So there is this viral thing going on at the moment over some fish ‘n chips at a restaurant located at the Marina Bay Financial Centre.
A Facebook post by Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Jaze Phua, 26, of his fish and chips order has generated lots of attention with some mocking the microbrewery-restaurant in question, LeVeL33.
Mr Phua had visited the restaurant last Friday and ordered its fish ‘n chips, only to be served with what he likened to a toy car after having ordered the real thing.
This was his Facebook post:
Look at the photo. That dish cost $17.50, which is quite a steep price for the apparently small portions.
Soon, the Internet was on it, with many mocking and criticising the restaurant. Hashtags were created for the purpose: #PleaseJustNameItIkanBilisWithFries, and #AsIfPuttingIkanBillisOnTopOfEachFryHelps.
Mr Phua said he felt cheated by the restaurant.
Someone posted a photo of the meal on Twitter and tagged celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, for his opinion. The well-known chef, who has a certain affinity for Singapore’s hawker food, responded.
That’s 8 chips & 8 anchovies @ $1 each please…. the lemon is bigger than the fish ! https://t.co/z0vofVdriq
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) 2 May 2017
When contacted by the press for his reaction to the hoo-ha, LeVeL33 chef, Jimi Tegerdine, wasn’t about to apologise for the popular English dish of battered and deep fried fish with fries done his way.
And yes, he didn’t have to – because it seems Mr Phua had misunderstood what he had ordered. Well, sort of.
According to the Straits Times who made a check with the restaurant, the dish that Mr Phua ordered, “was part of its Beer Dining menu, and costs $13.”
“On the menu, it is called Fish & Chips, and the dish is described as whitebait, thick-cut potato, 33.1 Blond Lager pickles and tartar sauce,” the Straits Times reported. “The lager used for making the pickles is brewed in-house.”
Mr Tegerdine said the whitebait used is from France, along with the potatoes.
“We also do our own pickles. When plated this way, it is easy to eat. The whitebait I get costs $28 for 1kg. If I use dory fish, it’s $5.60 for 1kg.”
That explains the cost of the dish.
Mr Phua himself admitted that he did not know what whitebait is, but said that nonetheless the name of the dish was misleading.
“Since it says Fish & Chips, I assumed that it shouldn’t be something small,” he said. “The name is very misleading. I have no intention of ruining LeVeL33’s reputation in any way. It’s a good place with good scenery, and good drinks maybe. But I just feel it might be funny to name it Fish & Chips. Would anyone name their nugget a chicken cutlet?”
So, in the end, it is perhaps a case of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
The fish ‘n chips Mr Phua ordered was from the beer menu (which means it is perhaps meant to be a snack or accompaniment, rather than a meal on its own).
And the apparently steep price is because of the better quality ingredients and methods of preparation used.
The lesson here is: check and clarify before you order, or if you had already ordered, you can and should still seek clarification from the restaurant before you post it online, because such things can ruin a perfectly legit establishment’s reputation.