A dissatisfied client is making a stink after noticing something fishy about a popular restaurant’s hake fingers.
Osman Parker, 41, says five Ocean Basket restaurants served his kids angelfish instead of the more expensive hake advertised on the menu.
And when he complained to the managers, they admitted selling him the fake hake.
Hake, at R60 a kilogram, costs twice as much as angelfish, which sells at R30 a kilo.
Parker, the manager of Giant Hyper in Epping, says he took it with a pinch of salt, but after five similar experiences, he felt Ocean Basket was ripping off people and should be taken to task for it.
The restaurant chain yesterday admitted they were caught out hook, line and sinker.
Parker says over the past six months, he’d eaten at Ocean Basket branches at N1 City, Waterfront, Canal Walk, Vangate Mall and just three weeks ago, during the flower festival in Vredenburg.
His four kids ordered off the kiddies menu and complained because the “hake fingers looked and tasted weird”.
He says: “I did not want to fuss or anything, but my wife said it was not hake. She buys our food and was concerned as to what it might be. What if it’s something that could cause an allergic reaction?”
Parker says when he confronted the managers, they admitted to using angelfish when they do not have hake in stock.
“You don’t do that to people,” an upset Parker says.
“I do not want money or anything from them. They must be transparent and communicate with their customers. Tell people there is no hake for the fingers and that you are using other fish. Give people the choice, don’t sell lies.”
Jean Sloane, Group Marketing Executive for Ocean Basket, has admitted to Daily Voice that angelfish instead of hake had been sold to Parker.
“Hake costs approximately R60/kg filleted while angelfish is R29.99/kg but that is for the whole fish. Filleting an angelfish provides a 50% yield, so it also works out to R60/kg.
“We believe angelfish may have been used to prevent food wastage since nuggets are created as a natural by-product of filleting. We are, however, concerned that angelfish was used, as Ocean Basket has a policy of using only hake or Basa in our nuggets. We assure you that this has been taken up with all the franchises mentioned.
“Ocean Basket imports and supplies 6 500 tons of seafood each year to stores globally. All of our stock is purchased from reputable suppliers.”
The company has apologised to Parker and offered him a R500 voucher in return.
In a letter to Parker, Sloane promises that “there will be no repeat of the incident”.
“We understand that you are a long-standing, loyal customer of Ocean Basket and would like to offer you a dinner experience, at our cost, to the value of R500, as a sincere apology. May we recommend that you take up this offer at either Canal Walk or the N1 City restaurant where the manager will be expecting you and will ensure you have a pleasurable evening?”
Parker said by last night no one from Ocean Basket had contacted him yet.
However, he regarded the meal offer as an “insult” and reiterated it was not about the money.