On Sunday 10th May, on the occasion of her special day I really wanted to take my mum somewhere special. Having called a couple of our favourite restaurants and being told they were fully booked I decided to try somewhere new and booked Casanova on the Valletta Waterfront. I work in the hospitality industry myself and seeing a client of mine had taken a group there, I Imagined it must be good. We were really looking forward to our meal!! Little did I know what a disaster it would actually turn out to be!! I feel so terrible for my mum!!
Our table was booked for 1300hrs. We ordered the wine and soon after our food order was also taken. While waiting I asked one of the food servers if we could possibly have some bread (nothing out of the ordinary). Having failed at the first attempt, I asked a woman who looked like a supervisor or owner for that matter. Surprisingly, she didn’t understand a word of English so I repeated in Maltese however didn’t succeed either, so I opted for Italian and hit jackpot. Ten minutes later a bread basket arrived. Now, as the Italian culture is to eat bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it would have been nice to have a side plate. I asked one of the f & b servers whether these could be added to our table layout however again no luck. After waiting for about ten minutes I decided to get up to get a side plate myself. The impression I got of the waitresses was that they were terrorised. One of the girls was already told off by her manager so I guess was still under shock!!
It was now about 1345 and we were starving. I finished a whole bread basket and half a bottle of wine while waiting for our starter. Every time we asked whether there was a problem with our food, the reply was always – it’s on the way. In the meantime, some Sicilian patrons arrived and within less than an hour their order was taken, served and left…. Oh! had I mentioned the owners of the restaurant are Sicilian??!!!!!!!
It is now past 1400hrs and our food finally arrives. To console ourselves, we said the food must be worth waiting for. On the contrary my pasta tasted like pasta with Bovril plus mushrooms; luckily my mum does not suffer of high blood pressure because her risotto rocketed with the high amount of salt and butter plus a strong taste of lemon. My dad isn’t one to complain…especially when he saw the two women with him in rage!!!
So thank God, Part I was over. We finished our starters and about ¾ of an hour later I spotted two waitresses looking blankly with two dishes in hand. We indicated that that food was for our table and they left them on a table nearby saying that the maitre will be coming to clean the fish for my mum. I can assure you my mum would have made a better job of it because apart from being still full of bones, the amount of fish she was presented with in the plate was miserable and all flaky. The salad which my mum ordered and for which one had to pay extra, never arrived. My mum informed the waitress to cancel the order of vegetables as she had already finished eating the fish. Surprise, surprise, - my dad’s food had not yet arrived till fifteen minutes after my mum and I finished eating our main course. Do these people actually have any clue of what good service means????
I went in to complain to the owner who was battling with his chef in his open plan kitchen!! When I tried to explain that I was very disappointed with the service he began shouting at me and asked me to leave. I retaliated telling him that I worked in hospitality and never would I have dreamt of speaking to a client the way he was yelling at me and making hand gestures!! I couldn’t believe it!! I spoke to a woman – another owner – definitely from the same family – one could tell from the lack of manners… she began shouting all sorts…wasn’t I the client here??? Apparently, the saying “the client is always right” does not appear in their culture. Having to put up with such appalling service, why was I now being yelled at??? She tried to cover up her disservice by claiming, or rather yelling out, that it took her ¾ of an hour to order a burger here in malta… I mean, since when was the discussion about her?? I thought we were talking about the horrifying service in their restaurant. At that point she started putting Malta down and saying nasty things about the Maltese. I told her she should be grateful that she is working on our little island!!! Why did they choose Malta if we’re as hopeless as she says we are??? Now we all know that there are no job opportunities in Sicily so I guess I’ve answered my own question. I went on to say that I was disgusted at the way they treat clients. I was told never to go there again…but seriously did they need to say that??? Not only am I never going to set foot in that so called restaurant but I’ll also make it known to everyone I know what a traumatising experience it actually was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine, she also had the audacity to say that they come here to teach us how to cook.
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