Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
MANY empty tables and a deserted cafe! I and my companions were the only guests there! One look at the downsized menu told me the reason. Not only is there hardly anything to eat, the prices have been unjustifiably jacked up to lunatic proportions! The same thing happened to Seah Street Deli and then it was forced to close down recently.
See the unjustifiably exorbitant menus below:
Would you pay S$20 +10% Service Charge and 7% GST (Goods & Services Tax) for Hokkien Poh Piah?? It is just a rice crepe roll with low food cost vegetables! No way Jose! How about S$25++ for a bowl of Laksa with vermicelli noodles?? S$25++ for fried Char Koay Teow or rice noodles like tagliatelle?? It gets worse…S$28++ for Beef Congee??? OMG! Congee is just porridge boiled with a lot of water with a few strips of beef. Beef Fried Rice for S$28++ ??? S$28 equals US$22.67! It is more than insane, it is downright imbecilic! The very sad part is that the Empire Cafe used to be one of my favourites.
Would-be diners would also take issue with the line at the bottom of the menu which says in bad grammar: “We wish to inform that food ordered has to be consumed in the restaurant and we are unable to assist with takeaway requests”
This is absolutely UNREASONABLE because it is food that you have paid for and if you cannot finish it, you have every right to take it away for your meal the next day!
There was only one thing to do…We bid them “Auf wiedersehen” and left at once for another restaurant with a better menu and better prices!!! What a rip off! The Food & Beverage Manager should be replaced.