Singapore, March 17, 2009 - $30 a prawn or eight for $239 - that's how much American tourists Mike Rigby and his wife had to pay at Newton Food Centre last Saturday, reported Shin Min News Daily.
The amount was almost half of the total bill that they had to foot - $491, which also covered four crabs at $169, half a BBQ chicken which costs $19, baby squids ($15), beer, mantou buns and rice.
When Rigbys and four friends went to the food centre, it was already packed but a stall assistant ushered them to table saying he got one for six diners. So Mr Rigby decided to order food from him.
He said: "We only wanted four prawns at first but the stall assistant insisted that eight prawns would be enough of our group of six. Later he even served us two plates of stingray that we didn't order."
Mr Rigby was shocked when he got the bill after their meal - nearly $500 for six diners.
"It was because we had rejected the stingray then we decided to check the bill thoroughly just to make sure. But instead we found that they wanted $200 for the prawns and $19 for half a chicken. Obviously, they were trying to overcharge us," he told Shin Min.
The newspaper sought the views of an industry expert who said tiger prawns usually cost $6 to $6.50 for 100g at restaurants.
"An average-sized prawn is about 50g while a large one weighs 100g," he said.
Said Mr Rigby: "We were frightened when we were surrounded by four guys, so we decided to pay up. We could have spent that amount on a good meal in a five-star hotel."
He told Shin Min that it wasn't his first time to Newton but it was his first trying out the seafood dishes there.
"I wanted to introduce the food to my four friends and did not expect this to happen. I don't think I'll ever come back to this food centre."
Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency said it would be investigating the matter.