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Old 25th August 2010, 01:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

A young food blogger who demanded that he and his three companions be given free meals at an upscale restaurant in the Joo Chiat area has sparked a huge furore online.

The group of four had walked into Private Affairs, a small but exclusive eatery in Joo Chiat, for its Sunday champagne brunch promotion that costs S$68++ per person.

The blogger in question, Brad Lau, who runs a food blog called ladyironchef, had informed the management on Friday that he would be coming down to review the Sunday Brunch promotion.

On the day itself, he and his partner came down at about 130pm, followed by his two other companions, each of whom came down half an hour apart.

According to Private Affairs’ operations director Ross Valentine, the four of them had brunch until 430pm, even when the restaurant’s official brunch hours was from 1130 am to 330pm. Brad and his partner also enjoyed two glasses of champagne each.

When presented with the final bill of $435, the blogger initially refused to pay and repeatedly told the restaurant’s chef, “I never pay for food in any restaurant.”

The restaurant eventually offered to waive off the cost of the meal for him and his partner as well as the cost of the champagne out of goodwill, thus lowering the bill to $159.

Still upset but finally relenting to pay, the blogger then threw his credit card onto the bar counter in front of the cashier before storming out.

Valentine told Yahoo! Singapore, ”This blogger looked very aggressive and was quite arrogant. The fact that he also walked in with his friends at staggered timings created quite a bit of problems for my chef de cuisine, who has to prepare and present his food at just the right times.”

“We decided to waive off the meal and champagne cost for him and his partner out of goodwill. But when we asked him when the review of the meal would be coming out, he said he was not obliged to write anything if the food wasn’t good enough,” he added.

Yahoo! Singapore emailed Brad Lau for his reaction but he has yet to a reply.

The incident, however, has enraged the local food blogging community.

Glenn Lee, who runs popular food blog Hungryepicurean.com since late last year, posted an open letter criticising the blogger’s behaviour for “tarnishing the good name of the community.”

Lee, 22, told Yahoo! Singapore, “We are food bloggers and I’m pretty sure the intentions of all of us in the community is to share the love that we have for food and writing.”

“But what this certain blogger has done is highly detrimental to the integrity of the community as a whole and I felt the need to stand up for what I strongly believe in,” he said.

Kaelyn Ong, 22, who posted an entry entitled ”STOP asking for free food” on her food blog, My Food Sirens II, also expressed her disgust.

“I’m surprised. It’s beyond my understanding how someone can actually request for a free meal on the house just because he’s a food blogger,” she told Yahoo! Singapore.

“Anyone can be a food blogger these days, all it takes is a camera and a blog… does that mean restaurants have to sponsor everyone for their meals?” she added.

She also apologised to restaurants on behalf of the food blogging community and said ”not all of us are such bad eggs”.

Cheryl Chia, who has a food and baking blog, cocoabutterscotch, was also appalled.

“I find it shameful. Demanding for free food on account of your supposed “status” as a person who blogs about food is not acceptable,” the 26-year-old said.

Renowned food expert KF Seetoh, who runs the popular makansutra.com, said the blogger in question lost his integrity by refusing to pay.

“The best position is to be invisible, pay for your own food. When you pay for your own food, you don’t take any prisoners when you write,” he said.

But what if the restaurant offers to give bloggers a free meal?

“Then I won’t write about your restaurant. Even if they offer me 50% off the total bill, and if I write about it, they will take my review with a 50% pinch of salt. Some of them, after eating, they call the chef out and ask him to change this and that on the menu. Some would then say, let me do a consultancy role for you. You do what I say and I write nice things.

“My stand is, be neutral. I pay, I say and then I rate,” he concluded.

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Old 25th August 2010, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

bloody shameless

he ought to be flamed and fired at

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

Put on your flame guns people.

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

That food blogger is a gangster. Go to posh restaurant and try to avoid payment. Typical Cheapo. Can't afford, don't go. The restaurant should have called the police.

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

If you can't afford to eat there, then gtfo.
People waive your bill liao you still kb them?
_l_

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

this is what happens when u sell your integrity. sad but all too common.

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

Im appalled. What a dumb guy, food blogger can ask for free food meh -.- Acting like some big shot.

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Old 25th August 2010, 02:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

That food blogger is so Bu Yau Lian. shameless. why he cannot pay for his own food? somemore asking all of friends to eat for free. the restaurant is oredi very kind to waive off part of the bill and he thinks he's some hot shot superstar?!

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Old 25th August 2010, 03:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

shake headddd~~ pushing luck too far..

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Old 25th August 2010, 03:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

Thick skin, even the president gotta pay for his own meals

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Old 25th August 2010, 03:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

haiz sign, in any community, there is always a black sheep inside.

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Old 25th August 2010, 03:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

both party got faults...

the newpaper also wrote that the manager did not email back to him saying that bringing more than 1 guest would need payment.... especially after the blogger emailed him saying there will be 3 guests

but seriously.... this blogger can't write good reviews either.... i'm guessing his mentaility is free food = good food...

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Old 25th August 2010, 03:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

freaking arrogant..who the heck he think he is..he is just a blogger...i bet a lot of u guys are bloggers too not as if he/she was a super big shot..should call her blog ladycheapochef instead

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Old 25th August 2010, 05:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

I guess you guys should really keep your calm before jumping into conclusion.

Please note that I'm not related to that person mentioned in the article. I managed to dig out his website using Google.

His website - http://www.ladyironchef.com/
Apparently, he is aware of this article spreading around and he's make his clarifications about it. As for who's right or wrong - is really up to one to judge.

So I feel that you guys should really read his points to make it a more neutral stand.

The below is fully copy and paste from his website.

The Truth about this Singapore Food Blog

August 24, 2010 | No Comments

I am aware of the articles that have been circulating in my absence, regarding an accusation that I visited a restaurant and asked for a waiver on their meals. I would like to make certain clarifications here.

1. The Basis of Food tasting events

Food tastings in the Singapore food scene are regularly organized and non-obligatory events. Any food blogger who has been invited to one to sample delicacies of the particular restaurant will agree that it is akin to inviting someone into their house. According to the dictionary, an invitation is, “The act of inviting; solicitation; the requesting of a person’s company”.

2. Invitation to the restaurant

Story: The articles seemed to suggest that I paid the restaurant a visit on my own accord, that I walked into the restaurant and announced myself as a food blogger.

Fact: This is not true. I was invited to a food tasting session by Melanie, PR Manager for the Restaurant. The first invite came June 2nd. I was unable to make it then and it was not until Friday, August 20th that I scheduled the Sunday brunch. In the invite, i was told to bring a guest.









Story: I had informed the restaurant that as food blogger, I assumed that the bill for all 4 of us would be waived

Fact: Following up on the food tasting email, I had duly informed that there would be 3 accompanying guests on that very day. There were no claims or requests made for “free food” since it was a direct invitation to sample the items on the new menu. It was an oversight to assume to that no acknowledgement from Melanie about my 3 accompanying guests would mean that their meals would be on the house too.







4. Asking for waiver for myself and my dining partner

Story: It was reported that the restaurant had decided to “waive the fee” for me and my dining partner out of goodwill

Fact: This was an invitation to a food-tasting session. There is no hard and fast rule stating a plus one for a food tasting. However having attended previous food tastings before, I assumed that the meal would be, at the very least, on the house for myself and one dining partner. I was not expected to be billed for and then “waived” off from what was disguised as a “food tasting session”. When questioned, Melanie then cited this to be in-line with ‘industry standards’ of food tasting sessions: that the restaurant would only pay for my +1.

5. Asking for waiver for myself and my other guests

Story: I had informed the restaurant that I was a food blogger, therefore assuming that the bill for all 4 of us would be waived.

Fact: In truth, I had asked for no waiver. I paid for my other two companions. The bill for 2, inclusive of sparkling wine, came to $260. Out of goodwill, they did decide to waive the wine and I eventually paid $160 for 2.

6. My attitude towards the staff

Story: It was reported that I had said: “I always get free food wherever I go“.

Fact: This was never said. Nevertheless, I must admit the hostility while paying (I had tossed my credit card on the table) was uncalled for and I sincerely apologise.

***

An eye for an eye makes the world go blind. I would like to not point fingers at anyone – it was simply a case of miscommunication. When I dine out, I pay for my food like any regular consumer. When I am invited for food tasting sessions, it is a mutual understanding between the inviter and myself, that I would be attending as the identity of media for a possible food review.

I would like to urge all parties to view this situation objectively. I hope this post clarifies any misunderstanding that this might have caused.

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Old 25th August 2010, 06:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

ladyironchef should be very happy, with all the traffic visiting his blog and his popularity! Good marketing gimmick eh!

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Old 25th August 2010, 07:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

I wonder why a guy would use LADYchef as his nick in his blog?

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Old 25th August 2010, 08:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

So the restaurant is supposed to offer free meals as this is part of a food tasting culture?

That part I am not quite getting.
Always good to get the proof in writing first.

It's not that the world doesn't offer free meals,but meals with a lot of issues attached.

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Old 25th August 2010, 08:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

the name lady iron chef is the name of a HK movie...

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Old 25th August 2010, 08:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

From what i see is, the food blogger is in the wrong. Even his own explanations are shooting himself down.

2. Invitation to the restaurant

Story: The articles seemed to suggest that I paid the restaurant a visit on my own accord, that I walked into the restaurant and announced myself as a food blogger.

Fact: This is not true. I was invited to a food tasting session by Melanie, PR Manager for the Restaurant. The first invite came June 2nd. I was unable to make it then and it was not until Friday, August 20th that I scheduled the Sunday brunch. In the invite, i was told to bring a guest.
He mentioned in the invite that he was told to bring a guest down. But nothing was mentioned about 'bringing a guest down' in the June 2nd invitation. Furthermore, it only mentioned him.

Referring to the email on Aug 21st, Melanie did asked him whether will he be having a guest with him and she will make the arrangements. Do note its asked, and not told to bring a guest. She merely queried whether is he bringing a guest, but never once specified him that he must bring a guest.

His words on his blog are already self contradicting. With such context, it feel more like an attempt to salvage his own reputation by defending with such evidences which inevitably caused him more loopholes being exposed.

Well this is what i can see from his article, for now my stand still remains with the restaurant.

PS Bringing 3 extra guests to taste food seems overboard to me, when the invitation is only for himself.

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Old 25th August 2010, 09:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Local Food blogger - Ladyironchef Under Fire

If he was invited, then his meal would have been on the house. At the most, his +1 companion might have a free meal also. But to go overboard and bring 2 extra guests? Are they all food bloggers, or were they just tagging along for the free food? Isn't he taking advantage of this invite?

but it is this food blogger's arrogant attitude that I'm sure, pissed most of us off. Only a food blogger, yet act like some internationally recognised food critic whose reviews are published in some national or international magazine/paper.

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