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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Food blogger who demands free meal sparks outrage online

So sia sui the good name of food bloggers only ...

  • 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. **Since this post was first published at close to 130pm, Brad Lau’s blog, ladyironchef, has been suspended. Attempts to contact the blogger have still proven unsuccessful.
  • Credits to http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/ ... got the source from here ... just would like to share with u all.
  • Will Malaysian Food Bloggers turn out this way?

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

LADYIRONCHEF, I know her site and did not know she and her group so cheap0!

AngeL BeaR said...

I hope none of Malaysian food bloggers did what this fella done.

I knew some food bloggers here and thankfully, no complain so far...but this fella apparently trying to take advantage - he give not just food bloggers, but bloggers in all categories a bad name! shame on him!

Louise said...

Hrmmm, really idiotics this food bloggers. If want free food, rather give to those beggars on the street to eat free. Give discount somemore still so LCLY!

Eat for free and never pay before, like her father owns the restaurant only.

namecheap.com said...

Seriously they need a good lesson on good manner ethics.

CH Voon said...

oh... for me, i think i dont have so thick face to ask for free meal.

If they sponsor, it is ok.

Don't ask for free meal - malu ni

Rebecca said...

Super Malu ni!

Hilda Milda™ said...

OMG, such a huge disgrace!

WyYv said...

This is called "memalukan"... i feel shame on those guys.. haih..

Caroline Ng May Ling said...

i've read bout this too. same website! :) well well really disgraceful!

Jac said...

wow nice blog =)

Anonymous said...

Oh didn't except LadyIronChef to be so cheap. By the way he is a guy. I heard some stories about Malaysian food bloggers too. There were two groups of them. One group will always or try to pay for their meal as to them this way they are able to give a honest opinions about the food. There were another group who will always eat for free that is why they can go around eating at restaurant almost every day. You can see now they do a lot posting on Ramadhan buka puasa meal almost everyday!

ChrisAu said...

He thought he's a celebrity and can demand free stuffs anytime.

Medie007 said...

hahahaha. that's a bit too embarassing... LOL

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

You must be joking! You must be straight with you facts! lol!
Even those who used to pay for their food now also get free food!
But I wouldn't mind going for free food if they are all invited! Sounds anonymous you must be jealous for not getting any invition for free food, lol!

How about those who blog for feebies, like handphones, crocs etc????

Anonymous said...

I don't know him, I mean ironladychef. but I read about him going out makan-makan in KL with some KL well known bloggers last year or so. hahaha all also eat free food one? lol!

Big Boys Oven said...

I don't see anything wrong of having free invited food. As a food blogger and also a contributor to a major newspaper myself, I always get a lot of invitation food review from food owners and PR companies to try out their food.

I posted them out on my blog to share with my readers. It's fabulous. Ramadan is special and awesome. :) Do read all my ramadan reviews.

As for ladyironchef himself, he must get an invitation for a food review rather inviting himself. A review can only be conducted if both parties agree. It is very simple. If walk in, then it must be a paid meal. We all do that,I do! :)

reanaclaire said...

gosh..i never had free food sponsored in restaurant before.. but then i m not a renowned food blogger :) anyway, even if the food is sponsored, a neutral view is highly respected by the readers, shouldnt have any obligation to the owner.. as the saying goes, without fear or favour...

[SK] said...

yalah, spoil the name only!! first thing, the restaurant never invite him for any food review, so they are not obliged to let him eat free.. secondly, now everybody blogs about food, who cares if you are a genuine blogger?? thirdly, if the food is great, they are not afraid of intentional defamation right??

Mei Teng said...

For all you know that so-called food blogger is a fraudster and an opportunist seeking for free food!

If I was the restaurant manager, I would have ordered security to kick them out and haul them to the nearest police station for refusing to pay the bills.

Any tom, dick and harry can claim to be a food blogger.

Food critic is an entirely different ballgame.

Restaurants should be smarter. Don't entertain people like that. Not like the world depends entirely on food bloggers for advertisement.

Erika Toh said...

Oh my...I'm speechless... O.o"

Big Boys Oven said...

Mei Teng: What best now even some food bloggers call themself a critic just because they paid the food.

Merryn said...

wat they say is true - anybody can be a food blogger these days. what u need is a good camera and skills to touch up food pics and a blog.

but to be a GOOD reviewer is another thing. not many can achieve that and if you do after all the hard work established urself as a renown food blogger, dun lah go malu-fying yourself like dat kan Via? wat lah this fella thinking...

cleffairy said...

Tsk... what a shameful thing to do. A disgrace to not only food bloggers, but for other bloggers as well.

Jacob Lee said...

Food bloggers taste is hard to believe as everyone have individual taste. Some people taste the food nice but food bloggers say not nice and vice versa. To me food bloggers brings the info food sharing to viewers and most importantly it publicize the place for people to go and try and make their own judgement.

As for this guy and his company of food bloggers, is a real shame to the singaporeans. Hope they are not origin from Malaysia.

DiuNei said...

I heard the food gang who pay for their food eventually also seek for free food invitation. Cis Cis Cis.

Cannot stick to their own principle at the end.

For the food gang who eat free and write review about food also can't trust their review 100% but as what Jacob says, it introduce new places for people to go and try for themself.

ken said...

absurd!

FoodSoulHunter said...

If no money, don't go and eat for free if not invited for food review. Pissed off with this kind of food blogger.

suituapui said...

ladyironchef...sounds like a female blogger. Guy kah? Oh? You people going around eating and advertising the places - I mean those you purposely go to promote, not those you go on your own family outing jalan2 cari makan kind of places, you do not eat free kah? Eeeeee....must be expensive to be food blogger then?

renaye said...

well ... i guess 'welcome to the new world' would be a nice description for this scenario.

this scenario reminded me of the food reviewer of ratatouille cartoon but i guess that reviewer was picky not some kind of person who abuses his/her status.

sometimes i wonder why would food blogger expose themselves? won't it be better to be low profile?? then u can taste the whatever food whenever you want? this is just my opinion.

if the food is not up to standard or just doesn't worth the price, then complaining is considered as fair. even i'm such a picky and vocal person and have been raising my dissatisfaction on customer service, i won't put the staff and MYSELF more importantly in this kind of situation. it's unethical and creating such poor branding of oneself.

malaysian food bloggers?? no comments on it since now is a new world where many young people dream to be a celebrity.

why don't we just sit back and watch?

SimpleGirl said...

such an embarrasment for other bloggers ......this is daylight robbery man!!!!!

Karlota said...

I blog funeral casket.. but no way will i demand free funeral casket.. ahahahah.

vialentino said...

Darn, I thought this post will cross over 200 comments from the source of this news but this is definitely the longest comment from readers than the source ....for sure it break my unique visitors to a record high of 733 (yesterday)!!!!

ok ok, back to this post topic ... i am glad that i am into food blogging ... actually more to food photography since I got a slr. I know I am not a good food writer but I love to take picture else my slr camera will be kept in the storeroom & yve might lelong it away as what she did to my remote helicopter!!!!!

i know in msia got many food gangs which write very good food review ... but din know got free makan gang and paid makan gang ... macam BN vs PKR ... hehehe

anyway, from my food review experience ... what i can say that not all people would agree with the review I have made ... friends would tell me not nice lah that food i recommended and even yve also will comment sometimes. Is ok for me as everyone got different taste bud.

the best thing is that every of the bad comment will improve the restaurant chef cooking and customer service quality as sometimes they will read too ... i remembered that me and yve dine at this florist restaurant at Uptown Damansara ... i wrote badly in one of their food and guess what, the chef drop his comment and appreciate my feedback. He even email to me and left his hp number and we became friends after that.

To me, food review invite is a marketing or promo for the restaurant, it benefit the chef/owner ... no restaurant owner wanna declare bankrupt if no customer base on our review and we also feel pity for them if everyone write badly after the review. Give them a chance and let the customer try and taste it first. To avoid that, what food bloggers can do, is either dun elaborate on the food much or dun post the bad taste food pics up OR you may write like giving a suggestion like ... eg. maybe the chef can improve on the taste and texture and blah blah.

wahliow...super long nagging comment by me. lastly, take care of ur health as after I've turned to a food blogger, I have gained more than 5kg. Lately, I did not attend food review invite recently in order for me to tune my health and my size back ... I DUNWAN TO BE KILLED BY FOOD. -adios

Casendra said...

Memang malu >_< lucky still got some good seeds like u eh? :P

Jonathan WHois said...

I skipped all the comments and read yours only. Many food sites now and to me is a good food reference places. I never never trust the reviews and comments the author have wrote. Prefer to try for myself and make my own judgement. Food blogging also got politics?

Casendra said...

Jonathan, as long as there is human, there is politics

FOODnTRAVELla said...

I agree with Via that food review invitation is a marketing or promotional tools for the restaurant which is beneficial to the chef/owner.

iamthewitch said...

Just want to note that the blogger ladyironchef has posted his side of the story and apparently, he WAS invited to the review as opposed to popular belief.

Anyway, there's always 2 sides to a story, depending on which side you believe in! :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is the Ladyironchef create this rumors for this cheap advertisement to his website. Good way to market yourself.

vialentino said...

iamthewitch: yeah...u r rite...as for me, dun really care true or false ... just got this info from another website and just want to share about Free Food blogging and not intentionally to stress or condemn on that blogger ironchef itself. we will support every food blogger. rite?

Anne said...

Yes, just be true to yourself with good intention will be the best.

suituapui said...

No such invites here. We go, we eat, we pay...and give our honest opinion. I always have a disclaimer - what I like or don;t like may not be what you like or don't like...so up to readers to go and check out for themselves.

Seems there is another side of the story...but whatever it is, all privileges - there are bound to be some bad hats with their own private agendas who will abuse them, be it the people giving or receiving.

Nonsense said...

If that paid food group shout so loud not to attend any free food review, then what the hell they are writing and attending those free food review. Please-lah, don't shout out so loud if you can't stick to your own words. For sure you will feel envy that the rest of other food gangs have free invite - write for free and eat for free. Eventually all of us prefer to attend free food review. Talking from my honest point of view.

taufulou said...

i do follow that blogger closely,
i feel that those whole thing maciam make a scene out of it eh..i read a few blogs some posted appologies to him for goreng the whole stuff up some criticise..

well, there is always a bad apple every where no matter how. ..

CathJ said...

I love ladyironchef blog.. he was in my reading list.. I guess there was some misunderstanding.. he clarify it all in his blog already..

I more prefer to buy my own food.. and say what ever I want.. ^_^

vialentino said...

taufulou & cathj: then who is the stupid fool who initiate this stupid rumors...hahaha. actually i din read the whole long article from the source i copy from ... until i see so many comments ... then only i read ... is good that he did not did it and it is time for him to sue the person who wrote that article....hehehe

Anonymous said...

I just added your feed to my favorites. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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