I wrote a review about this place before, but the owner replied and I felt I had to correct myself.
I was accused of defamatory behavior because I said some ingredients are not original. I should have said the products don’t taste as what is advertised. I do not know if I was unlucky and was served non-original products, if they cook them in such a way that the taste is lost, or what. I just know that what I was served as buffalo mozzarella and san Daniele, did not taste anything like the original. The owner says his wife and partner are Italian, as if this was evidence of good quality. Well, so am I. And I am Italian in a “I come from Italy and I have eaten the real product my whole life, including in other places in Australia” way. Their identity, which I respect, has nothing to do with knowing the difference between the real deal and something similar. Buffalo mozzarella has a significantly stronger taste and SD general taste is sweeter than what I got. So I apologise for giving the false impression that I was suggesting the owner might have been aware that I was not being served the genuine ingredient. I should have said my experience was below average because the very specific ingredients didn’t taste as they should have. I mentioned the issue to one of the waitresses the first time I went. My criticism went unheard, given that, when I went back, those ingredients tasted (and I am not saying they were, but to me, the person expressing their OPINION, they tasted) as fake as the Italian spirit I saw when stepping in the restaurant. Therefore, a public, polite review is only fair.
After accusing me of defamation and pulling the“I can sue you”card, the owner suggests I came from Melbourne to eat and then says I have broken lockdown laws. He obviously does not take into consideration that if I was living in Melbourne, I wouldn’t go to an “Italian” restaurant in Geelong. Furthermore, if they take Covid rules seriously, as he claims, how would have I been able to eat there, given that they would have definitely asked me for ID, as they are supposed to? Luckily, I live in regional Victoria, so his accusation of me having broken the law falls as flat as the taste of the mozzarella I was served as buffalo.
Later, the owner tries to guilt-trip me by saying that a lot of people can lose hours of work because og my review. This is as inaccurate as the spelling of some of his dishes. Does he know that he is advocating for silencing negative reviews that are just a law of the market? After all, if only positive reviews were allowed, he would take customers from other restaurants, so wouldn’t he be responsible for the loss of their jobs? I assume he doesn’t mind this law of the market. To quote him, his demand to silence negative reviews “will end up affecting[...]staff members who have gone through hell[...]To kick people whilst they're down, trying to recover from 4 lockdowns is quite frankly un Australian”. I will refrain from mentioning the irony of him calling me un-Australian (implying that non-Australian people, like me and some of his other customers, do sneaky and immoral acts to damage others) and then doing the same thing, indirectly.
The owner does not reply to my opinion that they overcharge for what they offer, that the environment is the caricature of an Italian restaurant, and that the menu is full of wrong categorizations of foods and misspellings. He mentions that some recipes come from Nonna M. I don’t know if she is a real person or the perpetration of an Italian stereotype about how nonne cook and their names. However, I know that her recipes are either wrong, or were modified in a manner that Italians would not recognise in any other way than “fake Italian”.
If the owner knows averages and reviews, he’ll know I’m not going to destroy his business with a review too long to be read by anyone who’s not a fan of internet drama or by someone looking for self-validation and should work on their stereotypes and ego.
And now he won't reply, but try to minimize me attacking the fact I answered and not what I said. See less
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