Chinese restaurant in Alexandra draws flak for charging each dish $3.98 for 100g, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Chinese restaurant in Alexandra draws flak for charging each dish $3.98 for 100g

Some customers thought they were getting self-service economy rice but got a shock when they ended up paying between $10 and $20 for their meal.

That’s because the place they were dining at, Hundred Grains, is not a stall but a restaurant that allows customers to pick their own dishes and charges them according to weight. 

And 100g of each dish costs $3.98.

The Chinese restaurant, which opened at Alexandra Retail Centre two months ago, also serves rice, porridge and drinks. But these are sold free, reported Shin Min Daily News

Some diners who were unaware of the restaurant’s business model and charges were unhappy that they had to pay over $20 for a meal. They felt that the prices were unjustified. 

An employee, who declined to be named, told Shin Min that customers often mistook the restaurant for an economy rice stall but clarified: “What we’re selling is completely different.

“Economy rice stalls prepare their dishes in bulk, but we’re offering a more refined dining experience.”

The employee also highlighted other differences: Diners could not choose dishes according to portion sizes at economy rice stalls and the dishes sold at Hundred Grains were different from those normally found at the former.

The restaurant offers 42 varieties of Chinese dishes every day, such as Hunan stir-fried pork and pickled bullfrog. 

“Our dishes are placed on a heated tray, and our chefs will cook the dishes throughout the day to ensure they are fresh.”

Ms Huang, 52, a first-time customer of the restaurant, told the Chinese evening daily that she and her husband spent about $16 each on their lunch. 

She said: “It’s nice to be able to pick my own dishes, I can try different food by taking a small portion of each. Although it’s pricier [than economy rice], the dishes here are tastier.” 

Another woman said she was eager to try the restaurant’s many dishes. 

Ms Cai, 39, a teacher who spent $12 on her meal, added that she was willing to visit the restaurant once a week. 

“I enjoy eating economy rice. The prices here are higher but they provide free drinks and rice, so that helps to reduce the cost a little. 

“I’ll usually choose the special dishes,” she said.

Other cost-conscious customers that were interviewed said they would refrain from ordering dishes with bones to get more value for their money. 


Chinese foodRESTAURANTS/EATERIESAlexandra Roadcustomer complaint