My girlfriend and I stumbled past this place whilst looking for somewhere to eat. Having both mentioned that we were in the mood for pasta, we headed inside. It's always quite daunting when entering a completely empty restaurant, and can also be worrying. Why was this little Italian restaurant, which is situated on the busy Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, so dead? It should have at least a few other diners in, especially as it was about 8pm, and most of the other restaurants we passed were really busy. We ignored these warning signs, and asked for a table for two, and the waiter gestured to a table. We took off our coats, and we were about to sit down, when two menus were abruptly thrown down on the table in front of us. My girlfriend and I looked at each other, bemused, and hesitantly sat down.
When the waiter approached our table to take our order, my girlfriend and I each ordered a glass of red wine. My girlfriend ordered a Spicy Arrabiata Penne, and I asked for a Spaghetti Carbonara. "Would you like a large?", the waiter asked. I was feeling hungry, so I said "sure". The waiter disappeared for a few minutes, and then returned to our table with two small glasses of red wine. We each had a sip, and both pulled the same disgusted face. We were drinking what can only be described as cheap red wine, diluted with Ribena. It was disgusting! It was so bad, that I couldn't tolerate more than a mouthful. Instead of complaining, I pushed the wine to one side, and ordered a beer. "Would you like a large?", the waiter asked again. I said "sure", and he disappeared again, returning moments later with a nice, cold pint of beer. Much better.
It wasn't long before our meals arrived. We were starving, so we dug in straight away. The food was nice. The spaghetti was a little overcooked, but I've had worse meals in Amsterdam. After finishing my beer, I waited for the waiter to look in my direction, so that I could order another. I sat, and I waited, whilst he leant on the kitchen counter, with his back to the restaurant, chatting to the chef.
Eventually, another couple walked in, and they were greeted with the same impertinence. Having finished our meals, I decided I no longer wanted the beer, and I politely asked for the bill instead. This is when things started to get weird! The waiter returned to the table with half of the bill, saying "This is for yours", as he handed it to me.
Confused, I looked at my girlfriend. Had I missed something? Why was he only bringing us half of the bill?
"Can I have the whole bill?" I asked.
"With her's, it's €50" he shouted, as if I was an idiot.
"Okay," I replied. "I'd still like the total bill, please!"
The waiter seemed annoyed, as if this was a huge inconvenience. He went back to the register, and returned with a separate bill for my girlfriend's meal.
I asked him, with confusion, why he was splitting our bill, to which he replied "That's how I run my business!"
I told him that I'd worked in hospitality since 2011, and I'd never heard of this way of doing things. He snapped back that he has five successful restaurants, and this is how they all worked. Weird.
I added the two bills together, and it came to €48. I looked at my bill a little more, and noticed I'd been charged for a wine, a pint, and two meals, at €12 each. I checked my girlfriend's receipt, and she had been charged for one meal and one wine. I asked why I'd been charged for two meals, and he said "You ordered a large. A large is two meals. I told you this! You don't listen!" I was shocked! He was charging €24 for a large spaghetti carbonara! What he should have asked is "Would you like to eat two meals this evening?", to which I would have told him that I'm not a pig. We argued for about ten minutes over the bill, and I eventually left a €50 and walked out.
This guy is out to rip people off. He doesn't want to run a nice, successful restaurant. He wants to prey on tourists, and make as much money out of them while he can. Little does he know that my girlfriend and I are not tourists. We live in Amsterdam, and we will be telling everyone we know to avoid this place like the plague! If I could give 0/5 I would.