If it’s in North America, Europe or any of the affluent Asian or Middle Eastern countries, I wouldn’t be surprised. But according to a Reuters report on 18th December 2006, the Four Seasons Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia is offering a hamburger that costs more than twice the monthly minimum wage in some parts of the country!
The cost: USD110 (about RM400)!
It’s made of Kobe beef with foie gras, Portobello mushrooms and Korean pears — served with french fries, of course.
Nice ingredients, but surely it can’t be worth THAT much?
Erwan Ruswandi, manager of the restaurant offering the gourmet burger defends the pricing by saying:
One burger has 225 grams of Kobe beef. It is so expensive because the flavor is really different. The calves in Kobe get special treatment … they drink beer mixed with milk, vitamins and eat pesticide-free grass. We add foie gras and also some Korean pears. We import all the materials, and they are high quality so it is so expensive.
As expected, they are not exactly selling like hotcakes, or goreng pisang, but the hotel defiantly says that it has sold 20 hamburgers since they were launched this month. That would mean about a hamburger per day. Considering its price, I think that’s not bad at all.
Still, I think having the world’s most exorbitantly priced burger in Indonesia, of all places, is just not right. The minimum wage in most parts the country of 220 million is as low as around USD40 (RM160) a month. A very small number of Indonesians are among the richest people in Asia, but the overwhelming majority live in dire poverty in urban slums or shanty towns in the countryside.