You know me, I try to avoid confrontation and bad negative energy. I am often asked why most of my reviews and collaborations are somewhat “positive” and if I’m truly being transparent about my experience. When it comes to hotels, private accommodation, restaurants etc. I will usually only go somewhere if I know that there is a 90% chance that I’ll like it. You’ll never ever see me stay in and review a dingy hostel plagued with bad reviews online, if it has a bad reputation, I most likely will not go near it. There is an aesthetic I follow with my content, I am not the person to come to for cheap, budget travel advice, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not how I rock n roll on this blog. So I try to avoid putting myself in a situation where I have to write about a negative experience.
Which leads me into this…
One Saturday night my friends and I decided to give the glorious Barbieri’s Restaurant a visit. I had already dined there last summer and didn’t consider it a place I’d recommend to eat at in Zagreb however, I am all for second chances. Barbieri’s portrays the image of luxe, high end and upper-class type of food and people, a place the “ordinary” folk in Croatia will most likely never go to. It’s location is top. The ambience and interior is top. The food, not so top, more like flop.
Following my experience at Barbieri’s in Zagreb, I left the same review on both TripAdvisor and their Facebook page. The one on Facebook has been removed, god forbid people hear the truth but the one on TripAdvisor remains because they have no control over it. This was the review-
“First disclaimer, this was my second dining experience to Barbieris in the past 12 months. The first experience was also not as fantastic as portrayed in the media, this place clearly pays for good PR and many good reviews from Fiverr &/or friends. Another thing I’d like to disclose is that I don’t have anything against the service from waitstaff, they are friendly, personable and speak good english. I feel sorry for them the most for my review because the staff are good.
Now let’s get into the finer details. We arrived at Barbieri’s around 11pm on a Saturday night to a predominately empty restaurant. I would consider this a red flag but never mind, I am all for second chances, maybe Zagreb was quiet this spring evening. The menu is not cohesive and price tag on main dishes is on par with the top restaurants in Croatia. This is fine, price is not an issue but the food better be good.
I ordered the slow cooked lamb, can’t fault it- it was excellent. it comes with a hotdog on the side which doesn’t make sense to me. If I’m going to order a delicious piece of slow cooked lamb, why would I want a half decent hotdog on the side? The lamb comes with glazed carrots and some other vegetables but is it enough to fill and satisfy me? Far from it, I probably should have order the kobe beef for 880kn, maybe then the chef would have taken my order more seriously!?
My friends ordered the truffle and cheese ravioli which arrived cold and with a bare hint of truffle. The three “large” pieces of truffle ravioli cost 85kn, they are considered starters but our waiter said we could order it as a main. Clearly a miscommunication when the main arrived as a starter. We were all left wondering w-t-f and completely unsatisfied with our experience. As someone who frequently dines at the top restaurants in Croatia, I expected a lot more value for the price Barbieri’s comfortably asks for.
Also, whoever copy edited the menu needs to refund the money they were paid because for a “fancy” place, there are too many unprofessional errors that make Barbieri’s look like amateurs trying to play against the “bigger” more reputable restaurants in Zagreb.
Barbieri’s is a place pretending to be fancy with no merit. Such a shame because the actual location and interior really do set it apart from other restaurants. The photos on social media are excellent but this place seems to be only popular with women who are clearly not picking up their own bill or paid to be there.
I really hate that I have to write this but there are a hundred other restaurants in Zagreb that deserve your hard earned money.”
A couple of days after posting this on Facebook, it comes to my attention that Barbieri’s has come up with a “new” menu *surprise surprise* and removed the half decent hotdog from the lamb meal I had and completely removed the truffle cheese ravioli off the menu. They’ve also had the entire menu rewritten without any grammatical errors and made it sound more professional, minus the dopey commentary possibly written by a 3rd grader.
Thank you very much, Adriana Kupresak.
You’re welcome Barbieri’s.
Interesting right? I Don’t have half a million+ followers on my social media but my review is influential enough to contribute to a change on the menu of a “top” restaurant.
Upon further investigation into this whole “Barbieri’s Experience” I started to find actual real reviews like the one below by my friends at Croatia Week who I believe were a little too kind and could have been more brutal. I have nothing against Barbieri’s but it’s a load of bullshit. Mind you, they could have handled the situation a whole lot better than deleting my comment, making the changes I suggested and pretending like nothing happened. Here’s how you deal with comments like mine, this is called good customer relations.
“Dear Adriana Kupresak, we are sorry to hear about your experience at Barbieri’s and have taken into consideration the points you have raised with our menu. We take matters like this seriously and would like to invite you to experience Barbieri’s all over again and hope this changes your opinion.“
Here are 5 other places to eat in Zagreb that are #BetterThanBarbieris
(Purely based on quality of food, value for money and overall great experience)
My Way Bar & Restaurant – Level 2 Trg Petra Preradovića 6, 10000, Zagreb
50 A Burger & Champagne Bar – Vlaška ul. 17, 10000, Zagreb
Takenoko – Masarykova ul. 22, 10000, Zagreb
EL TORO Restaurant & Bar – Ul. fra Filipa Grabovca 1, 10000, Zagreb
Basta gourmet bar – Varšavska ul. 5, 10000, Zagreb