Papa Giovanni's

Anyone out there ever eat at the place and have problems with the service?

Just curious.

Yeah. I ate there over a year ago and haven’t gone since because I was so annoyed by the attitude. I can’t remember the detail now, but I got the distinct impression that it could only have been due to direst economic necessity that the owner stooped to allow me into his establishment.

I used to get bread all the time at the bakery though. Great bread, no attitude. I think that part was run by his wife. Too bad it (the bakery) closed.

Service there really sucks these days. We used to go every now and then since the food is really good. In short, we went there again for our 11th wedding anniversary a few months back, and man, the worst experience I have ever had. If I had gone to one of the noodle stalls, but in a restaurant that claims to have some kind of standard and is not embarassed to charge over 4,000 buckaroos for two people… Never ever again.

Service with a smile goes a long way. Service from a “stronzo” (i.e. ***hole) does not. I too have had similar experences, but gave it three visits before deciding that I too will never again support Papa Giovanni’s restaurant…

The bakery has reopened, but on my final visit, I overheard a tirade from the boss’ wife (directed towrds the Chinese staff) about the need to sell day-old cakes and sandwiches… The staff were not impressed. Nor was I.

Maybe they’ve bitten off more than we can chew. :smiling_imp:

Ugh! That place is so disgusting. Not only do you get to be served by big, fat smug Italians, but you have to pay a buttload for it.
I was taken there once and would never go back. I can’t believe they’re still open, but they DO advertise, so maybe they depend on one-off business and Taiwanese who aren’t that aware of what good Italian should be.
I tried to warn some people once about going there for a bday party, but they went anyway because some idiot had made reservations, and afterwards could only agree with me. Supposedly, this hole is listed in a taiwanese guide book that ranks it as one of the top 100 restaurants in taipei! wonder how much they paid for that.

Papa Giovanni’s tastes even worse than L’Osteria Rialto. Their Chinese sesame saucing kills the pasta, it felt like eating cup noodles in recycled fats.

Why is there no good Italian (or French) in Taipei? Portofino’s a joke, and so is Marco Polo and the Sherwood. Sowieso’s got the best terrace and wine and secondi piatti though. But stay clear of the salad, and Asia’s “1000 island dressing”. Behind Petit Sherwood, family restaurant, John and Dorothy are the sweetest.

And of course Cosi o Cosi, who manage to instil that delicious intimate family atmosphere so scarce in Taipei. Every expat leaves drunk and ridiculous, but it’s fun! Stay away from the calamari.

Anyone been to Yongkang Park’s mini pasta store?

Again, how the fuck do these pricks manage to stay in business? Is it that rely entirely on new business and not repeats?

Once. Nuff said.

Wait wait wait! I’ve missed something. What/where is PG’s? I’m sure from the above I don’t want to go either but I would like to know where it is so I don’t stumble in by mistake. It’s not the fight club joint is it?

Papa Giovanni’s is on Dunhua and Zhongxiao in an alley. STAY AWAY. Fight club indeed!

Or go and test your patience. The food ain’t bad. The prices are a bit high. Hell you might be lucky and everything will go all right. Seriously, the food is really okay.

That said, I have never heard more complaints about any restaurant so I was prepared when I went there to be patient, yet the owner and brother still pissed me off.

First, I heard from someone that you do not ask for anything like tabasco sauce or pepper or anything. HE will tell you how YOU will eat YOUR food. UNDERSTAND?! with sneers and the worst demeanor of any Parisian waiter. Actually they are worse on the Riviera but… what was my point.

Oh yes, Christmas Eve, a friend a CEO of a company, a banker and a manager all go in. Set menu for NT$1,000 fine. They go in, he comes over, there’s a set menu, the price is NT$1,000. Fine, we’re in. Nope. Give me the money now he says!

Then more of point one, you do thing my way in my restaurant. Ask for anything and he will not give it to you because that is not the way you are supposed to eat it. Excuse me I am paying bring it. Fight.

When I went this was after numerous complaints but I like Lito Gonzalez and so …

We go when it is Lito’s birthday. Set thing. Argentine wine tasting. Numerous Latin American ambassadors et al invited. Does not bring enough pizza for one table (everyone gets one), two people asked for a fucking little 4.5" pizza. Nope brought them already. No see the number of plates. Well I brought all I am going to bring. This started a fight since two would have left it go had he been nice but though hold I then I am not paying. This led to a fight. He LOCKED the door. The two paid and left, but each of us had to ask him to unlock the door when we were getting ready to go so that he could ensure each and every one of us including the ambassadors and diplomatic staff had paid!

Numerous reporters were there. Naturally not one would do the wine review nor the restaurant reviews that they were planning. The man and his brother are idiots. All this free publicity etc. and he fucks it up like that AND it is his employee/partner Lito Gonzalez’ birthday. These are his friends, etc.

The wine was free (not very good) but supplied by the Argentine trade office or someone connected with them.

The pizza 4.5" was still getting NT$350 per person PLUS 10 percent. No one minded because it was a social event not a feast but still when you are charged NT$350 for 4.5" pizza and then don’t get one and then get attitude and then almost into a fight with managers, CEOs, ambassadors (no matter that they are from small countries). Everyone was thoroughly pissed off.

After that, it comes up occasionally in conversations and numerous people have mentioned they too were incensed. We all did not realize that everyone else hated the place so much because it is not the kind of thing you bring up in conversation. Too negative so let it go. That’s how these places stay in business. People don’t want to air their grievances especially regarding disputes at restaurants because they feel it makes them look bad.

So there you have it. Go. The food is good. The decor is okay. Then see how things go. If they are going well. Start asking for extras. More pepper some tabasco and then see. I tell you though. The best thing to do is stay away. One of these days one of them is going to flip and actually beat up one of their customers. No lie.

I forgot something. I did not know that the two had to pay to get out the locked door so when I went to leave the door was locked so I thought oh just open it so I am opening and then closing the door when owner comes over and snaps his fingers at me and yells, “You get back in here!” and I said, “excuse me” and he says, “Did you pay?!” and I said “yes!” and then he said, “Okay, then you can leave!” and I said in my snottiest, most condescending tone, “Thanks so much!”

My one and only experience with Papa G was a nightmare in which the manager constantly yelled at the staff and got into an argument with several people at our table – the issue could have been fixed quite easily if he had remained calm instead of getting defensive). I also have a friend whose girlfriend worked there and can provide a ton of horror stories about Papa G. Obviously, this guy had trouble getting along with the other children in the playground as a kid, and never grew out of it.

Well, I’ll get my friend drunk and get the stories out of him. I would say that Papa G’s behaviour was far above any establishment owner’s when it comes to the “I need an anger management course” category.

But I’ve heard other people, particularly lunch-time customers, say that they’ve never had a problem with the guy. Maybe there’s some type of Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde thing going on at tea time.

Lunch vs. dinner? How much worse could he be? I believe that I have had friends go at lunch too and he was not working then. Maybe that is why it was okay.

I mean I have never seen such uniformity of opinion. I know Taiwanese, mainlanders and Cantonese who hate the place.

Ditto for Italians, Greeks, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilians, Argentines, Paraguayans, Bolivians, Peruvians, Costa Ricans, Panamanians, El Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, Mexicans and Dominican Republicans.

Also goes for Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans and British.

Finally for French, Germans, Swiss, Belgians, Dutch, Norwegians, Swedes, even a Finn, a Russian, a Pole and a Hungarian.

How many more people can you say of so many different kinds of backgrounds are united in their hatred of the owner and his brother. Again, the food ain’t too bad. If the owner marketed his restaurant as one of those insult places maybe people would get a laugh out of it and go to be insulted? How’s that for a new marketing concept?

I couldn’t find the China Post article, but here’s an oldie from Taipei Times. Maybe long, long ago, Papa G’s was a place you could eat at without the risk of being yelled at…

Today’s Taipei Times has this review.

[quote]Because the Taipei Times has praised Papa and staff in past reviews, the news of unhappy clientele was, well, news. [color=red], an Internet site popular with Taiwan’s expatriate community[/color], has dozens of postings regarding Papa Giovanni’s under its “restaurants, bars and clubs” forum.

The postings almost unanimously decry the restaurant’s poor service, high prices and Papa’s “attitude.” One post said he left the restaurant with “the distinct impression that it could only have been due to direst economic necessity that the owner stooped to allow me into his establishment.”[/quote]

By the owner[quote]As for the complaints about him and his restaurant, he said he was unaware of the online postings and didn’t seem overly concerned. “People sometimes don’t like something.”[/quote]
Funny, the only reason I haven’t been there is because of its review postings here. A quick use of google and acting upon negative feedback might help business. But hey, maybe business is good anyway. Just my thoughts.

Nice to see that at least David Momphard hasn’t lost his bite. I wonder if Papa will complain after he reads the review a la Michel La Taverne and om Monday the website will be censored once again?

Who edited Momphard’s story? “Direst” indeed? Anyway, even more amusing is the restaurant review that accompanies Momphard’s, witten by Yu Sen-lun. There is pictured a rather overcooked, skinny-looking chicken leg balancing on a few vegetables. The caption reads: "Spring chicken is a substantial main dish on Prego’s set menu.’ :smiley: