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Nha Trang seafood restaurant found operating without food safety certificate

Thursday, February 18, 2016, 18:10 GMT+7

A restaurant in a coastal resort city in south-central Vietnam, notorious for hurling leftovers at unsatisfied diners recently, has not been certified for food safety.

Nhat Trang, the seafood restaurant located in Nha Trang, the capital city of Khanh Hoa Province, proved no certification for food safety, Nguyen Sy Khanh, deputy chairman of the local People’s Committee, said on Wednesday.

An inspection was conducted by local officials under Khanh’s direction the same day.

Neither an authorized qualification related to food safety nor official contracts on laboring of the venue were available, according to the investigation’s result.

Such attempts were made not only in Nha Trang, but throughout the entire province of Khanh Hoa to rectify food service issues, namely price increasing by restaurateurs and lack of ethical manners in serving guests, said Tran Son Hai, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

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The dish of rice fried with a few pieces of squid and herbs, which cost VND150,000 (US$6.7), was served to Luu Phuong Mai and her friend on February 15, 2016. Photo: Luu Phuong Mai

“We always welcome the media and customers to report such cases, not only to remind those involved to be responsible for their operations, but also to promote ethical business practices in the community,” Hai added.

The restaurant was reported to local officials by two diners on Monday after one of its staff members splashed them with leftover food after they expressed disappointment with their meal.

Luu Phuong Mai, one of the two guests, ordered rice fried with seafood before complaining that the dish only included a few pieces of squid and some herbs. 

After voicing disagreement with the dish’s VND150,000 ($6.7) price tag, Mai and the other guest were immediately flung with leftovers and told rudely to leave by the restaurant’s staff.

The incident has garnered lots of public attention and comments, sent to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Most responses to the event contained concern and the idea that strict measures must be enacted to put the situation right and to prevent Nha Trang’s tourism potential – one of Khanh Hoa’s pinnacles – from being seriously damaged.

Some said that if similar incidents occur it could become the norm for waiters in Vietnamese food venues and expecting waiters to be polite and friendly to guests might become a lofty expectation, which would be a shame for the whole nation.

The restaurant, previously named Lang Chai Bo Ke (Bo Ke Fishing Village) restaurant, became infamous after selling crabs they claimed weighed 1.2 kilos but in reality barely weighed half as much after boiling, Nguyen Huu Ly, a marketplace management official, said.

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