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Jason Smith - Villaggio

Published on September 6th 2005.

Well what a night!

A friend’s birthday was upon us and the night promised to be full of Fun, Drinking & Eating at the all new Villaggio in the heart of Manchester’s gay village. How wrong were we! We arrived at the new restaurant and at first view thought this is just what the village needed, a nice classy restaurant where we can meet for drinks and bites to eat day or night.

Little did we realise that the waiting staff hardly spoke any English and the so called Manageress had her restaurant training at “Attitudes R Us”. It took over 20 minutes before we were asked what we would like to drink then about another 10 minutes to bring them over.

The menu looked promising although hard to understand; luckily enough the food was also numbered on the menu so to ensure if a mispronunciation was made surely they couldn’t get it wrong. Could they? The starters were poor, with some portions not even enough to fill a 6 month old baby.

The mussels were cold and this was apparently due to the fact that, and I quote: “we only have a small kitchen.” We hoped that things would get better as the night went on and the more we drank. The main course arrived over 2 hours after us arriving at the restaurant, by this time people were getting fidgety and really starting to get irritated.

Gary had ordered what sounded like a great choice - Seafood Linguini. This translated as a large bowl of spaghetti with a drizzle of sauce and three prawns. When questioned what the dish was and asked if more of the seafood could be put in, “Manuel” our newly named Manageress went off and came back to us with one extra prawn. How grateful Gary was.....

Pizzas turned up looking like a frisbee with some tomato ketchup up on a fried egg chucked on top sprinkled with plenty of black olives. Some were even burnt underneath these were quickly sent back to the kitchen for a replacement. My meal turned up and I quickly noticed this looked nothing like what I had ordered when Manuel was questioned about this she told me with quite a stern voice this is what I had ordered and she would not have wrote it down wrong!

When I mentioned that I ordered a dish with a cream curry, I was told I was lying as there wasn’t even anything with curry on the menu. Seemed I had to point the actual food on the menu out to her. The night just went from bad to worse. We decided to call the manager over to point out our grievance throughout the night for her to stand there and argue back with us, everything we had to say was quickly thrown back at us with a comment that could have been from the Anne Robinson book of one liner bitch-back’s.

We felt that the overall experience of Villaggio was poor from beginning to end.

No apology was offered and the manageress didn’t give a monkey’s as I quote again “not my restaurant, I’m only standing in for someone." For a newly opened restaurant in the heart of the village where everybody knows everybody you would have thought that they would have been bending over backwards to ensure that we went away with a 5* rating and spread the news amongst our friends. Instead we left feeling very disappointed. We certainly won’t be arranging or attending any over birthdays, weddings or barmitzvers at the above said restaurant.

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