Sunday, April 23, 2017

Where is my fish?

There is a restaurant serving roasted fish hot pot (烤魚) in Hung Hot which seems to be quite popular with students, particularly those from Mainland China.  My wife was not too keen on it.  But a few days ago I persuaded her to try the roasted fish hot pot.  The menu says the fish weights 3 pounds.  3 pounds is equal to 2.333 catties.  We were not sure whether we could each eat 1.5 pounds of fish.  Hence we inquired whether we could order half a fish.  The answer was no.  So we ordered a whole Sabah Grouper.  

When the fish came, it was smothered under a small mountain of green onions.  But the rectangular metal pan itself was surprisingly small. It was certainly shorter than a 3 pound fish. And the fish was chopped up instead of a whole one, nor just split up into 2 lengthwise.  It was a sign that something might have been amiss.  But we were not naturally suspicious.  So we tucked away happily.  My wife picked up a piece of fish, which turned out to be the dorsal fins at the back of the fish with little flesh attached.  That was odd.  I picked up some bones to chew on, and gave a chunk of flesh near the anal fin to my wife.  She picked up the tail.  I gave a piece of the belly near the pectoral and pelvic fins to my wife, and picked up half of the head myself.  I looked for the other half of the head, the opposite side of the belly, and the opposite side of the flesh, …, and could not find them.  

So roughly half of the fish was missing.  When my wife lined up the backbone of the fish, it looked too short for a 3 pound (2.333 catty) fish.  Over the years, I have bought more than 1,000 fish at the wet market, mostly in the 1 to 1.5 catty range.  And this fish is smaller (even when whole) than the fish that I usually buy and eat at home.  No way it can be a 3 pound fish.  

When we confronted the staff, they insisted that it was a whole fish.  They admitted that it might have been a bit small.  We are of the opinion that not only was it too small, it was not a whole fish.  

I regret taking my wife to the restaurant.  The only saving grace was that we gained a bit more experience on how certain restaurants might cheat.  


Cyiu Chau said...

$278 for a 3-pound Tilapia seems quite expensive, considering the fact that Tilapia has a relatively bland taste and can be easily bred and farmed.

StephenC said...

You are right. Tilapia is not particularly tasty. Even if it was 3 pounds, it was not such a good deal. In reality, it was much less than 3 pounds. My guess is it was between 1 and 1.5 lbs.