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Sydney restaurant manager hits back after outrage over $38 schnitty

The price of chicken schnitzel at a Sydney bowling club has shocked observers including Today host Karl Stefanovic.

The manager of one of Sydney’s newest restaurants has come out swinging after the menu was criticised by Today host Karl Stefanovic for its $38 chicken schnitty and salad.

As part of the refurbished Five Dock Bowling Club, which only opened its doors last week, the rebranded Italian restaurant now known as Skinny Tony’s charges $28.90 for a plain schnitzel with an $8.90 side salad.

“That’s why Sydney has lost the plot,” Karl told viewers. “It’s not even good there. I’m really upset about the schnitty. How many bread crumbs?”

“That’s why we stay home and make our own food. Parmies, schnitties, $40, that’s crazy.”

The menu Skinny Tony's (left) and an example of a chicken schnitzel (right).
The cost of a chicken schnitzel with chips and salad will set you back $37.80 at Five Dock Bowling Club in Sydney's inner west (pictured is an example of a chicken schnitzel). Source: Skinny Tony's/Getty

‘You are getting conned’

Others were quick to follow suit, slamming the price as a “rip off”.

“No chance,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “I could get a kilo and a half [of chicken] for that.”

“That’s absolutely ridiculous,” another said. “You are getting conned,” added a third.

While someone else boasted they could get a chicken schnitzel, chips, salad and sauce for $20 at their local pub.

Restaurant urges diners to ‘share responsibility’ for spiralling prices

The venue’s manager has hit back saying despite its name, it’s no longer a bowling club with poker machines that can offer cheaper meals through subsidising.

“It’s now operated and owned by a private entity as a family friendly venue,” Pierre Moio told Yahoo News Australia, saying they stuck with the name to honour the property’s 90-year history.

He went on to explain that “prices are just aligned with the market” due to the shortage of produce in Australia as a result of La Nina, and that “at some stage these costs have to be passed down”.

Karl Stefanovic sits behind the Today Show desk with his cohost Sarah Abo.
Karl Stefanovic was unimpressed at the price for the meal. Source: Channel 9

“As restaurateurs that invest in creating venues for people to come in and enjoy, there's a certain responsibility from our point of view to ensure that we put on an experience for people,” Mr Moio said. “But at the end of the day if there's a cost there to do that at some point, the consumer needs to realise that.”

“If we don't do that, then the farmer and the small guys are continuously going to be affected, and if we're not happy to pay those prices, then is it a slap in the face down the food chain? All along the way, there's people that are losing their livelihoods and everything else around these devastations and I think responsibility needs to be shared across the whole spectrum.”

Mr Moio added they would consider a name change to avoid any confusion in the future.

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