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"Too Ridiculous" – RM720 Seafood Dinner In Penang Sparks Debate Among Netizens

The restaurant owner contended that the price of their seafood is cheap.

Cover image via 槟城吹水站 (Facebook)

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The price of a seafood dinner in Penang has sparked an online debate after an unsatisfied customer shared photos of his meal and its RM720 bill on Facebook

On 11 June, a Facebook user took to Penang community Facebook group '槟城吹水站' to ask, "Is it reasonable to charge RM720 for these few dishes?"

According to his five attached photos, the man had the following dishes:
- Fried fish that costs RM25,
- Mantis prawns that cost RM300,
- Scallops that cost RM56, and
- A RM278 set meal (Set B) that looks like an assortment of fish, crabs, prawns, vegetables, and fish cakes.

His receipt from the seafood restaurant in Bayan Lepas shows that he also ordered two side dishes worth RM50 and drinks priced at RM36.

The Facebook post was shared over 1,200 times and attracted over 1,000 comments from Malaysians of conflicting opinions

Some said the price was fair, while others said it was over the top.

"If those are mantis prawns, that price is actually considered not expensive," said a Facebook user.

Image via Facebook

"To me, that's normal," another said. "As long as you consider where you're eating. If you go to a tourist spot or a more famous place, it will always roughly be this price."

Image via Facebook

Meanwhile, someone else opined, "That price is too ridiculous. Even if the restaurant didn't have business during Movement Control Order (MCO), they didn't have to slash (overcharge) this much."

Image via Facebook

"That's a very sharp knife," another user commented uneasily, referring to the meal's steep price.

Image via Facebook

After the Facebook post blew up, the restaurant's owner came forward to share her side of the story

"We are actually selling the big mantis prawns for very cheap, because of the cheap price, it attracts a lot of customers," the owner of GS Steam Hot Pot Seafood told China Press when contacted.

Explaining the bill, she said the customer involved may not know the market price of mantis prawns. The operator also pointed out that all of the seafood that they sell at the restaurant are live, not frozen.

"The customer ordered four mantis prawns that day, weighing about 1.25kg, which we sell at RM250 for 1kg," she said, adding that other restaurants may sell the expensive prawns for up to RM400 per kg.

Separately, in a post on the restaurant's Facebook account, the owner also contended that the customer did not post all of the food he and his friends ordered to justify the bill

"I think I need to clarify here again that our set menu has other ingredients that the customer did not post," she said in a Facebook post on 11 June, highlighting that there were seven people seated at the table that day.

The owner said that these are the ingredients included in Set B.

Image via GS Steam Hot Pot Seafood (Facebook)

The owner added that she even missed out on counting the crabs that was in a photo in the customer's bill, and had to pick larger crabs for the customers because they only ordered two and she was afraid they would not have enough to eat.

"The customer also had flower crabs on their steaming plate. That was an extra order, not in the set meal. It was missing in the bill," she said. The crabs would have cost an additional RM40.

She also pointed out that all the set meals and dish prices are clearly indicated in their restaurant's menu.

Last year, a popular seafood restaurant in Langkawi was investigated for charging a customer over RM1,100 for a fish dish:

Here are several other incidents where 'exorbitant' food bills captured the attention of netizens: