Bamboozle: NZ restaurant’s ‘racist menu’ sparks anger

Bamboozle's menuImage copyright Bamboozle
Image caption The owner of the restaurant has called the menu “part of the experience”.

A New Zealand restaurant has been accused of using mocking racial clichés on its menu.

Asian fusion restaurant Bamboozle in Christchurch features dishes with the names “Chirri Garrik an Prawn Dumpring” and “Ho Lee Kok”.

The restaurant has operated with the menu for two years, local reports said, but a picture was posted to Twitter by a social media user this week.

The restaurant said customers enjoyed the names as “part of the experience”.

Some of the other dishes on the menu include “Eja Ku Rait” and “Tay’s Velly Special Penang Style Seafood”, a reference to how some Chinese speakers are seen to mix up the pronunciation of the letters L and R.

Alice Galletly first commented on the menu with a picture on Monday.

Some were outraged by the menu, calling the choice of dish names “shameful”.

“This makes me so mad. There’s no racism in NZ? I beg to… differ” said social media user Chris Tse on Twitter.

Some even took to leaving negative reviews of the restaurant on its Google page.

Image copyright Google

However, there were others that said the menu was “hilarious”.

In response to John Girvan, Twitter user Julian Liew-Young said: “One Chinese person not finding it offensive doesn’t mean it’s ok. I guarantee you the majority of Asians in New Zealand don’t see this as funny.”

He went on to add: “You find it funny because you haven’t been taunted like this for your whole life. It’s not funny. It’s just basic.”

But restaurant owner Philip Kraal defended his menu in an interview with the NZ Herald.

“Pretty much everyone [sic] of our customers enjoys the written menu as part of their overall experience,” he said.

However, Mr Kraal said they “appreciate the feedback and are actively considering it”.

When contacted by the BBC, a staff member from Bamboozle said they were “not available for comment”.

In response to the outcry, New Zealand’s race relations commissioner told Stuff news website that Kiwis on social media say they won’t be 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,” Dame Susan Devoy said.

This is not the first time Mr Kraal has found himself in trouble over the choice of language used in his menus.

In 2009, his restaurant Crumpet Club came under fire for a chicken, brie and sweetcorn pie that was described as “slightly gay, I know, but oh so tasty”.

The description of the pie was later removed from the menu after a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

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