While authentic Chinese cuisine can be an acquired taste for the Western palate, boiled rat is something you'd never want to see on the menu...or already on your plate.
A pregnant woman found a dead rodent in her hot pot after having a few bites at a popular Chinese restaurant chain in Beijing.
She and her husband were dining at Xiabu Xiabu on September 6 when she discovered the rat.
According to BBC, the restaurant staff offered to pay for her abortion if her body was contaminated from the tainted soup.
A video of the dead rat fished out of the soup with chopsticks was posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo, where it quickly went viral.
It made people sick to their stomachs.
Warning: this video shared by South China Morning Post on YouTube is not for the faint of heart.
"I feel like vomiting. I'm never going to eat hotpot outside again," said one Weibo user.
Another commented, "Xiabu Xiabu has always been one of my favourite restaurants, I thought they were quite clean as well... I can't believe this."
How the rat managed to make its way into the boiling pot remains a mystery.
Others saw humor in the incident and joked that the boiled rat was a delicacy.
The restaurant chain offered to pay the woman 5,000 yuan ($729), but her husband, identified as Mr. Ma, rejected the offer until his wife received a full physical examination to determine a proper settlement.
Ma claimed the staff told him, "If you are worried about the baby, then we'll give you 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to abort it."
Xiabu Xiabu's share price on September 11 took a plunge, losing $190 million in value. Given the angry reactions, it could take a while for them to recover.
But as of Wednesday, BBC reported that Xiabu Xiabu market shares are gradually going back up.
While health inspectors didn't find a rat infestation in the restaurant, the outlet was shut down for other violations.
According to NDTB, the location had been using "pooled water in the food processing areas and using produce suppliers without full qualifications."
There are 759 Xiabu Xiabu locations in China.
Hot pot is a popular Asian communal soup in which diners cook their meals together in a shared pot. Depending on the region, the broth and meats vary, but generally not to this extreme.