A 72-year-old German tourist made his way to the Pattaya Police Station on Tuesday night, along with what appeared to be a rotten lobster he had been served at the King Seafood restaurant on Walking Street earlier in the evening.
Mr Wolfgang Hoelderich told police he had ordered the expensive crustacean at a price of 1,848 Baht. However, after he had started eating the tail, he noticed that “the legs were black and, on closer examination, he detected a foul odour, especially in the head area.”
Pattaya One report that restaurant staff refused to replace the lobster, saying he had “already had a mouthful” (that’s customer service, ain’t it?), so the elderly German did an unexpected thing – pay his bill without saying a word and take the culinary evidence straight to the police station.
Officers obviously agreed that the lobster had a rotten smell and appearance and sent it to the Public Health Office and Consumer Protection Department for further investigation.
UPDATE – Pattaya One have an interesting update on this story. As was to be expected, a public health official swiftly came to inspect the King Seafood restaurant but apparently found everything in order at the venue, e.g. the lobsters and other frozen food items were all covered with ice as is mandatory.
Restaurant staff also noted they would always inform customers in advance that
with the frozen lobsters only the body was for consumption, not other parts, as they were not freshly picked from the tank.
The female owner of King Seafood further explained that the German tourist had
selected the lobster [himself] and [eaten] all of it, then he suddenly complained that the lobster wasn’t fresh after noticing the legs were dark. The staff tried to explain that he could have changed the lobster from the beginning but not after he had eaten the whole thing. [She] added the restaurant offered a discount but Mr. Wolfgang refused and went to the police.
Normally, she added, if customers ever complained that any food item was not fresh the restaurant would
change it right away and the customer would not be charged if the restaurant was at fault.
As for the purportedly rotten lobster Mr Wolfgang had dropped off at the police station, the public health official noted that by the time she got to examine the lobster it was already more than four hours since the German had initially ordered the dish, not allowing her to properly examine it for freshness any longer.