One life can make a difference

xiaxue come to ladyironchef defend but…

Posted on: August 26, 2010

she blog uber long one at her blog

ST have different story
From … 70302.html

Aug 25, 2010
Food blogger under fire
Blogger Bradley Lau’s unhappiness at paying for friends at food tasting angers netizens
By rebecca lynne tan

Food blogger Bradley Lau is in the soup.

He has been accused of cadging a free meal for himself and three friends at modern European restaurant Private Affairs in Joo Chiat Place earlier this week. The incident has outraged food bloggers here, who have flamed him on the Internet.

But Mr Lau has disputed what happened.

The 23-year-old writes the food blog His dining party had racked up a bill of $395.46 for brunch on Sunday and had expected the four-person meal to be on the house.

He had made a reservation for four two days earlier on Friday, said the restaurant’s marketing communications and public relations manager Melanie Loong, 31.

Mr Lau said he was taking the restaurant up on its lunch invitation, which had been extended to him three months earlier in May.

Ms Loong said she had invited him to taste the new lunch menu, not brunch, but decided to extend him a brunch invitation out of goodwill when he called.

At the end of the meal, without asking for the bill, the party of four walked out of the restaurant, said Private Affairs’ restaurant manager Alvin Christopher Sivam, 30.

He said they did not even glance at the cash register and walked right past it.

When he gestured to the cashier and informed Mr Lau of the bill that he needed to settle, the blogger was ‘quite stunned’ and asked to speak to Ms Loong.

The restaurant had presented him with a bill for two, and a coffee. It added up to $237.75. The original bill of $395.46 for four had been reduced because the restaurant decided to give him and his dining partner complimentary meals.

The semi-a la carte buffet lunch cost $68++ a person, and a free flow of drinks such as house wine, sparkling wine, juices and soft drinks costs an additional $30++ a person.

Sensing displeasure, the restaurant’s chef, Paul Ng, 33, suggested the blogger and a partner come back for a meal on his tab, but Mr Lau was still hostile, Mr Ng said.

According to Ms Loong, he still looked very unhappy and said to her: ‘I thought we had an arrangement. This doesn’t happen to me, I always bring three other friends with me. This is probably a miscommunication and I will pay.’

Ms Loong said she knew he was unhappy from the tone of his voice.

Mr Lau then flicked his credit card onto the black bill folder.

The restaurant then decided to reduce the bill further, discounting the party for the drinks, bringing the bill down to $160.07.

Ms Loong said: ‘We welcome bloggers because it is a new form of word of mouth. But don’t take advantage of this privilege. His attitude and what he said – we were quite appalled.’

She admitted that there might have been some miscommunication – she may have been ‘too diplomatic’ or could have been more straightforward by saying that the complimentary meals were only for two people.

She said it is ‘industry practice’ to extend the invitation to one person and a dining companion, ‘not you and your entourage’.

Mr Lau said in an e-mail response to queries from Life!: ‘It takes two hands to clap. I feel that it was an oversight on both parties – my part for not seeking full clarification and Melanie, for not responding to the RSVP of my guests.’

While complimentary meals for food bloggers and writers abound, some are adamant against accepting them.

Mr Aun Koh, 37, publisher of Asian food guide, The Miele Guide, and the man behind food blog, said he never takes a free meal, adding ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’.

Flight stewardess Kaelyn Ong, 23, who runs the food blog, said: ‘It is out of the norm to ask for complimentary meals. We usually just go to the restaurant on our own. Anyone can be a blogger, I don’t think I am that special.’

And if they do take freebies, they tell their readers, say other bloggers.

National serviceman Glenn Lee, 22, who is behind the blog, said: ‘We don’t expect special treatment. There may be invites to tasting sessions, but we tell our readers.’

Life! editor Helen Chia said: ‘Our policy has always been that we pay for meals at the restaurants we review and we state this at the bottom of the review.

‘On occasion, our restaurant critic is invited to sample a restaurant’s food. If he decides to review the restaurant, he goes back on his own at least once more before the review is published. If he refers to the complimentary meal in the review, he makes it clear that it was not paid for.’

Restaurants sit on both sides. Some are completely against offering complimentary meals to bloggers, while others are open to doing so.

Upmarket French restaurants Le Saint Julien at The Fullerton Waterboat House and Saint Pierre in Magazine Road are two restaurants that do not offer bloggers a meal on the house.

Ms Edina Hong, 38, director of Saint Pierre, said: ‘Blogging is more of a hobby than a profession – it is their opinion.’

Ms Edith Lai, 39, co-owner of Le Saint Julien, added: ‘There needs to be more professionalism – anyone can register to be a food blogger.’

And restaurateurs also said diners have to pay and ‘feel the pinch’ to be objective.

Ms Hong said: ‘At the end of the day, if money doesn’t come out of your pocket, how can you truly judge a place equally?’

Michele Pavanello, 42, chef-owner of Italian restaurant Otto in Maxwell Road, said: ‘If I invite somebody, it is planned and for him to understand what I do. But I never give them freebies just because they are food bloggers. Nobody would come into my restaurant and not pay for food.’

Ms Hong said of Mr Lau: ‘His behaviour is utterly shameless. If I were someone in the blogging industry, I would go out of my way to embarrass the living daylights out of that person.’

and one more thing that actually make me feel strong dislike . (hate will be too strong word) is i read this from foodsiren II comment

not sure how true is that but well, i would say i am not surprised is that happened. :-s

I was actually a witness of the said blogger’s behaviour having had the unfortunate luck of sitting next to him for dinner.

When I saw the news on Yahoo SG front page today, by instinct, I immediately wondered if the person in question was the same guy (and couple) I saw the other day at Saboten, Parco Millenia….and after much googling, I realised that it’s indeed the same person/couple.

He was being extremely rude to the service staff despite their extremely polite behaviour – he summoned the waitress and demanded that the traditional Japanese rice bowl the rice was served in (I found no issues with that!) be changed since it looked like something”you drink coffee with” and “Do you think I am a dog ah?”

He subsequently kicked up fuss about the utensils, proclaiming them “dirty.” My friends and I could see that the staff were trying their best to accomodate him and his eating companion – instead of avoiding them as many would to unreasonable customers, they even walked up and down, smiled and served them happily.

I think anyone who has been to Saboten can vouch that the staff service there is excellent despite the relatively low price of the food….and there’s really no reason for complain at all.

In the end, my friends and I noticed that he and his eating companion did not pay for their meals but walked out immediately after eating….I suppose that’s their “trick” for free meals – by complaining!

isssh, this is my last post about iron lady because even myself feel sick already with the issue. =( my daddy used to say, if you clap one hand only, no sound.need two hand. both at fault. case closed.

last but not least, should i put disclaimer or what in order not to get sue? but i don’ think he will sue me, if he sue me i will be famous and can get free food, free beauty product etc etc 😛


5 Responses to "xiaxue come to ladyironchef defend but…"

“Flight stewardess Kaelyn Ong, 23, who runs the food blog, said: ‘It is out of the norm to ask for complimentary meals. We usually just go to the restaurant on our own. Anyone can be a blogger, I don’t think I am that special.’”
I agree with her. Who are we? Just bloggers – some can cook and some love to eat…but on what authority can we claim to be experts in tasting cuisines and writing reviews on them? It’s just your word against mine – after all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I’ve said that in my blog time and time again. What’s nice to me may not be nice to you…and truth be told, I’ve been to a number of places upon friends’ recommendations but the food sucks big-time!

quoting xiaxue : Who the fuck do I think I am? I’m a bloody popular blogger who can make or break a brand. You may think this is arrogance, but it is true, so suck on it.

probably that why theres blogger who think they should get things for free . *sigh*. sad la if like this, if next time i really success in opening restaurant(my dream btw) , do i hv to be scared at them when they come eat? if ask them pay later they want boycott me =_=||||

n btw, the brunch and lunch have huge difference: brunch 68++, but lunch is 28++ he is really cheap la. isssh.\

next time i open restaurant, i will put signboard, no blogger accepted… (except suituapui) wahahaha

Woi… include me oso… u kno why? Cuz i tarak complain, as long as you keep me full… i will guai guai write nice for you… if nice… I tell them i do good review… if not nice… i pay, i blah, den bla bla inside my blog!

And like me, Cikgu… I don’t exactly consider myself as a blogger. i prefer to be known as a writer. And as I writer, what i covet is not popularity or traffic, but audience… and people who will communicate with me. that is why I like ur blog, Cikgu. Because you ‘talk’ to me each time I leave comment.

hahahaha. aiyah, coz u r not food blogger ma.. if u come eat, of course free. hehehe. coz u so nice send me ebook. u do food review meh ? @_@.. lololol.. my past lover of course hv privilege to eat free. aiyah, do review for what, one man meat, is another man poison. me and my boyfriend even can argue about which chicken rice is better =_=|

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