Over $900 for a crab? Japanese tourist makes police report over 'overpriced' dish at Seafood Paradise

Over $900 for a crab? Japanese tourist makes police report over 'overpriced' dish at Seafood Paradise
A Japanese tourist was shocked after she was charged $938 for chili crab.
PHOTO: Junko Shinba

[Update Sept 21]

In a statement released on Wednesday (Sept 20), Paradise Group said that it is "deeply upset by the inaccurate claims made by this group of customers", seemingly aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the restaurant and its staff on various platforms.

The group said that Seafood Paradise staff had communicated the price of the Alaskan King Crab to the customers twice, explaining that it was the same price as the Scotland Snow Crab while pointing to the menu. 

The price of the Scotland Snow Crab was indicated as $26.80 per 100g on the menu, and the staff also informed customers the total weight of the Alaskan King Crab was 3.5kg, said Paradise Group. 

To prevent miscommunication, the staff also brought the whole live crab to the table before it was prepared.

"Customers were seen taking photos and even selfies with the live Alaskan King Crab," said the Paradise Group, adding that the customers picked Alaskan King Crab.

The restaurant group also said that the customers initially requested that the crab be cooked two ways, but the restaurant prepared the crab in three ways without extra charges - which explained the three plates of crab that were served to them. This included Chilli Crab, Salted Egg Yolk and Truffle Egg White.

The customers also finished most of the dishes that were ordered and even told the restaurant manager that the food was great, said the group.

However, they refused to settle the bill at the end of the meal, and hence the police were involved to mediate the situation.

"One of the customers mentioned he didn't have enough money and asked what can be done to help. Out of goodwill, the restaurant manager offered a discount of $107.40, equivalent to 400 grams of live Alaskan Crab," said the restaurant group.

Paradise Group also highlighted that live seafood is typically sold and served as a live item, as dividing it into partial portions would "render the remaining portions no longer live seafood".

They added that the average market price of Alaskan King Crab at seafood restaurants in Singapore is between $25.80 to $29.80 per 100 grams.

"At Seafood Paradise and all other Paradise Group of restaurants, 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," said Paradise Group. 

A Japanese tourist simply wanted to enjoy Singapore's beloved dish chilli crab, but ended up leaving one seafood restaurant in a crabby mood instead. 

The disgruntled diner, Junko Shinba, told AsiaOne on Sept 15 that she visited Seafood Paradise at Clarke Quay on Aug 19 with her family and friends. The group had just ended a sightseeing tour and happened to walk past the restaurant. 

While they were ordering their meal, Shinba claimed that one of the waiters strongly recommended one particular type of crab for $30 but he did so "without explaining that they charge per 100 grams". 

According to the receipt from the meal, the diners had chosen the Alaskan King Crab for their chilli crab dish. A representative from Paradise Group, who owns Seafood Paradise, told AsiaOne that the Alaskan Crab costs $26.80 per 100g. 

Alaskan King Crabs are one of the largest edible crabs in the world, and can weigh between two and five kilograms. 

The bill came up to be $1,322.37 with the chilli crab dish costing some $938.

Other dishes which the group ordered, such as Black Pepper Beef Fried Rice and Crisp-fried Yam Ring, were less than $20 each. 

Made police report

"We all became speechless knowing that one dinner for four adults cost that much," said the 50-year-old freelancer. 

She claimed that they were not informed of the total weight of the crab before it was cooked.

"None of us were informed that the whole crab would be cooked only for us, as some other restaurants serve crabs partially," lamented the tourist.

"There were three plates full of crab and many other dishes, we were unable to finish everything," she told AsiaOne. 

Aghast at the bill, Shinba said she asked a waiter to call the police. 

When the police arrived at the restaurant to mediate, the restaurant staff also showed Shinba a receipt from another customer who had ordered a similar dish to prove that the restaurant did not overcharge her group. 

Eventually, the restaurant manager offered the tourist a $107.40 discount for the meal, which Shinba's friend paid for with his credit card. 

Shinba also said that she contacted the Singapore Tourism Board, who brought the matter to the attention of the Consumers Association of Singapore. 

Staff clearly communicated price and weight: Paradise Group

Responding to AsiaOne's queries, a representative from Paradise Group said their staff had "clearly communicated" the price and weight of the Alaskan King Crab to the diners when they placed their order.

The restaurant said that the crab weighed about 3.5kg in total.

"To prevent any miscommunication, the staff even brought the whole Alaskan King crab to the table before preparation. Upon payment, the customers refused to pay the bill and requested to make a police report. Hence, the restaurant manager assisted in making the police report." 

They further clarified that the $107.40 discount was given "out of goodwill" by waiving off the cost of 400 grams of crab, as the customer claimed they didn't have enough money to pay for the meal. 

READ ALSO: Diner warns others about Japanese restaurant in JB after RM1,999 bill shock


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