The world’s worst bill shock

I’M such a creature of habit. For instance, I like to go to the same restaurants over and over again and when I do, I order the same meals every time I go.

What can I say – I like what I like.

I used to be concerned that this was a little on the boring side and there have been moments where I worried I was missing out on something spectacular by not ordering with fresh eyes.


The old Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO as the kids say. It has almost tempted me to order something like rash, like a chicken risotto instead of a creamy pasta dish, or steak with (shock!) Dianne sauce when I really do prefer the pepper.

I rarely do, though (and I always enjoy my meal – what does that tell you?).

This weekend I was reminded why, when one of my greatest fears of ordering afresh was realised by a restaurant diner in America.

Joe Lentini was at a business dinner at Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

“I asked the waitress if she could recommend something decent because I don’t have experience with wine,” Joe told the media.

“She pointed to a bottle on the menu. I didn’t have my glasses. I asked how much and she said, ‘Thirty-seven fifty.’”

Assuming she meant it was priced at just under 40 bucks, Joe and his business associates ordered the wine.

In actual fact, it was priced at $3,750. Plus tax, plus tip.

The most I’ve ever spent on a glass of wine at a restaurant was $15 and I was dirty about that. In my view, restaurants on the Gold Coast have no business charging $15 for a single glass of wine! I can pick up two bottles of my favourite drop from Dan Murphy’s for that outlay. Wait, am I a bogan? I’m getting a little off-topic…

Joe and his mates, after getting the worst bill shock of their lives, obviously disputed the charge. The restaurant stood by their waitress but as a gesture of goodwill, reduced the charge to $2,200 – still an astronomical figure for 750ml of liquid.

You want to know the worst part of the story? The wine wasn’t even that great!

“It was okay,” Joe said. “It was good – it wasn’t great, it wasn’t terrible. It was fine.”

I had a glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant in Broadbeach last week. It was more than fine – it was delicious! And it was my favourite brand and it was $8. This is why I stick with what I know. Menu loyalty, people – it pays off.