When in Rome, Don't Eat Here!

Oct 2nd, 2019, 02:07 PM
  #1  
Dai
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When in Rome, Don't Eat Here!

These guys got an avalanche of bad publicity when a diner received this outrageous dining bill, and posted it. The bill came with an equally outrageous tip which they conveniently added. I've had stuff added to my bills in Italy before, and expensive suggestions offered, but thankfully, nothing like this.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/t...cli/index.html
Dai is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 03:26 PM
  #2  
 
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Funny, I thought given the topic, booze would be involved. Every time someone tries to pad my bill, it’s invariably booze that they don’t think I’ll ask the price of. The fish thing has been attempted a few times, though. I’m wondering if the fish is weighed when it’s raw. When I’ve seen “per 100 gram” on menus, you usually can’t order just 100g— that’s why it’s annoying to say the least. So it sounds like those folks didn’t really understand what they were ordering.

Not to say that the restaurant isn’t scamming. The tip thing—owner’s explanation doesn’t make a lick of sense. And even accounting for shrinking, that seems like an absurd amount of fish for a restaurant to serve two people.

i was at this really cute little place in Italy, and this Asian couple had ordered a more extensive version of my (delicious) charcuterie platter. When it came out, they were very distressed that it wasn’t on a board—you know, like in guide books or movies. The poor owner was completely confused as to what the heck they were complaining about. I don’t know if they ever made themselves understood, but I walked out of there thinking about why so many scams do happen. And wondering how many restaurants or other folks are deliberately targeting the massive influx of Asian tourists. They have money, don’t always speak great English, aren’t always willing to protest. And in a lot of cases, probably aren’t actually familiar with a lot of western foods. I saw such hilarious mistranslations on some of the English menus that I stopped asking for them, because my Italian food vocab is passable.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 03:54 PM
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That was on the evening news on Italian TV. I would refuse to pay and tell them to call the police.

Whole fish is almost always priced per 100 grams. How could you find a whole fish that weighed exactly 100 grams? I usually ask what the average weight is, and maybe split it with my husband if it's too big. However, a fish that is €6.50 per 100 grams would have to weigh about 5 kg (11 pounds) to bring the cost of the meal close to €400.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:02 PM
  #4  
Dai
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Yes, it was a shameful rip-off all the way around. I think the article mentioned that it was impossible to recreate and fill the plate with 5KG of fish.
Dai is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:30 PM
  #5  
 
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No, the consumers in question went back to the restaurant and demanded to be shown a platter of 4.8 kg of fish. Restaurant refused, said they were too busy. From that the consumers assumed that it wasn’t “possible”.

(I’m not saying it was possible. I’m thinking that restaurant screams shady. At very least, it was a deliberate and deceptive attempt to take advantage of tourists. But the consumers/article actually have no proof they were ripped off for sure. They ordered fish, received more fish than they (mistakenly) thought they ordered, and ate the fish. I suspect that even had they called the cops, the most that would’ve happened is that the tip and service charge would’ve been removed from the bill).
marvelousmouse is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:06 PM
  #6  
Dai
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
No, the consumers in question went back to the restaurant and demanded to be shown a platter of 4.8 kg of fish. Restaurant refused, said they were too busy. From that the consumers assumed that it wasn’t “possible”.
"And just like I thought, they couldn't do it and refused to do it with the excuse that they didn't have time," she said."

When I read that (in bold) I envisioned a different scenario. I thought they had tried but failed and then said they were too busy to continue with them.
Dai is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:25 PM
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I thought that initially but I think it’s just poor writing. They said they were too busy which in restaurant “speak” is “sorry, darling, I need to wash my hair”. If it’s scam, they’re not going to do it, and if they’re an ordinary restaurant they’re still not going to do it. They already got the guy’s money, they’re unlikely to kiss up to someone who is from the other side of the planet and never coming back. I used to work in a restaurant in college and my manager would give people with complaints like this vouchers just so they’d go away. But never refunds.

if they give him any refund now, it would solely be to get back in TA’s good graces. even then, though, who knows. Chances are they have a good location that gets a lot of gullible walk ins.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:40 PM
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If you are buying fish by weight in a restaurant, the whole fish will be brought to the table (or it should be), and then the whole fish will be weighed. Weight includes everything, head, guts, bones, even if the diner is being served a fillet.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 12:11 AM
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if they give him any refund now, it would solely be to get back in TA’s good graces. even then, though, who knows. Chances are they have a good location that gets a lot of gullible walk ins.
They were never in TripAdvisor's good graces. They have rock-bottom reviews going back years, and complaining about the fish stunt.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2019, 01:07 AM
  #10  
 
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Yeah, but to be actually suspended by TA is another thing entirely. I don’t put much stock in TA’s reviews because there always seems to be a lot of fake ones. I didn’t think they suspended restaurants over anything.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 10:14 AM
  #11  
 
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OMG, this is horrible! They should close this place!

The first thing I do when I travel to new cities is to join a food tour, as the guides they always share the local restaurants and tourist traps!
Katherine23 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 11:09 AM
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Well, I don't know about that. There are food tours around here that specialize in steering unwary tourists to their "friends'" restaurants, and I'm betting this isn't the only place that happens. Reputable food tours don't do this, but there are more and more food tours all over Europe every year, and not all of them reputable.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 8th, 2019, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
Yeah, but to be actually suspended by TA is another thing entirely. I don’t put much stock in TA’s reviews because there always seems to be a lot of fake ones. I didn’t think they suspended restaurants over anything.

They didn't suspend the restaurant. They closed the review page. Controversy bad for selling ads. Plus TA isn't going to take legal responsibility for any nasty comments.

There is some sort of torpedo fish swimming the river in Rome that allegedly reaches 70kg. Was in the paper last week -) 5kg isn't a huge fish.
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 12:14 PM
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It isn't annoying to list a price per 100 g, if fish is priced based on weight, there's no other way to do it than a common measurement that is easily divisible. It's like in the grocery stores where things are priced per oz or pound in the US, kg in Europe, etc. Fish is priced in all the stores where I live by pound, for example. 100 g is about 4 oz, how else are they supposed to price it, people aren't going to buy a kg of fish to eat for dinner.
Christina is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 05:37 PM
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During our visit to Rome, at the end of our 13 week trip, I was 'over' eating out. My husband and I went to a near by restaurant. My husband ordered a normal meal but since I wasn't hungry I asked if I could just have a small bowl of fruit. The waiter said yes and asked if I wanted one variety of fruit of mixed. I said I would like a mixed bowl. What arrived was perfect...just a small dish of fruit. What wasn't perfect was the bill when it arrived. I was charged more for that small bowl of fruit than my husband's entire meal. I was charged $8 four times since I was given four varieties of fruit, even though it was all in one small bowl. Our 'cheery' waiter was not so cheery when we questioned the bill. He became angry at our questioning and said I asked for four kinds of fruit. What a mess. It left us with a very bad memory of Rome...kinda ruined our last night.
michele_d is offline  
Nov 10th, 2019, 02:17 AM
  #16  
 
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I learned the hard way always to ask the price of the 'specials', but sometimes still get caught out. Recently at Piccolini in Heddon Street in London; 'would you like some bread and olives'? Sure - I knew they'd charge, otherwise they wouldn't have asked, but wasn't counting on olives charged separately at 5 pounds (5 olives in total). Plus the bread at almost 5 pounds as well. including service those bits of bread and olives then come to 12,50 for the two of us at lunch.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 16th, 2019, 03:35 AM
  #17  
 
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They should close this place NOW!
Indrea is offline  
Nov 16th, 2019, 09:48 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
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What a rip off. This usually happens to touristic places and can happen when you don't expect it!
Melanie_O is offline  

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