With the rising cost of living in Singapore, there have been several complaints about $12 "cai fan" and $8.50 fried bee hoon.
But paying $24 for a packet of nasi padang? That's pretty unheard of.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Dec 14), one customer, who goes by the name of Iluv Ben Ten, said she bought a pricey meal a few days ago from a stall at Bedok Food Centre.
She had ordered fish egg, tofu and sambal goreng with rice.
The stall vendor told her the fish egg would be expensive, but she was stunned by the amount she had to pay.
"Who would [have thought it] is [going to] cost me this much," the woman said.
She then made a guess at how much each item cost — $20 for fish eggs and $2 each for tofu and sambal goreng.
The woman, who declined to be named, told AsiaOne on Friday she expected the meal to cost around $10 to $15.
"I was definitely taken aback! I would not have paid for it," she shared, adding that she had no other option as she was in a rush that day and it was the only stall with no queue.
She said the vendor did not tell her about the price breakdown and added that she did not ask for clarification on the charges.
Netizens call it 'daylight robbery'
Her complaint soon went viral and numerous netizens commented that the price was too steep, with one calling it "daylight robbery".
Others pointed out that with that amount of money, the woman could have gone for a buffet or eaten at a restaurant.
Several joked that the fish roe cost so much because it was caviar.
Her Facebook post also sparked a discussion on the price of fish eggs.
Some couldn't believe that fish eggs were that expensive, while others said that ingredients such as fish eggs, mutton and beef usually cost more than $10.
So, how much do fish eggs cost?
Nur Sharifah, who runs another nasi padang stall named Puteri Nasi Padang & Catering in the same food centre, said that fish roe isn't cheap.
"Prices depend on the size of the fish roe," she told AsiaOne on Thursday.
Sharifah sells Batang fish roe at her stall, which is normally quite expensive. A regular piece can range from $5 to $8, and larger pieces of fish roe — which can be shared among two to three people — can go up to $15.
She doesn't earn much from selling fish eggs either.
"If we sell the fish roe for $8, the cost price is around $6," she told us.
Elsewhere, the wholesale price for sea bream roe, commonly sold at economy rice stalls, is said to be under $10 per kg.
The vice chairman of the Singapore Fish Merchants' General Association told 8World: "$20 per piece is really too expensive... I thought the stall was located along Sixth Avenue, so the rent might lead to higher food prices.
"But if [the stall] is in Bedok, [the rent] should not be so expensive, so the food shouldn't cost so much."
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