Thursday, May 10, 2012

Napoli Trattoria a la pornographic

Dear Diner’s everywhere,
If you want a really tasteless evening out, surprisingly not from the point of the food, try Napoli Trattoria owned I am told by Bernardo Napoli.
It is colourfully decorated inside with flags and other souvenirs around the place and it takes a bit of time to adjust to the dim lighting. So it was a while before we noticed the tasteless decoration hanging on the wall just above my wife Gayle’s head (see pic).
Does Cape Town’s restaurant licensing authority approved of pornographic eating houses, I wonder. Do children have to be accompanied by an adult if they eat at this trattoria?
It is described as an old fashioned Italian style restaurant and is in the Main Road of Fish Hoek, one of the Southern suburbs of Cape Town.
Bernardo evidently believes in telling his guests exactly what’s on his mind. And what was on his mind turned out in our case to be as tasteless as what was hanging on the wall.
When my wife and I decided to take two friends there we were embarrassed from the start as each table had a scruffy note in the middle saying the credit card machine was not working. But as that is the facility normally provided by just about every restaurant, that was how we had intended to pay.
So we started the evening off by having to worry as to whether we had enough cash on us to pay.
Bernardo unconvincingly assured us we could pay the following day if necessary, and when he complained about what the banks charged for a card service it got us wondering as to when he last took credit cards.
His disposition changed when I ordered a Hawaiian pizza from the menu. He berated me for having this American shit and not ordering something Italian like the rest of us. Are you an American? he asked as if that was some kind of affliction.
Cape Town's Table Mountain cableway
This was hardly the recommended recipe for how to treat diners in this tourist Mecca at the Southern tip of Africa.
The bill came to R415. The evening was supposed to be on us but all we could raise was R220 so our guests coughed up another R210, which we borrowed from them, to enable us to hand over R430 to mine host.
That’s when Bernardo exploded. At the top of his voice in this very small establishment this short, stocky man told us that we should give a tip of at least R40. He accused us of being very mean.
But the tasteless evening was not over yet.
After we had gone to our car my slim, diminutive, five foot tall wife returned by herself and told Bernardo that his behaviour had been unacceptable. She pointed out that the only reason that we couldn’t pay any more as far as the tip was concerned was because we couldn’t use our credit card and had to scrounge money from out guests.
He was not the least bit repentant and got into another slanging match with her saying among other things that he had seen that one of our guests had a lot of money in his wallet.
So if you want to risk Bernardo’s wrath, Napoli Trattoria is the place to eat. Just remember to bring enough money because you can’t use a credit card and he decides how much you must tip.  
And don’t bring the kids unless you are not concerned about giving them a porno experience.
Jon, the Consumer Watchdog, who does look at porn but not while he’s eating.  

P.S. The Film and Publications Board, which controls these things, is currently trying to make the difficult decision as to whether or not what’s on the wall at this trattoria is in fact pornographic under the Act before it can determine a course of action. Being a Government department this might take some time.


  1. How true ! This guy was very rude to us tonight. He insulted my wife and was very rude to us after we asked a few basic questions regarding his food. I would not recommend this restaurant no matter how hungry you are. The place is filthy , he is filthy, sweaty and smelly person and that how he represents his pizzeria. His food was disgusting and tasteless, the mussels was not properly cleaned and were growing hairs. Please think twice before going to this place. Hope this helps you to save your time and money.

  2. Having grown up in Fish Hoek, I would not be caught dead in such a filthy restaurant. The place looks like a dive from the outside with its multiple signs and flags and its no different inside. The owner is a pompous Italian who thinks that he is a gift from above and can make decent food but the reality is that he has no clue and will take all and sundry for a ride.

  3. Hi :-) we have just had lunch there, and were so disappointed. My folks had been there about 5 years ago, and loved it. So we decided to go there for a quick lunch. The place was filthy, and the owner was quite rude. We ordered 2 pizzas for 4 of us to share, and when our bill came, we were surprised to see we had been charged R20 per pizza more for sharing. When I asked the owner about it and commented that the waiter should have mentioned it when we ordered, he shouted at me saying that I must read the menu (we checked, it was in small writing at the back of the menu), and told me it's fine, I must not worry. I was appalled at how rude he was. My husband used the bathrooms, and said they were also filthy. Will never go back there! We have just arrived in cape town having driven down from Durban. What a disappointment!