Restaurant under fire for 'racist' menu

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An Asian Fusion Restaurant in New Zealand has been criticized for a menu that is not exactly racially sensitive. Bamboozle in Christchurch offers dishes with mocking names such as "Ho Lee Kok".

"Chirri Garrik an Prawn Dumpring" features on the menu

İmargouillat/123RF

According to local reports, the menu has operated for two years, but a photo was only posted on Twitter this week.

The restaurant owner, Philip Kraal, insisted that "Pretty much everyone [sic] of our customers enjoys the written menu as part of their overall experience,? but that they ?appreciate the feedback and are actively considering it."

Other dishes on the menu include "Eja Ku Rait" and "Tay's Velly Special Penang Style Seafood," referring to the way that Chinese speakers have a tendency to mix their Ls and Rs.

A photo of the menu was originally published on Twitter by Alice Galletly, prompting a stream of outrage calling the dish names "shameful" and asking "how the hell could they possibly think it was appropriate?? "There's no racism in NZ? I beg to? differ," commented Twitter user Chris Tse.

Others took a different stance, saying that critics had "no sense of humor." John Grivan commented that "I have a Chinese work colleague sitting right next to me, he thinks it's funny and not the least bit offensive."

New Zealand's race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy told Stuff news website that Kiwis on social media have said that they will avoid going to places where racial tropes are on the menu. "We've plenty of world class restaurants in New Zealand, there's nothing world class about using racial stereotypes to sell food," she said.

Mr. Kraal has previously come up against criticism over his menus' choice of language. His restaurant Crumpet Club caused a stir with its chicken, brie and sweetcorn pie that was described as "slightly gay, I know, but oh so tasty." Following a complaint from the Human Rights Commission, the description of the pie was subsequently removed.

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Chris Sargent
Posted on 12/01/2018
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