A couple of weeks ago, Christopher St. Cavish wrote a long expose on local Belgian restaurant Chambar after its owner threw one too many fake reviews and threats around. Now, just days after St. Cavish’s retirement from food writing, a tipster’s informed us that the piece suddenly missing from the SmartShanghai site. What’s going on?!
Right now, if you look on St. Cavish’s category page, you can still see the article entitled “Mussels, Copies and Ghosts.” Try to click into it, however, and you’re told the link is invalid or has been removed. You can still see a cached version of the article on Google.
St. Cavish’s article explained the craziness that had caused Chambar to be blacklisted from the SmartShanghai review site (right now, they still are). Basically, a Canadian Chambar, located in Vancouver, had accused the Shanghai one of stealing their logo and besmirching their name with substandard food.
But St. Cavish had shrugged his shoulders at that story for a while ( So had we – I’ve personally never been to Cham-hai and, while I felt bad for Cham-couver, it seemed weird to jump in the middle of a mucky situation for a restaurant I couldn’t give a hoot about otherwise).
That is, St. Cavish ignored the story until overly prettified user reviews of Chambar by fake names started to appear on the SmartShanghai site. He then wrote a long expose of all the messiness behind Chambar, its attempted manipulation of the reviews and its seemingly disturbed owner. It was very Oh Snap.
But now Chris is gone, and so is the article – and here’s where we perk up. We emailed the editors at SmartShanghai to ask what was going on… and got a reply that it was a “technical glitch.” Five days ago. When we checked again this morning though, the page still is missing. Some technical glitch, eh?
So tell us, the people left at SmartShanghai… is this just a random 404 that happened to take down one of the most incindiary posts you guys have done in a while – one that, for some reason, can’t be replaced just by searching Google caches? Or did you really just do what City Weekend did to Nick Taylor’s Velvet Lounge account?
Because honestly – there’s enough “harmonization” in this country already, the least you can do is not be scared of a frickin’, apparently substandard, restaurant.