"There were a few chicken and beef dishes, and the prime minister wanted to check their quality," he said in a Mingguan Malaysia report today.
The prime minister had taken two chicken dishes, fried beef, bean sprouts and papadom during his visit to the Ukhwah restaurant to promote the Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia which provides cheap food to address rising cost of living.
However, Batu MP Tian Chua had a day later went to the same restaurant and took the exact dishes as the prime minister and was charged RM6.
Clarifying the matter in the report, Ismail (left) said if customers only took the dishes as stipulated in the menu, the price would be as the menu states.
"Basically the menu of white rice and a side dish plus drinks is priced at RM4 and there are even some that are cheaper.
"When we take more than is offered in the menu then we will need to pay more," he told the Malay daily.
However, Ismail did not explain why Najib had only paid RM3.