A restaurant in Kwai Chung has been told to pay a fine by a judge after it was found to have served a dish different from what was listed on the menu.
On Monday, a West Kowloon magistrate’s court ruled that such an act by Ming Yuen Banquet Hall in Sun Kwai Hing Plaza was deception and in breach of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
It fined the restaurant HK$5,000. The judge told a representative of the restaurant to take a lesson from the penalty.
The Trade Description Ordinance stipulates a maximum penalty of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for five years on conviction.
The court heard earlier that the dish in question was abalone fried rice priced at HK$88 a plate.
After receiving a complaint that the dish was not abalone but conch meat mixed in with rice, the Customs and Excise Department sent staff posing as customers to the restaurant in August last year to collect samples.
The results from laboratory tests corroborated the complaint, leading customs to sue the restaurant for violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.
The restaurant’s manager blamed the chefs, saying they took the liberty of replacing abalone with conch meat for the purpose of saving cost, according to Headline Daily.
The chefs concerned have been fired and the owner of the restaurant has apologized.
Gilly Wong, chief executive of the Consumer Council, said the case was a warning to the catering industry, which has been accused from time to time of being dishonest in terms of ingredients used in their dishes.
The restaurant still serves genuine abalone fried rice, only that the price has been raised to HK$108.
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