$26,000 Wedding dinner ruined by disastrous food

February 11, 2018
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A wedding venue will repay a couple $13,000 for ruining their dream reception and humiliating them in front of guests by serving ‘inedible’ food.

Ben Bui and Wendy Lam, aged in their late 20s, paid Maison Melbourne $26,000 for an eight-course Asian banquet for 173 guests in November 2016.

The couple enjoyed an ‘awesome’ tasting weeks before the big day – only to endure a ‘complete disaster’ when it mattered.

Wedding venue Maison Melbourne will repay Ben Bui and Wendy Lam $13,000 for ruining their dream reception and humiliating them in front of 173 guests by serving ‘inedible’ food

Guests received this plate of two half-lobsters and some noodles instead of individual portions of half a lobster each – it is the dish that makes or breaks an Asian wedding

The lobster was supposed to look like this (pictured at the tasting) with the couple paying extra to upgrade to half a lobster for each guest
 The abalone soup (R) looked nothing like the version the couple tried at the tasting (L)

‘People couldn’t eat it, that’s how bad it was. It didn’t look anything like the tasting,’ Mr Bui told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We were sitting at our table watching everyone and they were just disgusted. It was really embarrassing for us.’

The software engineer said food was badly cooked and came out as platters with nowhere near enough for each guest, who were supposed to get individual servings.

‘No one could eat anything and some went to McDonald’s afterwards because they were hungry. That’s not something you want to hear at your wedding,’ he said.

‘Honestly, it would have been better if we’d served McDonald’s, everyone would have at least been fed and knew what they were getting.’

 Guests were to receive this starter meat platter of pork belly, barbeque pork, duck, and roast chicken

Instead some tables were served cold chicken wings, Mr Bui said

Mr Bui said some tables were served cold chicken wings for the first course instead of a meat platter of pork belly, barbeque pork, duck, and roast chicken.

The second course of crab claw ‘looked like something you’d buy at a supermarket’ and the abalone soup also looked nothing like the tasting.

Every guest was supposed to receive a whole quail but Mr Bui said a table of 10 got only three or four between them – with no utensils to cut them.

When they did pick at the birds with their own cutlery, they discovered many of them were still raw on the inside and couldn’t eat them.

‘The barramundi was supposed to be cut and de-boned into individual slices, but it was just a fish on the plate,’ Mr Bui said.

‘People cut it themselves with their own knife and fork.’

The barramundi was supposed to be cut and de-boned into individual slices (like this at the tasting), but it was just a fish on the plate

But the biggest disaster was the most important dish – the lobster, which can make or break the experience of an Asian wedding.

‘We paid extra so our guests would have half a lobster each, but all that came out was two half lobsters with some noodles for each table,’ Mr Bui said.

When he complained, the irate groom said the venue suddenly dumped the remaining courses on the tables at once instead of bringing them out one by one.

‘It was like they were thinking “he noticed we stuffed up, let’s just get it over and done with”. We looked around everyone was confused,’ he said.

Mr Bui said his grandmother and other family, many of whom travelled from overseas, went home early after the speeches because they couldn’t eat anything.

‘My wife and I were together for 13 years before we got married so both our families watched us grow up together and were all anticipating the wedding so we wanted to show them a good time and our appreciation, but it never happened,’ he said.

Mr Bui said when he complained, the irate groom said the venue suddenly dumped the remaining courses on the tables at once instead of bringing them out one by one

The couple’s wedding reception was ruined by the food but it seems at least the cake was a success

‘It was really devastating for us. The memory of our wedding is tainted and we feel like we got scammed.

‘My wife, best man and I went around to all the tables and apologised and we found out our parents called everyone afterwards to apologise too.

‘Everyone told us the food was horrible but when they found out what happened every guest who could speak English wrote a witness statement to VCAT for us.’

Ben and Wendy weren’t the only ones to take legal action against Maison, and a chorus of other unhappy couples slammed the venue with one-star reviews online.

VCAT member David Kim said Maison breached ‘some of its obligations under the contract’ and ordered it to pay the couple $12,958.50, including $2000 for distress.

‘My wife, best man and I went around to all the tables and apologised and we found out our parents called everyone afterwards to apologise too,’ Mr Bui said

VCAT member David Kim said Maison breached 'some of its obligations under the contract' and ordered it to pay the couple $12,958.50, including $2000 for distress 

VCAT member David Kim said Maison breached ‘some of its obligations under the contract’ and ordered it to pay the couple $12,958.50, including $2000 for distress

Mr Bui was happy they had won but said the payout wouldn’t be enough, especially as they had shelled out thousands in legal fees.

‘The money is too little too late and we don’t even know if they will pay up but at least we got some closure,’ he said.

‘Hopefully, this means it won’t happen to anyone else.’

Maison’s website states it that as of December 22 last year it was ‘closed and will not be reopening for business’.

The hall advertised itself as being rated the number one wedding venue in Melbourne with a ballroom and outdoor wedding ceremony space.

Maison's website states it that as of December 22 last year it was 'closed and will not be reopening for business'

Maison’s website states it that as of December 22 last year it was ‘closed and will not be reopening for business’

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL

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