HK diner gets 88 yuan for five-star fly in his soup

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 November, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 November, 2006, 12:00am

A Guangzhou district court has ordered a five-star hotel to pay a Hong Kong businessman 88 yuan for serving a bowl of noodles containing a fly.

Holman Lau said he planned to appeal to a higher court for the apology he believed the China Hotel owed him.

Mr Lau was dining at a China Hotel restaurant three months ago when he found a fly in his Vietnam beef soup noodle, but the hotel denied it was at fault. To preserve the evidence, he took a picture of the bowl of noodles with his mobile phone.

'I was so angry and really felt sick at the time,' Mr Lau said yesterday. 'I told the hotel that they should be responsible for any medical cost if I fell ill because of the fly but they rejected my complaint so I had to go to the court.'

Mr Lau accused the hotel of violating its service contract and claimed 3,466 yuan in compensation and a written apology. The Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court ruled late last month that the hotel should pay Mr Lau 88 yuan for causing him to miss his bus back to Hong Kong because arguments with hotel staff held him up.

'I am not familiar with the mainland law and the court said an apology could be requested only in cases of rights infringement,' Mr Lau said. 'That is the most important thing I wanted to get.'

Mr Lau lodged an appeal to the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court when he got nothing from the hotel after the verdict. 'I do not think they are sincere because they did not pay me anything after the sentence. No 88 yuan and no apology. How can they be so arrogant?'

A spokeswoman for the China Hotel said yesterday it was suspicious of Mr Lau's motives because some people had used similar tricks to make money. 'But we will pay him 88 yuan because we do not want to be bothered by such a tiny thing anymore,' she said.

Mr Lau said the hotel has applied to have the verdict overturned.