Local man appalled by exorbitant HK$1,414 bill for dinner at Kowloon City restaurant

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27th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Five individuals from Hong Kong recently dined at a restaurant in Kowloon City, where they ordered dishes such as fish skin, water spinach, clay pot chicken, clay pot beef brisket, and beer. However, when the bill arrived, it amounted to a staggering HK$ 1414, approximately HK$300 per person, leaving the original poster (OP) disappointed and declaring, “No second chance. The quality of the food was average at best; once is enough.”

The post quickly attracted attention and sparked a heated discussion among netizens. Some expressed their outrage at the exorbitant charges, labelling it as “cheating customers,” “ridiculous… just robbing people! Hong Kong restaurants are notorious for overcharging,” and “no wonder so many Hong Kong people travel to the mainland for dining.” Conversely, a significant number of netizens, after reviewing the OP’s bill, believed that the price was reasonable, stating, “It’s clearly priced, no hidden fees,” and “Considering the location, the price is fair. They didn’t even charge for tea.”

The group of five individuals visited the cha chaan teng on a Saturday night, which they referred to as a “birthday meal” in a Facebook group. However, they were disappointed with the quality of the food, leading the OP to declare, “No second chance. The quality of the food was average at best; once is enough.”

According to the posted photo of the bill, the group ordered dishes including “fish skin (HK$61 for one portion),” “deep-fried wontons (HK$64 for one portion),” “water spinach with fermented bean curd (HK$136 for two portions),” “clay pot chicken with pork fat (HK$99 for one portion),” “clay pot beef brisket with bamboo shoots (HK$99 for one portion),” “clay pot vermicelli with sliced beef (HK$99 for one portion),” “stir-fried vegetables (HK$188 for one portion),” “salt and pepper squid with cashews (HK$96 for one portion),” “roasted pork belly (HK$146 for one portion),” “cola (HK$16 for one can),” and “beer (HK$410 for 10 bottles).” The most expensive item was the 10 bottles of beer, accounting for nearly 30% of the total bill.

While some netizens were shocked after seeing the bill, calling it a “rip-off,” “outrageous… just money-grabbing! This is why Hong Kong’s dining scene is declining,” and “no wonder many Hong Kong people travel to the mainland for dining,” others defended the establishment, stating that the prices were reasonable. They argued that it was “clearly priced” and that “considering the dishes ordered, it’s not expensive. Ten bottles of beer alone cost around HK$400, so when you divide the bill among various dishes, it’s reasonable.”

The discussion surrounding this bill spread to mainland China’s social media platform, Xiaohongshu, where some mainland netizens expressed surprise that dining at Hong Kong cha chaan teng could reach such high costs. However, others from the mainland agreed with the Hong Kong netizens, stating that the charges were not excessive and noting that Hong Kong cha chaan tengs usually don’t charge for tea.