A mother who told her two-year-old son to pee in a bottle at a crowded Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant has sparked a new row over mainland manners.
The incident on Lunar New Year eve has caused a splash on the internet since the mother told her story in an online forum.
Her son suddenly had the urge to pee while the family was enjoying a meal at the Tsui Wah Restaurant on Carnarvon Road.
She said she always carries a plastic bottle for such emergencies and took her son to a quiet corner to answer nature.
"But a female waitress saw us and spoke loudly, saying there is a toilet upstairs," she wrote. "She repeated it five times until everyone was staring at me."
A male waiter joined in the fuss, saying the boy and the bottle would upset other customers.
"They could have whispered to me," the mother wrote.
"My family and I were so depressed thanks to Hongkongers' discriminating against mainlanders."
The comment sparked heated debate on Facebook and other forums.
"The government should set up more dog toilets - it's more suitable for them," netizen Jacky Flk commented.
Another said: "Those who pee with their legs up will still do so even if they are well-dressed."
A Tsui Wah Group spokesman confirmed the incident, adding the staff spoke loudly because of the noise in the restaurant and had apologized to the customer.
But he stressed that "any behavior that poses a threat to food hygiene is prohibited."
In another incident last Saturday, dishes were hurled inside a Fairwood restaurant in Tseung Kwan O after a woman with a mainland accent got into a row with a local. Firemen and an ambulance were called.
Fairwood confirmed there was a dispute. Police said two families - Chan and Wong - were eating at the restaurant on Chung Wa Road when a member of the Wong family accidentally splashed milk tea on the floor.
No one was injured and the case was classified as a dispute.
Chung Kim-wah, director of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Center for Social Policy Studies, fears increasing tension between Hongkongers and mainlanders is a potential timebomb.
"The Tsui Wah case is a small incident and I believe that mainlanders will gradually adapt to Hong Kong's culture," Chung said.
"But what I fear is that if such controversies escalate, it could develop into open warfare. It's just a matter of time."
Chung stressed that the government should play an active role in easing the problem.
"For example, the government could consider restricting the number of multi-entry permits.
"Or it could slow down expansion of the Individual Visit Scheme, which might help reduce the tension between the two sides and make Hongkongers feel more comfortable.
"The scheme has been in force for 10 years and it's time for the government to review it."