***AVOID*** AVOID *** AVOID *** AVOID *** AVOID ***
Sometimes there needs to be a zero rating, especially reserved for those experiences where even a rating of 1 seems too high!! I don’t think I’ve every written such a negative review, but our experience at this establishment was so awful, that I feel the need to warn fellow restaurant-goers about it! Even if the food is of fairly decent quality, it’s completely overlooked by the atrocious service and shocking handling of the situation by management. One can’t expect staff to be adequately trained when it’s clear that the manager himself has no management skills, and no understanding whatsoever of how to handle his clientele.
We arrived and were seated quickly, received our menu’s and offered drinks, which arrived fairly quickly too. We ordered our meals – my companion ordered gnocchi and asked if some cream could be added to her napolitana sauce (i.e. an aurora sauce). The waitress assured her this wouldn’t be a problem. Gnocchi with napolitana sauce is priced on the menu at R85 as opposed to gnocchi with bolognese or 4-cheese sauce, which is R99. Our meals arrived in due course and we enjoyed them. The waitress removed our plates, and then … we seemed to become invisible. Nobody approached our table for close to 20 minutes! We weren’t offered dessert, coffee … nothing … not even our bill. It’s at times like these that I’m tempted to test the theory of walking out without paying to see if anyone actually notices!
We decided to phone the restaurant and ask for the manager, and our bill. The person who answered the phone claimed that he was the manager, and my companion told him that we’d been ignored for quite some time and please could he bring us the bill. And then we waited some more!! Yes, really!! After some more time, we saw him walking around and we called him over, and my dining partner asked if he was the person who she’d spoken to earlier. I’m not sure he understood, but he said yes. So we asked him why we were still waiting for our bill. He proceeded to then go and chat to the cluster of wait-staff hanging around the restaurant door. We waited a few more minutes and eventually our waitress materialised with our bill and a card machine, and she stood next to our table waiting for payment! Yes, she rudely stood by our table waiting, after ignoring us for so long.
Our bill included an extra charge of R10 for cream. We asked the waitress what the extra charge was for and she informed us it was for the addition of cream into the napolitana sauce. She hadn’t told us there’d be an additional charge. We called the manager who told us that the waitress was supposed to tell us about this additional cost, and she’d told him that we had said it was fine. We told him that she had told us no such thing and insisted he remove the additional charge, which he did. A new bill then arrived without the additional R10, and the gnocchi was now charged at the incorrect price at R99!! We called the manager back. My companion was now, understandably, seething!!! She explained to him that what he’d done was actually illegal as although he’d removed the additional charge, he’d now increased the price of the dish she’d ordered on the bill. He didn’t seem to understand what she was trying to explain to him, and seemed quite flustered as he realised that this whole situation was completely beyond his control. He eventually returned with yet another bill and a R100 note and said that he’d decided to just charge us R100 for the whole meal! Seeing as I’d already paid cash and received change, and my companion had already paid her share on her card, we just wanted to get out of there after this whole prolonged nightmare. So we said that would be ok, and we took the R100 and left. But the manager still seemed rather confused as he still didn’t seem to know quite what had happened.
So … be warned!!! There are establishments out there that still manage to operate with a complete lack of quality or care for the customers they serve. How they stay in business is a mystery to me, and it’s not only the unsuspecting customers who suffer but also the foolish owners who leave their restaurants in the hands of useless managers and staff. Primafila is one such restaurant. It should be avoided at all costs!!
Don’t let the spacious, modern look of this Italian eatery fool you! They’re into the business of serving up serious, fabulous food! Have been here a couple of times now, and although we said we needed to come back to try out the many different appealing dishes on the menu, we had loved what we had the previous time so much that we landed up ordering the same thing again! We did, however order different starters! So far we’ve tried the Bocconcini Fritti (deep-fried baby mozzarella balls) the grilled Halloumi, and the garlic Foccacia for starters. For mains my companions have had Ravioli Di Spinaci (Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta in a Pomodoro Sauce) – tasty, although I have to say the ravioli don’t have a lot of filling in them, and I didn’t find the portion size to be very large; Linguine Al Gamberi (Prawns sauteed in olive oil, chilli and garlic, tossed in linguine and rocket) – I don’t eat shellfish so haven’t tasted it, but both times it’s looked great and my friend has been very happy with it. On both visits I’ve had the Risotto Con Funghi Porcini (Arborio rice, Porcini mushrooms, Italian tomatoes, white wine, cream and Parmesan shavings) and it’s been out of this world! For dessert we’ve tried the sorbet which was incredible, and also the good old ice cream and chocolate sauce, both of which are served in a wafer basket. On our last visit, three of us shared 2 portions, and our waitress very kindly still brought us 3 portions of the chocolate sauce! Service, as you can tell is thoughtful and efficient. The only gripe I have is that there is no input from management – who don’t seem to be hands on and no manager comes past to see if all is ok. Although it’s clear that this establishment runs extremely smoothly, it would be a nice touch. Still, I highly recommend it and we’ll definitely be back. Oh … and the huge displays of apples on their counters are absolutely gorgeous!!