Diner finds roach in food at Ion Orchard steamboat restaurant, manager apologises and waives bill

Submitted by Stomper Lorna

This story was submitted via Web contribution form.

A diner was shocked to find a cockroach in the food at Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant in Ion Orchard on Sept 8.

Sharing photos of the insect in a dish, Stomper Lorna said it was a distressing incident.

"The experience was not only unsatisfactory but also raised significant concerns about food safety and customer service at this establishment."

She recounted: "While dining at the Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant, I made a shocking discovery that deeply disturbed me.

"I found a cockroach in my meal, which is a clear violation of basic hygiene standards and a serious breach of food safety. This discovery not only ruined my dining experience but also highlighted a potential threat to public health.

"My efforts to address this issue with the restaurant staff were met with a lack of professionalism and a dismissive attitude. They failed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and provided no viable solution to rectify it.

"Additionally, there was no indication that any measures would be taken to maintain or improve the dining environment. I believe it is essential for relevant authorities to conduct a thorough inspection of the restaurant to ensure that food safety and hygiene standards are upheld."

In response to a Stomp query, a spokesperson for Imperial Treasure said: "At Imperial Treasure, we are committed to providing satisfactory customer service as always, and in this instance, we missed the mark for which we apologise.

"Upon being informed of the Sept 8 incident, our duty manager immediately attended to the customer and apologised to her. The outlet waived the entire bill voluntarily.

"Later the same day, our operations team also quickly reached out to the customer by a call to apologise again, expressed our concerns, and offered appropriate goodwill gestures for the customer’s acceptance.

"The team contacted the customer on the next day to check if any of the diners had any signs of feeling unwell and to sincerely offer again our goodwill gestures to the customer. The customer updated us that the diners did not feel unwell.

"However, the customer did not accept the goodwill gestures but demanded compensation 'in cash', failing which she said she would report the incident and post the matter on various social media platforms.

"We were unable to give in to the demand and regretfully replied that it is against our company’s policy to provide cash compensation for such incidents.

"We therefore disagree with the remarks that we treated the matter 'with a lack of professionalism' and 'a dismissive attitude'. It is also not true that we 'failed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and provided no viable solution to rectify it'.

"At the outlet level, we took immediate action to improve the cleanliness of the premises and activated our National Environment Agency-registered pest control company to inspect the outlet on the same day. We wish to inform you that Imperial Treasure conducts regular pest control checks at all our outlets.

"We would like to assure the public that food safety and hygiene as well as satisfactory customer service remain Imperial Treasure's topmost priority."


In response to Imperial Treasure's statement, the Stomper said: "When the restaurant first called me to apologize, I had already expressed extreme disappointment to this restaurant and I will report them to the Government.

"Subsequently, the person in charge of Imperial Treasure restaurants called Mr Fang called me and voluntarily offered me a $300 imperial dining voucher as compensation, urging us to return to their group restaurants and continue dining there using the voucher.

"I found this proposition to be quite astonishing as it seemed like an attempt to dissuade me from reporting them to the authorities through compensation.

"I declined their dining voucher, firmly stating that I could not return to any of their restaurants for meals in the future. After all, how could I dine at a place where I had encountered cockroaches? Is this a genuine apology? Is it taking responsibility for their restaurant's standards and public health? 

"Let’s say if you and your family were to encounter a cockroach in a restaurant, the restaurant's solution was to compensate you and your family with their dining vouchers and encourage you to return for more meals, would you find this acceptable?

"There were no pest control reports shown to me. They are not even closing the restaurant for a few days to do an entire sterilisation and deep cleaning. 

"To be honest, will you bring your parents and your kids to this restaurant anymore?"

When contacted by Stomp, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said: "SFA had inspected the food establishment and did not detect any pest infestation or food safety lapses.

"Nonetheless, the food operator was reminded to ensure their premises are clean and well-maintained and that their food handlers adhere to good food safety and refuse management practices."