Part of the fun of having a meal at popular hotpot chain Haidilao is choosing from the wide variety of ingredients available.
TikToker jajajuroo felt that he could "improve" the experience (and probably save a few bucks) by sneaking in some frozen food items for a recent hotpot meal with his friends.
He recorded the "worthwhile experience" and uploaded it on TikTok on Tuesday (Oct 12). The video blew up with 225,000 views in under a day.
The TikToker headed to Hao Eccellente to purchase the frozen food items and discreetly brought them into the restaurant.
Once they got comfortable at the table, dropping their slab of pork belly and fishballs into the bubbling soup started to look tricky.
"It's rock hard," one of the boys exclaimed. That was followed by high-pitched squealing from his friends.
Alas, jajajuroo said that the embarrassment eventually got them and they decided to let a Haidilao staff know of their stunt.
According to the TikToker, customers "can bring food in", if they sign an indemnity form provided by the restaurant. Jajajuroo also encouraged his followers to order from the menu when dining at Haidilao.
A quick online search shows that Haidilao allows customers to bring their own drinks – alcoholic or otherwise.
After signing the indemnity form, the group "finally can eat in peace", he wrote in the caption.
However, many netizens commented that they were baffled at why the group had to go to such an extent for a meal at Haidilao, calling them as "cheapskates".
Among the name-calling and negativity, there were those in the comments section who had no issues with what they saw in the video.
They saw the silly side of the stunt and one took pride almost, in being a bit of a "cheapo".
AsiaOne has reached out to Haidilao for more information.
A similar story – in Xiamen, China – went viral in April after a screenshot of a Haidilao receipt was posted on the Chinese microblogging site, Weibo.
It was from a woman who took her two children to Haidilao and, using money-saving tips shared online, spent 27 yuan ($5.60) in total on the meal.