SINGAPORE — In response to accusations of overcharging its crab dishes by a Japanese tourist - who even reported the incident to the police - restaurant operator Paradise Group released screenshots from its outlet's close-circuit television (CCTV) footage on Wednesday (20 September) to refute the tourist's claims.
It insisted in a Facebook post that its staff at the Seafood Paradise restaurant in Clarke Quay had twice communicated the pricing of the Alaskan king crab to the tourist and her group of customers, and even brought the crab out to the table before preparation for them to see.
The tourist, Junko Shinba, had reportedly received a bill totalling $1,322.37 after the meal on 19 August, and complained to the restaurant staff, even demanding for the waiter to call the police, who arrived later on the scene.
The restaurant eventually offered a discount of $107.40, and the group paid $938 for the meal. Nonetheless, Shinba reported the incident to the Singapore Tourism Board, which in turn referred the matter to the Consumers Association of Singapore. She also related the incident to online news website AsiaOne.
Brought crab out to the table, customers took photos
Paradise Group insisted in its Facebook post that there were inaccuracies by the group of customers which it wishes to clarify "with utmost transparency and clarity".
Firstly, Shinba had claimed that the restaurant's waiter had strongly recommended a particular type of crab for $30 but did not explain that it charges per 100 grams. She also said that she was not told of the total weight of the crab before it was cooked.
However, Paradise Group said that the Seafood Paradise staff had communicated twice to the customers that the price of the Alaskan king crab was the same as the Scotland snow crab, and pointed to the menu which states the price at $26.80 per 100g.
The staff had also told the customers the weight of the Alaskan king crab came to 3.5kg, and subsequently brought the whole crab to the table before preparation. Screenshots from the CCTV footage showed the customers taking photos and selfies with the live crab.
The customers had initially requested two cooking methods for the crab, and the restaurant eventually prepared the crab in three different methods without extra charges: chilli crab, salted egg yolk and truffle egg white.
"We wish to highlight that live seafood is typically sold and served as a whole item, as dividing it into partial portions would render the remaining portion no longer live seafood," Paradise Group said in the post.
'Deeply upset' by inaccurate claims
When the group of customers refused to settle the bill after the meal, the police were called in to mediate the situation.
"Out of goodwill, the restaurant manager offered a goodwill discount of $107.40, equivalent to 400g of live Alaskan King Crab," Paradise Group said.
"We consistently uphold a commitment to transparent pricing with a focus on customer service and food quality. Our staff will do their best to communicate clearly to the customers and welcome any queries.
"We are deeply upset by the inaccurate claims made by this group of customers, seemingly aimed at tarnishing the reputation of our restaurant and our dedicated staff on various platforms."
According the CNA, Paradise Group runs about 50 restaurants in Singapore and more than 60 others worldwide. The Seafood Paradise outlet in Clarke Quay opened its doors a few months ago.
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