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Ming General Japanese Sushi Restaurant (Chinese: 明將壽司) is a Hong Kong-based chain restaurant that is most famous for its revolutionary yet unpalatable sushi menu. There are several branches located across Hong Kong, but the most popular branch is located at Dragon Centre, Kowloon. The word was spread through the internet and many netizens formed ‘troops’ to challenge themselves.
In December 2010, Ming General Japanese Sushi Restaurant introduced a buffet-style value meal, which costs each customer HKD $43.90 for an unlimited quantity of sushi. Upon its introduction, some Hong Kong netizens who tried the sushi began posting poor customer reviews about the food quality, describing the meal as “The worst tasted sushi in Hong Kong.” Meanwhile, others rebutted with tongue-in-cheek reviews praising the economic value of Ming General sushi meal. The earliest known customer review of General Ming restaurant can be found on Get JetSo, a discount coupon website.
Not every branch provide this discount. If a-la-carte, it’s HKD $11 / dish. When you’ve got the discount and eat 4 dishes, you can already gain back the original cost. If you’re shorter than 1m, you can have the meal free of charge.
Despite the mocking tone of online reviews, the buzz around Ming General’s sushi led many netizens to try the meal themselves. The story especially struck a chord with members of the food review site OpenRice and the computer-related forum Hong Kong Golden Forum, where users formed various groups dubbed “Bad Eating Groups” (Chinese: 劣食團) to visit Ming General and try the sushi as a challenge that has been described as “life-threatening.” Some “Bad Eating Groups” created and uploaded video footage of their trip, documenting the notorious sushi and the reactions during their meal. Here’s an example of a video shot by a Bad Eating Group (Meal starts at 1:53):
Ming General is also famous of its creativity on making new kinds of sushi, including Salted Fish Sushi, Red Bean Warship, Fish, Prawn and Crab Sushi, Wasabi Rice Sushi, Jelly Sushi and Mei Cai Kou Rou Sushi (pickled mustard with pork).
Remarks: 明將 = Ming General.
After many hkgolden members challenged themselves at the restaurant, they produced a song called “Ming General’s Comrades”. The song is mainly about eating smelly sushi with other HKGolden members at Ming General, puking for 7 days afterwards and at last, going to the hospital with the HKGolden “comrades”.
On December 12th, 2010, Hong Kong news channel i-CABLE reported on the Ming General sushi that has gone viral on the web, featuring several Hong Kong celebrities who were invited to try the notorious sushi meal. In the video, there are shots that are solely capturing the sushi with a red bar blinking, which shows the “unpalatability” of the corresponding sushi. The reporter even asked a few staff of the restaurant about the sushi. Here’s the transcript of the interview.
Host: Why the sushi are made so unpalatable here?
Staff 1: To attract people like you to come.
Host: Which is the most unpalatable sushi?
Staff 2: They (the customers) said it’s the Vinegar Mackerel Sushi.
Host: Have you tried that sushi?
Staff 2: I’ve never tried it. I don’t dare.
Host: Why you don’t dare?
Staff 2: It’s really unpalatable!
In the latter part of the video, the reporter invited 3 celebrities to join the challenge. Lawmaker, Ms Tanya Chan. Fengshui Expert, Mak Ling-ling. And Psychological doctor, Dr Tsang. Here are the sushi that are tasted in the video, listed in order from 00:32. Among the reviews, “Red Bean Warship” and “Vinegar Mackerel Sushi” stood out as exceptionally unpalatable.
On December 13th, 2010, Hong Kong’s daily newspaper Ming Pao posted an article about the restaurant. In the article, it said that there’s a sushi restaurant which created many weird sushi and they attracted teenagers to form Bad Eating Groups to challenge.
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