October 18, 2014

Food blogger scum

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So... almost exactly a year after my last rant about food blogger(s), here I am writing another rant piece.  And this time I'm naming names.  Last year I made vague references to a certain person I called scumbag 人渣 because I find his behavior reprehensible.  You would have thought he'd learned his lesson, but no, apparently Daniel Ho - who is the "super-duper mega popular 超級宇宙無敵人氣 blogger" behind siuyeahdragon 為食龍少爺 - has done it again.  So now the gloves come off, and FLAME mode is ON!! (apologies for using this near-obsolete internet speak... it's what we used when I first got on the internet before the so-called World Wide Web even existed...)

Lemme backtrack to more than a year ago.  In June 2013, Scumbag had lunch at Amber - with two Michelin stars and currently ranked No. 24 on San Pellegrino's The World's 50 Best Restaurants - for the first time.  At the end of his meal, he realized that the staff had neglected to bring him the customary mignardises - the little nibbles like chocolates, mini macarons and the like.  He apparently got upset, called the staff over, and demanded that they bring him his mignardises... all the while threatening them with something like "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I HAVE A FOOD BLOG AND I WILL WRITE YOU UP!!"  The staff at Amber - who are naturally savvy and wishing to avoid any bad PR - apologized, offered to pack said mignardises, presented a box of macarons instead and offered a 10% discount on the next meal.

I know this was what happened, not because I was there myself or I had heard it from someone at Amber, but because this Scumbag had written about this on his blog.  Not only did he have the gall to pull a stupid, immature stunt like that, but he had the gall to brag about it on his blog!  Oh BTW if you try to look for it now, he has since covered up his tracks and deleted the part about "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" from that particular blog entry... although in the comments section you can still see people's reaction to his immature behavior.

But a number of us saw it and we remember that it happened.  It prompted I Love Lubutin to write her last published blog entry, and it's one of the main reasons behind my post last year.  I wanted it on the record that Scumbag is not like the rest of us.  Most of us have the good sense not to pull stunts like that.

So now, a year later, something similar happened.  Only this time it got more serious and the police got involved.  This afternoon there was a flurry of activity on some Facebook pages.  The following is a summary I put together after reading several posts and numerous replies on different pages, coming from both sides.

Apparently Scumbag had gone to Giando with a few people to celebrate a birthday.  The restaurant offered free-flow Prosecco for a two-hour period.  Nearing (or over, depending on who you ask) the end of said period, a request for an additional glass was turned down - whether politely or not I don't know.  Scumbag and his friends then proceeded to have a fit, refused to pay their bill, and somewhere along the line that old familiar phrase of "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!  I AM A BLOGGER AND I WILL MAKE YOUR ESTABLISHMENT FAIL!" came out.  Scumbag even allegedly threw the name of his employer around - as if that had anything to do with anything!  BTW I hear he works for HSBC... for now.

So what happens when you have customers who refuse to pay their bills, appear to be drunk and disorderly, throw a fit and insult your staff?  You call the police, naturally.  Any restaurant owner/manager would do that when people are thinking of having 霸王餐 - refusing to pay after eating.  Eventually the restaurant did charge someone's credit card for the bill, and the police didn't take anyone into custody... although I really wished they had.

Lemme point out a few things here:

First of all, don't ever over-estimate your own importance.  If people don't recognize you by sight, that means YOU ARE A NOBODY.  Unless your name is Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Tom Cruise...etc. you wield a lot less influence than you think you do.  NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT WHAT YOU WRITE ON YOUR BLOG.  If people really cared about what you think, you'd be raking it in like Martha-fucking-Stewart with millions (of US Dollars, not HK Dollars) sitting in your bank account, and you wouldn't be working your menial job at HSBC.

Second, never throw the name of your employer around.  This has NOTHING to do with your work, and it's really poor form to pretend that you are somebody from HSBC.  In some of the financial institutions that I've worked for over the years, pulling a stunt like that will at least get you reprimanded or worse - get you fired.  Your employer doesn't appreciate their name being used as leverage in something that is purely personal, especially when it involves negative PR and the police.

Third, stop being such a fucking cheapskate.  First you threw a hissy fit over some MIGNARDISES that staff at Amber forgot to serve you... Yes, it was a mistake they shouldn't have made, but doing all that over some bite-sized petit fours?!  If they had skipped a starter or main course and still charged you for it, I could at least understand that... but over something they throw in FOR FREE?!  Now you get upset at Giando over not having an extra glass of PROSECCO?!  If it were a glass or a bottle of Krug Clos d'Ambonnay I'd be pretty upset myself, but PROSECCO that's used to serve as "free-flow"?!  Dude, if you're gonna do something like this, at least do it in style, man!

But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you throw fits over little things like this, because I'm friends with some people who used to work with you, and they all don't wanna hang out with you no mo' because of how cheap you are... and your attitude of thinking that you're such a stud, such a media darling and that you know it all, when they all can see that you don't know jack shit...

Hey all you media and PR types out there, take a good look at this guy.  This is the kind of so-called "super-duper mega popular 超級宇宙無敵人氣 blogger" that y'all keep wanting to invite to your clients' restaurants for those freebie tastings.  For the few of you who've been sending me invitations and wondering why I've been ignoring you and turning you down, here is the reason why.  It's because I don't wanna sit at the same table as guys like Daniel Ho.  I don't even wanna be within a 100 feet of him.  The people I choose to hang around in my free time have class, and he ain't got none.

Update on October 20: It would seem that in addition to removing the part about asking Amber staff "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?", Scumbag has now removed his entire post on Amber from June 2013.  If you search with the keywords "siuyeahdragon" and "Amber", you'll find a link to click into, but the page won't show up after clicking.  I guess someone's got something to hide...


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you. To be honest, I am a follower of 為食龍少爺 and HK Epicurus. I read their blogs once in a while to find new dining establishments when I am too busy to search. For me, I don't care less about a food blogger's comments as I don't judge a place based on other's words. A few of my restaurant owner friends said some famous bloggers even asked for money to write reviews and free meals or big discounts for their revisit. I am not referring to them, just some famous bloggers.

Too bad they live in a civilised and lawful city here, we pay for what we consumed, that's it. No argue. They should learn some proper etiquette. Refusing to pay just because not getting one last glass of prosecco that sounds more unbelievable. Who on earth would do that for prosecco anyway? But to be fair, I think the restaurant should not have posted the pictures of the bloggers too. It will brings bad impression to the restaurant.

Tanguy said...

Reminds me of some guy working at Merrill or Lehman or the like (was my sales guy at the time). Threw a fit on a Virgin flight akin to "Do you know who I am".
Richard Branson sent an email to the CEO of the bank saying if the guy ain't fired he'll refuse the company to fly Virgin.
Hope HSBC (or whoever it is) fires the guy, because that's what I would do.

Anonymous said...

"... and he ain't got none"? or "... and he's got none"/ "... and he ain't got any"?

Anonymous said...

I have become very suspicious of food bloggers. They are now defacto advertising agents or product placement specialists. It is high time that bloggers like them are being exposed and blacklisted. Thanks Peech for writing, many would not have heard about this otherwise.
Gathering from the comments from anon, there were at least 2 bloggers trying to take advantage of the restaurant. Shame on them!!!
Is there a way to assess the authenticity of these food bloggers and whether they are commercially driven? The internet world is becoming a make believe world. Remember Jim Carrey's "Truman Show"?
Best, Sophia

Anonymous said...

What an absolute tosspot. There is only one good use of "Do you know who I am?": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYODmA9xSa4

Another spin-off pet hate of mine is thinking that your profession is going to scare someone. Heard this on the MTR when some harridan started a mudslinging match with another woman, first calling her "Dai Lok Por", then "I am a lawyer, and I will sue you." Really? Let's see you Law Society ID card. A total embarrassment to the legal community.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,

As someone who works in the industry, thank you for standing up for us! You will always be welcome at our establishments as a genuine foodie.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Good read!!

SG said...

I've never read nor heard of this 'Super-duper mega popular' whatchamacallit blog or blogger before. Sheesh, throwing a fit over some mignardise or an extra glass of Prosecco?

Although there ARE all kinds in the blogosphere just like in the real world, the 'Do you know who I am' part is still quite hilarious.


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