Cafe owner mulls action against TikTok user unable to order food on birthday

Screengrab from Athalia’s video, at left, and the entrance of Pokok KL, at right. Photos: OfficialAthalia/TikTok and Pokok KL/Instagram
Screengrab from Athalia’s video, at left, and the entrance of Pokok KL, at right. Photos: OfficialAthalia/TikTok and Pokok KL/Instagram

The owner of a popular cafe in Kuala Lumpur said today she is reviewing an incident involving a TikTok user who had publicly complained about not being able to order food at its premises despite advance notices that it was closing early on Saturday.

Christina Bong, who owns Pokok KL in Petaling Jaya, told Coconuts KL today that her “management team is reviewing the matter now,” a day after writing on Instagram that she was looking for a lawyer to act on a potential defamation case against the complainer, TikTok user Athalia, and her mother, veteran singer Sharifah Zarina. 

“Any lawyers want to take on this defamation case against these insta-famous people on our behalf?” Bong said. The same mother-daughter duo were recently embroiled in a “child grooming” controversy with actor Alvin Chong. 

Bong also called out Athalia for “attacking” her cafe, adding that the group had “failed to notice the early closure signs.” 

“(We) informed them numerous times and reminded them to order by 4.30pm as we had to close early for an event,” she said. 

According to Athalia, she arrived at the cafe with her friends and family on Saturday to celebrate her birthday, only to be told by a waiter that they had 15 minutes to order before the kitchen closed for a private event. The 17-year-old described it as a “humiliating” experience and also raged about cafe staff letting them in although the place was closing soon. 

“They’re not professional at all,” Athalia was heard on TikTok. “Sorry I have to say it but the fact that they humiliated me was not cool at all … We already went in and sat down, yet nobody told us that the place would close for an event … If they’d told us before we enter, we can just leave and go somewhere else.”

Athalia has since deleted the clip but copies of it have been circulating elsewhere. 

“I’m speaking up not just because I’m an influencer, but because I do not want anyone else to experience the same thing,” she added. Her mother then chimed in to complain about the unsatisfactory customer service. 

“Do you know what’s the best part? After they apologized, the cafe only gave us two coupons worth RM50 each,” she said. 

According to Pokok KL, they had already announced about closing early on both social media and at the cafe. 

Other stories to check out:

‘I am shocked’: Alvin Chong denies grooming underage TikTok user

Singer-actor Alvin Chong slammed for hanging out with underage TikTok teen

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