(Above: Italiannis' logo and cheesy motto, which are all lies)
Review of Italiannis, a disappointing pretentious overpriced restaurant chain in the Manila area of the Philippines, which tries to pretend to be Italian when it's not, fooling only the ignorant.
It is a total ripoff and way overpriced. Portions are small, food is bland or mediocre, and its owners obviously have the classic super stingy Filipino mentality of giving very little in exchange while charging greedy prices. It's the classic greedy Filipino business mentality that you can see all over Manila, and it makes me sick. For some reason, Filipino upscale businesses love to charge prices that are A LOT HIGHER than the value they give you. I don't know why, but any Filipino trying to run an upscale place will usually LOVE to OVERCHARGE and rip people off. It's like they know nothing about value, as well as food.
Now, I don't mind if food is expensive, as long as it's good and worth it. But Italiannis food is NOT worth it! That's what its owners don't get. They must be deluded. Furthermore, they insult Italian food by calling their chain "Italiannis" which has nothing in common with real Italian food. Anyone from Italy would be greatly insulted by Italiannis using their ethnic name. Likewise, Japanese people do not consider the Japanese restaurants in the Philippines to be real Japanese food at all. It simply doesn't measure up in class, value or quality.
Here is the menu of Italiannis from its own website, so you can see their ridiculous prices for the value they give.
In contrast, look at Olive Garden's menu and notice how the deals and food are much better and in a whole different stratosphere:
It's odd that restaurants in a third world country would charge more than a first world country like the USA. In the Philippines, things tend to be of two categories: shitty and poor quality, or overpriced and expensive. Hard to find a middle ground value. That is one of the many quirks in the Philippines.
The interior of Italiannis tries to look posh, like an Olive Garden restaurant in the USA, and is nice. But the food is much worse than anything at Olive Garden, or Italy for that matter. For one thing, it is WAY OVERPRICED and the portions are small for what you pay for. To get a decent sized pasta dish, you have to pay at least 500p minimum, which is only for the pasta alone and not for a combo meal! That's about $12! Sheesh. For $12, you can eat at a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles, with food a MILLION TIMES better than Italiannis, with larger portions too! Or even at a super quality seafood/pasta restaurant in Carmel or Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California, which is soooooooooo good that it would be blasphemous to even utter the name Italiannis! So it's stupid for Italiannis to charge the same prices as the nicest restaurants in the US, just because Filipinos don't know any better. Sheesh. What an insult to my intelligence. Thank God I know better.
In fact, in the USA chain Olive Garden, for $8 or $9 I can get a big sized pasta dish that comes with unlimited all you can eat salad and breadsticks! (or soup and breadsticks) That is a great value! But you'll never get any such value at Italiannis, which is a total ripoff in comparison!
Here is a promo deal from the Olive Garden website, which includes UNLIMITED pasta, breadsticks, and salad/soup, all for $9!
More details here:
Italiannis and the restaurant chains in the Philippines have NOTHING like that! In comparison, Italiannis gives you bland mediocre pasta dishes for $12! Now, Olive Garden may not be authentic Italian food either, but it is WAY BETTER than Italiannis in every way.
Even though Italiannis' waiters are courteous and attentive, sometimes too much so, they have no idea how to respond when a customer complains about their ridiculous unfair prices and low value. They simply aren't programmed for complaints. All they can do is suggest that you order more overpriced food, or sign up for their membership card to get discounts (which you have to pay for) while maintaining their cheesy smile, which the owners think is worth a 10 percent service charge.
Yes, on top of their ridiculous prices, Italiannis also adds a 10 percent service charge to the bill, to make their ripoff even worse! I guess they figure that the cheesy fake smiles on their waiters are worth an extra 10 percent on top of the bill?! Uh huh. Ok... Sorry bud, but cheesy faced waiters do not make up for the bad/mediocre food.
Furthermore, they give you small portions of their complimentary bread and butter. And they don't even bring you the olive oil and vinegar to use with the bread, unless you ask for it. Sheesh. Then, when you ask for refills of the complimentary bread, the portions they bring seem to get smaller and smaller each time, as though they were trying to be stingy with the bread, even though they are charging you 500p for every little pasta dish! Sheesh! What nerve. I mean, here I am paying 500p a dish, and they start getting stingy on the bread? Man, these folks make Scrooge seem generous!
Even the Pinoys on PinoyExchange Forum said that Italiannis was a ripoff, and essentially "highway robbery".
http://dolores.pinoyexchange.com/forums ... p=56770687
Essentially, they take a lot from you, while giving you very little in return. This is typical of upscale Filipino places, which knows nothing about value. Yet oddly enough, Filipinos keep going there, like they don't know any better. Filipinos ought to learn to boycott ripoff places and go to expat and foreigner owned places, which give you far better value and portions. It's a simple fact that foreigner owned restaurants give you a better deal than Filipino owned ones do. Regardless of Filipino pride (which is illogical), the fact is the fact, at least until Filipino owners try to improve things.
I tell you, there is something in Filipino blood that makes them stingy and ungiving. The pattern is clear. Even Filipinos acknowledge it. They may all claim to be Christian, but none of them have any Christian values. That is the first hypocrisy in the Philippines that you notice - everyone SAYS they are Christian, but no one ACTS Christian or has Christian morals. Everyone hates to give and only wants to receive. And there is no shame in ripping people off. So much for Christian values. The word "Christian" seems to be meaningless in the Philippines. Everyone knows it, but no one likes to think or talk about it.
All in all, Italiannis is a sham and ripoff and not worth it at all. It is totally pretentious and insults the intelligence of anyone with worldly taste. Avoid it. There are far better chains in Manila to go to.
Suggestion: Before entering a restaurant in Manila for the first time, look at their menu and prices, and look at the portions they give on the tables of other customers. Food usually tastes the way it looks, so you can tell by looking at it approximately how it will taste.
PS - Other negative reviews of Italiannis:
http://foodtripmanila.blogspot.com/2007 ... urant.html
To be honest the food was not appealing at all! the food was just dumped into the plate without any consideration of its aesthetic appeal. Also, i have the weirdest pet peeve with my food touching each other! :p
http://dolores.pinoyexchange.com/forums ... p=56770687
I agree with your points about Italiannis, never dined there, really a riff-off. I was once treated by a friend there and I ordered a salad for 400++, really ridiculous and to think that the taste was forgettable! I would have been much satisfied with KFC's Asian Salad @ 100php! too much hype over this resto. I agree that some just dine here to pretend they're classy and can afford. duh.