Would you pay RM1,238 ($386) for a sashimi platter? And one that you didn't order?
Diner Tan Xinjie got the shock of her life when she, along with a group of friends, were presented with an eye-watering bill of RM1,999 for their meal at a Japanese restaurant in Johor Bahru.
The sashimi platter contributed to the bulk of the cost. Thing is, the group of 10 wasn't aware that they'd ordered the expensive item.
In a TikTok video posted on Wednesday (Aug 31), Tan, who was born in Johor but lives in Singapore, shared about the "most expensive meal I've had in JB, Malaysia".
@xinjietan96 The most expensive meal I have ever had in JB, Malaysia. Warning all my Singaporean and Malaysian friends!!!! 🇸🇬🇲🇾#beware #warakuyajapaneserestaurant ♬ original sound - NewEgg新鸡蛋
The woman, who works as an early childhood educator according to her Instagram profile, said she had brought her friends from Singapore to a branch of the Japanese restaurant in Taman Pelangi.
In a separate Facebook post on Aug 28 where she recounted the incident, Tan explained that she had been to the other JB branch at Mount Austin and thought the food was "acceptable".
"It was the first time I went to the Taman Pelangi branch, and the experience was very bad."
She detailed in her social media posts that they had reached the restaurant at about 8.30pm on Saturday. Unlike others who had to wait, they were immediately shown to a private room on the upper floor which was available for their large group.
Tan said that 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 us to order an assorted platter which had a few [types of] sashimi that we can try," Tan shared.
But the waiter did not ask how many persons the platter was meant for, and they went ahead to order five portions.
An hour later, Tan said the waiter came in with five cups of prawns and said "it was [part of the] omakase," with the term referring to multi-course set with items decided upon by the chef.
The group expressed surprise and told the waiter that they didn't order the omakase option, but the waiter indicated that "it's included in the platter, so we took it".
What they didn't expect, however, was that the platter took 1.5 hours to arrive. By then, Tan and her friends were already feeling "quite full" from eating other dishes they'd ordered.
They noted that the lavishly-plated platter came with gold foil on top "and some high-grade sashimi", leading her friends to suspect that the platter "must cost quite a bit", with guesses ranging from RM300 to RM500.
"I was quite shocked because I'm not a sashimi person so I don't really know the price and stuff," said Tan.
Curious, Tan enquired about the cost with the same waiter, but he said he wasn't sure. When pressed, however, he guessed that the price would be around RM1,000.
Indicating that she was mind-blown by that point, Tan ranted on TikTok: "Is it logical for you to recommend such a thing for my friends? He wanted something RM30 and you recommended something RM1,000 and you didn't mention the price, not even a bit [sic]."
Despite being shocked by the final amount, the group settled the RM1,999 bill, which would work out to be about $62 per person.
What made the price harder to swallow, however, is that the food wasn't even that good, according to Tan.
But before they left, she approached the manager to give her feedback as she felt the way the situation was handled was "very unfair".
"I told her 'I don't think what your colleague did was right'," said Tan, to which the manager apologised and gave her 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'," shared Tan on Facebook.
But the manager quickly followed up with "but I know it's not about the price".
Flabbergasted by the response, Tan said on TikTok: "I was like, what the heck? So please, do not go there."
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".
In comments to her social media posts, some netizens were equally aghast at the exorbitant price and noted that Tan should not have paid up.
Others, however, noted that Tan and friends should have double-checked the prices of dishes before ordering.
Tan also speculated on whether the waiter receives a commission for recommending the expensive platter, hence the tactic.