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This Is Mark. Mark Is The Most Entitled Diner Ever. Don’t Be Mark.

When we go to restaurants, we don’t just want food. We want an Experience—and that’s fair, considering the money we spend on these meals. But when does expectation become entitlement? When do you cross the line from discerning to demanding? Is ‘foodie’ code for ‘fu...ssy’? Five chefs tell us.

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Rice Media presents: The Tragicomedy of Mark of House Ong, Foodie of the Great Grass-fed Beef, Breaker of Food Chains

Scene 1

Mark saunters to the front of house with his whole kampung, palm trees included.

Mark: I made a reservation for 10 but there are 15 of us. Can pull a few tables together?

Maître d’: I’m very sorry but we are fully booked tonight.

Mark: You’re joking right?! Just pull a few tables together lah.

Maître d’: As you can see, we have a queue outside. Perhaps I can seat your group separately?

Mark: Listen to me, I made this reservation through your boss. Do I have to call him? Do you know who I am?

Maître d’: I’m sorry, sir. Of course, I will accommodate you. Do your palm trees require baby chairs?

Mark: Do you even have to ask?!

Scene 2

Mark settles into tables that were previously occupied by innocent customers who just wanted a quiet night to eat their steak in peace.

Mark: Waiter! I am ready to order.

Waiter: Yes sir.

Mark: Give me the lunch set menu.

Waiter: It’s dinner time, sir.

Mark: I am a light eater. I do not want the rich dinner foods.

Waiter: I am afraid that is impossible as our kitchen has not prepared these dishes for dinner.

Mark: Fine. Then I want this vegetarian pasta. But add fried pork belly and fried egg to it. Also, a whole roasted chicken. Breast meat only. And the asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. A yolk-free Hollandaise sauce, ok? I am watching my cholesterol levels.

Waiter: Sir, Hollandaise is made with egg yolks—

Mark: You think I don’t know that? I am a foodie. I know more about food than you. Get your chef here.

Waiter: Yes, sir.

Chef: Good evening sir. How can I help you?

Mark: Give me your Hollandaise sauce without egg yolks.

Chef: Sir, that’s impossible. The yolks are needed to emulsify the sauce—

Mark: I have a HEALTH PROBLEM. Do you want me to suffer from high cholesterol? If you are a good-enough chef, you confirm can make one. And don’t forget who is paying your wages. Me.

Chef: You are right. A thousand apologies to you and retribution to my kith and kin.

Scene 3

The food arrives.

Mark: Explain this dish to me.

Chef: The chicken is basted in gentle sauce meant to suggest through its fragrance the blossoming of spring.

Mark: Wow. You speak very well for a chef.

Chef: What made you assume I couldn’t?

Mark: I thought you were a foreigner. You can go away now.

Chef exits. Mark and his company take endless photographs of the food.

Mark: Hold the chicken breast with your fork. Don’t move your hand!

Mark stands on the chair to take a flat lay.

Mark: Move your hand away please. And take your face out of my frame, so ugly. Okay. Now we can eat. Why is the food not hot? The standards at this restaurant are appalling. The chicken skin isn’t crispy anymore. Yucks. And why does it taste like flowers? Is there lavender in it?! This is not real French food. Actually, the dishes here are so basic. Roast chicken. Boiled asparagus. I also can make at home. Better some more. Chef!

Chef enters, head bowed servilely. 

Chef: Actually, sir, that is a traditional dish from Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Mark: I have been to Paris and I have never heard of this food. KFC has better chicken. That must be a rural province in France.

Scene 4

Mark has eaten three-quarters of his chicken.

Mark: You guys still hungry? Me too. Let’s send the chicken back. We can ask them to cook us the duck instead. This restaurant actually quite value for money, got 2-in-1 bird dish!

Scene 5

Mark has finished his meal and is writing a review online. He reads out his review.

Mark: This is a pretentious restaurant that says it is French but is inauthentic and does not have an identity. Chicken was not nice. Asparagus not worth. Oysters not fresh, tasted like it was from the sea. French onion soup too gao. I just didn’t like it. Only good thing? Panna cotta damn shiok. This is Mark, your trusted super foodie blogger always on the hunt for discovery of hidden gems, lost stalls, must-trys, shiokalicious authentic food.

Exit Mark and kampung, palm trees included...

Find out what five chefs have to say about diners crossing the line on Rice.


This story is a collaboration between Burpple and Rice as part of Rice's new food column