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VivoCity Kopitiam Stall Charges S$0.50 To Add Milk In Fish Soup, Says Costs Have Increased

VivoCity Kopitiam Stall Charges S$0.50 For Milk In Fish Soup

Fish soup is one of Singaporeans’ favourite kinds of comfort food. One reason is the rich, milky broth that warms your soul on a rainy day.

However, one customer was left uncomfortable when she was charged S$0.50 to add milk in her fish soup at VivoCity Kopitiam.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

A staff member at the stall explained the extra charge by saying that costs had increased.

VivoCity receipt shows charge of S$0.50 to add milk in fish soup

In a post in the Complaint Singapore Facebook group, netizen Ay Zee sought the opinion of the Internet.

According to the receipt she shared, her purchase was made at VivoCity’s Kopitiam food court in Basement 2 at 3.09pm on Friday (27 Jan).

Source: Google Maps

It indicated that she had paid S$6.50 for a bowl of fried fish meat bee hoon soup, plus S$0.50 to “add milk”.

Source: Ay Zee on Facebook

After a S$0.70 discount due to payment via app, she paid a total of S$6.30.

In her caption, Ay Zee said she didn’t know that customers now had to pay S$0.50 to add milk to their fish soup. “Is it the norm nowadays?”

Other netizens chip in with stories of extra charges

A netizen pointed out that a styrofoam box for takeaway also costs an additional S$0.20, but Ay Zee said that is “normal”. However, unlike a styrofoam box, milk is actually one of the ingredients in fish soup, she pointed out.

Source: Ay Zee on Complaint Singapore Facebook

Other netizens chipped in with stories of being charged extra for condiments. For example, one commenter said he was asked to pay more to add soup in his yong tow foo.

Source: Ay Zee on Complaint Singapore Facebook

Another customer said his brother-in-law was charged S$0.60 to add milk at a stall in Ang Mo Kio. Apparently, a number of stalls don’t provide spring onions or coriander any more, and some stalls don’t add koo chye (chives) to mee siam, he added.

Source: Ay Zee on Complaint Singapore Facebook

Last month, a customer griped over being asked to pay S$0.20 to add syrup at Rochor Beancurd in Geylang.

Another netizen said sellers should share the details of their costs with customers — who are aware of rising costs in general — rather than passing them on to us without a word.

Source: Ay Zee on Complaint Singapore Facebook

Extra charge indicated only on counter menu

Investigating the allegations, Shin Min Daily News visited the stall in question and found that the extra charge wasn’t stated on their signage.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

However, it was indicated in the menu on the counter, along with extra charges to add rice, noodles and a takeaway box. Moreover, the price for additional milk seemed to have been altered from S$0.30 to S$0.50.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

Shin Min also observed from the signage that the item Ay Zee ordered, sliced fish bee hoon soup, was supposed to come with something — milk perhaps? — but that had been covered up.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

Cost of evaporated milk has increased: Stall

When staff members at the stall were asked the reason for the additional charge for milk, they said it was their boss’ decision.

One of them said that the stall has been operating for more than six years, and adding milk used to be free.

However, the additional charge for milk started three or four months ago.

When asked why, they said their boss told them that the cost of evaporated milk had increased.

One tin now costs about S$6, they added.

Another fish soup stall says operating costs have gone up

The proprietor of another fish soup stall told Shin Min that operating costs had gone up, so the extra charges were excusable.

Mr Xu Yanchun, who runs Shi Zhen Fish Soup in Toa Payoh, said besides rental, gas and electricity bills had also increased.

However, the 67-year-old said his stall won’t be passing those costs on to customers as thanking his regulars for their support is more important.

While a bowl of his fish soup costs S$5, he won’t be charging extra to add milk, he added.

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Featured image adapted from Ay Zee on Facebook and Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.

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