained expressions on the faces of his staff. Anyone who share my respect for basic human dignity should give this very average restaurant a wide birth. In this day and age that type of disgusting behavior is totally unacceptable. Peter is in desperate need of some people management and communication skills. I feel that the restaurant lacks most is effective leadership. Peter, you are an embarrassment and ruined what should have been a very special evening indeed. I will never return.
PS. We were, originally, introduced to your restaurant by JD, Of Rawson Estates.
1. We recently relocated to Schonenberg Estate from Irene, Centurion, via George.
2. Whilst waiting to move to our house in Schonenberg, we stayed at the Lord Charles Hotel and “ate out” frequently. We visited your restaurant on a few occasions and I must add that your ox-tail was exceptionally good then, as well as other dishes we ordered.
3. The last time we were there was in the week of 10 to 16 July, latish in the afternoon, Friday/Saturday. What a disappointment as the rump, advertised on your “flyer board”, was out of stock, so, as a second choice, was your chicken thighs, we were told. We then opted for the ox-tail, as a last resort, and were told it was not “ready”.
4. We have never visited your restaurant again, because of that experience, and we just wish to bring our experience to your attention. Why only now? Well because we have frequented other restaurants close by and have never had the experience we had at yours.
5. You are a classy establishment but I believe that, with all due respect, that particular day, management was sorely lacking and maybe it could happen again, and you don’t deserve that.
6. We are not after any “freebies” here and will not accept any “compensatory gesture”, if it may be considered. I believe, though, that management should be aware of what can happen when they are “not present”’.
Thanking you kindly.
JOHN AND ALICIA SOMERVILLE.