Brunch Beef: Police called to Giando restaurant after Hong Kong bloggers kick off at free-flow brunch

A war of words has broken out in Hong Kong and it has nothing to do with Occupy Central. The food blog community is abuzz after a weekend incident at Giando Italian restaurant at the Fenwick Pier which resulted in several bloggers and the restaurant accusing each other of behaving badly and the cops being called to referee.

The mudslinging started on the restaurant’s Facebook page. In a post, Giando recounted how a group of bloggers at a free-flow prosecco lunch wanted to order more drinks after the free-flow time had expired. After being refused, the party, which was there to celebrate a birthday, allegedly “degraded the staff”, “threatened not to pay” and even tried to throw their weight around by boasting: “Do you know who am I? I will make your establishment fall.”

 

Giando even named names, identifying Daniel Ho, who uses the handle Siuyeahdragon, as the person who made the boast and threatened the eatery by suggesting he is an important person at HSBC (he’s an insurance executive).

The next salvo came from HK Epicurus, aka Kelvin Ho, who was at the lunch with Ho (no relation) and responded on his Facebook page, “Giando… is a restaurant we will forever blacklist”. He reasoned there was still time left on the free-flow two hour period but the restaurant refused to serve more. At that point, the argument ensued and the patrons were accused of being drunk. “If you like paying for a meal to get humiliated and intimidated by the restaurant, then come to see these bullies,” Ho added.

Since the incident and the postings on Saturday, there have been plenty second-hand comments and accusations. The restaurant’s supporters say the bloggers’ behaviour was reprehensible and disgraceful, while the bloggers’ friends claim they will never go back.

The most extreme response so far has been from another food blogger Peter Chang, whose nom de plume is Diary of A Growing Boy. The veteran web author entered the fray by siding with Giando. On a post on his website, Chang even called out his fellow blogger, specifically describing Siuyeahdragon’s Ho as “scum”. “I find his behaviour reprehensible,” Chang rants. He then rebukes Ho for being arrogant and using his status as a blogger to bully other restaurants, namely Amber.

In short, Chang argues that this kind of entitled diva behaviour gives other foodie hobby writers a bad name. “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,” he wrote.

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