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The New Paper
Sep 1, 2022
A group of diners from Singapore were presented with an unexpected bill of RM1,999 ($620) for their meal at a Japanese restaurant in Johor Bahru.
The meal included a deluxe sashimi platter that cost RM 1,238 ($380) alone.
The catch? They didn’t really order it.
Tan Xinjie, a Malaysian living in Singapore, shared in a TikTok video on Aug 31 about the "most expensive meal I've had in JB, Malaysia". The video has since been removed.
Tan, who works as an early childhood educator according to her Instagram, said she had brought her friends from Singapore to the restaurant in Taman Pelangi.
It was her first time dining there, though she said she previously had an “acceptable” experience at another branch under the same restaurant name.
Though the restaurant was full, the group of 10 were shown to a private room meant for large groups.
Tan said her friend had wanted to order a salmon and sweet prawn sashimi dish which cost RM29.90, but was told "by a red-haired waiter" that the item was sold out.
"He recommended that we order an assorted platter which had a few (types of) sashimi that we could try," Tan said.
She added that the waiter did not ask how many people the platter was meant for, and they eventually ordered five portions.
An hour later, Tan said the waiter came in with five cups of prawns and said "it was (part of the) omakase," referring to a multi-course set with items decided by the chef.
The group told the waiter that they didn't order the omakase option, but the waiter indicated that it's “included in the platter”.
When the platter arrived about 90 minutes later, it was lavishly presented and came with gold foil on top, leading her friends to suspect that it was quite pricey. They speculated it would cost between RM300 and RM500.
When Tan inquired about the cost, the same waiter said he wasn't sure, but later “guessed” that it would be around RM1,000.
To this end, Tan ranted on TikTok: "Is it logical for you to recommend such a thing to my friends? He wanted something RM30 and you recommended something RM1,000 and you didn't mention the price."
Despite their shock and objections, the group settled the RM1,999 bill.
What made the experience worse though was that the food wasn't even that good, said Tan.
Before they left, she approached the manager to say that the situation was "very unfair".
"I told her 'I don't think what your colleague did was right'," to which the manager apologised and gave Tan a RM100 voucher for their next visit.
But the manager's subsequent comment only served to aggravate Tan further.
"She said: 'oh sorry, my colleague doesn't know, because customers upstairs usually order a higher price of food [sic], some even higher than this price'," Tan wrote in a Facebook post.
The manager then quickly followed up with "but I know it's not about the price".
Tan indicated that she's still open to revisiting the chain as she's now a VIP card holder but "just not at that branch; I have a phobia now".