An extremely odd thing happened to me recently. At the beginning of last week, I messaged Daniel Calvert, the chef of Belon in Central, asking if I could order his delicious tarte Tatin , which I wanted to eat one last time before he leaves Hong Kong to open a restaurant at the Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi. I told him I could pick it up a few days later – on Friday or Saturday – whichever was more convenient for him. He said yes and that he would let me know when it was ready. On Friday morning, Calvert messaged me to say that the dessert would be ready that day, and that I could go to Belon around 4pm. I excitedly mentioned this to some friends at the sushi bar we were eating at. Soon after the appointed time, I made my way up to the restaurant on Elgin Street. “I’m here to pick up the tarte Tatin,” I said to a friendly staff member. I received an odd look: “But Susan, your driver picked it up!” I thought it was a joke – I don’t have driver, and I certainly didn’t send anyone to pick it up – why would I be there? “A guy with glasses came here and said he was picking up an order. Since yours was the only order, we asked ‘Is this for Susan?’ and he said ‘Yes, for Susan Jung.’” Someone had taken my tarte Tatin. And asked for (and received) some of Calvert’s fantastic sourdough bread, too. To be fair, the thief didn’t get my tart, because at that point it still belonged to the restaurant. But I tend to be possessive about food. The only people I had told about this order were my husband (who wasn’t aware of when it would be ready) and the friends I had lunch with. None of my friends would have tried to “obtain property by deception”, and they were outraged on my behalf. It’s very likely that our conversation about the tarte Tatin was overheard at lunch, since we discussed it at a seven-seat sushi counter, and there were two other customers dining at the same time. Battle of the curries as Japanese chain opens in India Unfortunately, the bespectacled tarte Tatin thief, whoever he might be, isn’t the only one who is taking advantage of the surge in takeaway and delivery orders during pandemic restaurant restrictions . There have been reports of people pretending to be from delivery services and going to restaurants to pick up someone else’s order. I don’t think the tarte Tatin thief is anyone who has a personal vendetta against me (at least I hope not), but if that were the case, I’m not the one that suffers – the restaurant does, as it kindly made me another. Restaurants are in a bad way now, and operating on even thinner margins than they were pre-pandemic. If a takeaway or delivery order gets “mislaid”, the restaurant has no choice but to prepare the food again, even though it wasn’t their fault. The original customer doesn’t pay twice, and the cost comes out of the restaurant’s reserves. Restaurants have been complaining about the high prices that delivery services charge – but at least they get the food to the rightful owner (most of the time). When the food goes to someone else entirely, and the restaurant has to cook it again to appease a hangry customer, it’s adding insult to injury.