Having had a very disappointing experience at Simply Italian in Eastbourne Marina, a friend persuaded us to join him in a party of six at the Battle branch.
As in Eastbourne, we were served by a lady with a foreign accent and poor English speaking skills. Soon after we sat down, she opened a bottle of red wine and in the process, spilt wine on the floor, on my arm and on my leg. She appeared to think it was quite amusing judging by the smile on her face and she arrived with a cloth and cleaned the wooden floor.
Disappointingly, the waitress offered nothing for me to remove the wine from my arm and leg., and neither did she offer any wine to replace the spillage.
The food was average without being special, but there was only one beer on offer – a 330ml bottle of Peroni. The restaurant was busy and it was hard to hold a conversation because of the sound reverberating round the room and the wooden floor magnified the problem. My wife couldn’t hear a friend opposite her on the table, and I had to ask the person opposite me to repeat his words on several occasions.
At coffee time, one of our party ordered coffee with cream, but it arrived as a black coffee with no cream. A charming English waitress apologised and returned with a miniscule 20ml jug of milk. When we realised that it wasn't cream as ordered, we pointed this out to the foreign waitress, but she failed to understand the problem and my friend gave up and used the milk.
The bill for starters and main courses included two bottles of wine and three beers and amounted to £149 for six diners. At the till, I pointed out to a lady who appeared to be the manageress that we had a £149 bill, but the milk had been charged at 30 pence. She explained that it was because the computer was involved in printing the bill and she didn’t have the means of altering the system. She failed to grasp the fact that we had ordered, and been charged for a portion of cream, but that milk had been served. I also mentioned the wine spillage incident, but she appeared to be totally disinterested.
I have never been charged for the milk (or cream) in my coffee and this practice indicates a ‘money before customer satisfaction’ policy.
What with the wine spillage, the poor language skills of some of the waitresses, the indifference of the manageress, and the reverberating sound which hampered conversation, I came to the conclusion: Simply Italian? Simply Never Again at Battle.