A customer who left a stinging Tripadvisor review of an Italian restaurant and said they should have gone to a Toby Carvery instead has received a comprehensive rebuttal from the restaurant owner. A family had gone to Sapore in Birmingham for a 60th birthday celebration, but complained about poor food and service.

The restaurant, off Coventry Road in the Sheldon area of ​​Birmingham, has a 4.5 rating Tripadvisor from more than 300 reviews. It was also last year awarded a Travelers’ Choice Award, Birmingham Live reports, but the unhappy customer said they couldn’t understand “how anyone could give the restaurant any good reviews.

The unnamed owner of Sapore said in response it was “very bizarre that your food was so awful and disappointing as you managed to finish it all”. They also said it was a “shame” the diner didn’t share their comments on the day of their visit, instead of writing a review on Tripadvisor

One recent reviewer, who visited Sapore only last week, described it as a “wonderful restaurant”, while another diner said that “can’t wait to go back”. However, the unnamed reviewer, who had appeared to visit from Wakefield, left Sapore a one star rating – with his review titled “Awful ‘Italian’. Avoid it is overpriced and the food is poor”.

What the unhappy customer wrote

Their full review said: “We went for a meal to Sapore to celebrate my 60th with my mother and children. The restaurant was very quiet bad it was 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

“This though didn’t mean we were served very efficiently as the waiter seemed on a go slow throughout. To start we ordered the seafood platter which was incredibly salty and was well dull and uninspiring. The platter included some of the prawn and crab cocktail. which was ordered by two of our party again it was very insipid.

“Our main courses included a margherita pizza which is hard to ruin, the Valtellina pizza… which was according to my son awful. My mother had the langoustine pasta which still had the gritty stomach inside so that was not a pleasant surprise.

“My lamb was over-cooked and the sauce was sour … it was also accompanied by roast potatoes which were soft and not at all crispy. The other main course was a carbonara which to be honest could have been out of a jar.

“The poor food and almost arrogantly slow service made us wish we had gone to the Toby Carvery up the road! I can’t understand how anyone could give the restaurant any good reviews.”

What the owner of the restaurant said

But the owner of Sapore decided to respond to the negative criticism. And they didn’t hold back with their lengthy response.

The response said: “Thank you for taking your time to write this review. We are always open and happy to listen to constructive feedback as none is perfect and there is always room for an improvement.

“It is only a shame that you didn’t decide to share your comments with us on the day you dined at Sapore. It is very bizarre that your food was so awful and disappointing as you managed to finish it all. Nothing was mentioned to your servers, who would have been more than happy to rectify any problems you might have had.

“Regarding your food: Seafood platter – did you ask your server what does it include? Maybe if you would have done so you would have been informed that it is served with prawn and crab cocktail …

“Lamb – as the menu states, it is served with white wine and rosemary sauce; that should indicate that the sauce won’t be sweet but a little bit acidic (as the white wine is). Carbonara – all our pasta are made to order, so please let us assure you that your carbonara wasn’t from the jar.

“Langoustine pasta – we actually take all the flesh out of the shells and leave the shell just as a presentation, therefore not really sure about your gritty stomach comment. Pizza – again, if it was so awful why was it eaten and nothing was mentioned on the day?

“Regarding the speed of service, I do understand you might to be served quicker at Toby Carvery, as obviously they don’t cook your food to order. Everything is pre-cooked and just re-heated there. That’s not a case at Sapore , I do afraid.

“Sapore prides itself on guest satisfaction and produce quality. We are very sorry once again that we didn’t meet your expectations on this occasion.

“That being said we would rather preferred a direct contact or even a conversation on the day you dine with us rather than using Tripadvisor as this leaves no way of addressing the issues. Hope we all agree that our restaurant is not for you as there was clearly nothing you enjoyed …

“We wish you all the best in your future dining experiences. Sapore team.”

Other reviews of Sapore

Sapore has nearly 320 reviews on Tripadvisor – with 270 of those branded ‘excellent’. Last week, Andy said: “Just discovered this restaurant. Been twice in the past 3 weeks.

“Lovely place, exceptional food and fantastic service. Had the bruschetta al fungi, polpette, calamari, amatriciana, lasagne, cacciatore and agnello al forno. All fantastic dishes.”

In March, another review said: “First time here, four of us for birthday evening meal. Staff and manager are bubbly happy staff went above and beyond to see we had every thing we wanted.

“Drinks starters main course desert Irish coffees came out to us with perfection there is nothing they could have improved on. I will most definitely be back.”

And Brian said: “The food the staff just excellent .. Had the bruschetta to start … yes simple but delicious ….. the main was the pork cooked in cider … wow. We will definitely be returning.”

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