Restaurants, and the people who work in them, seem to be going backwards in progress rather than forwards like the rest of the world (although some would argue that isn't the case now). So far in 2018, we've had vegans being spiked, maggots in people's chicken and even learned that some restaurants are rife with sexual misconduct.
Just when we think people have learnt their lesson, another person shows up, just as naive as the last one. This time, it comes from a place where it's believed there's no foul play at all: New Zealand.
An Asian fusion restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand, has come under fire this week for its menu, which many are calling racist and misogynistic. This isn't at all helped by the fact that the restaurant serves mediocre food.
Named Bamboozle, this establishment couldn't be more appropriately named. The menu includes items described in 'Engrish', such as "Chirri garrik an prawn dumpring," "Ho lee kok," "Tay's velly special Penang style plawn and chicken culli" and "suk sum teet."
The adolescent boy humor continues throughout the menu, heavily misappropriating the Asian culture's inability to pronounce words with "r" and "l" (letters and sounds that don't appear much in a lot of those cultures). To mock them shows a lot of ignorance and immaturity. Does anyone over the age of 13 find this funny?
Plates called "me luff u long time phat Thai" also show a lack of consideration for women, and celebrates colonialism in a similar fashion to a restaurant in South Africa not too long ago. The Asian fusion restaurant is owned by local chef and restauranteur, Phillip Kraal, who has previously made other comments that people have found offensive.
According to a local newspaper, in 2009 Kraal described a chicken, brie and sweetcorn pie from another of his restaurants as "slightly gay, I know, but oh so tasty." Last month he was also forced to take down advertisements for his bar, which claimed that gin is a "natural remedy for kidney and liver disease," after Kiwi authorities decided he had gone too far in trying to promote the recently discovered health benefits of gin.
People online were furious. @alicegalletly said: "Ho lee phuk, the menu for Bamboozle restaurant in Chch is some super juvenile racist trash!" @chrisjtse wrote: "This makes me so mad. There’s no racism in NZ? I beg to fucking differ", while Kale Pagan on Facebook says:"Christchurch is big into casual racism, when I left it was harder to make friends because of my learned "funny racism."
On top of this, a restaurant reviewer revealed that the kitchen staff is completely Asian. I can't imagine they feel comfortable at all with this. In response to the backlash, Kraal told local news:
"Pretty much everyone [sic] of our customers enjoys the written menu as part of their overall experience and often express disappointment when items are removed with seasonal menu changes. But we appreciate the feedback and are actively considering it."
A reviewer rated the drinks and ambience considerably high, but it's going to take a bit more to convince myself and a lot of internet users to go in the wake of all this.