New Zealand restaurant accused of exploiting racial stereotypes on menu

By Sara Shayanian  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 9:58 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A New Zealand restaurant is facing backlash for its Asian fusion menu that some say mocks racial stereotypes and cliches.

The restaurant Bamboozle, located in Christchurch, features dishes called "Chirri Garrik an Prawn Dumpring," "Eja Ku Rait" and "Tay's Velly Special Penang Style Seafood" -- a reference to a stereotype in which Asian speakers mix the letters L and R in pronunciation.

Bamboozle has been open for two years -- but a picture posted online recently by a customer has drawn new criticism to the eatery.

Alastair Paulin, a restaurant reviewer, said the menu uses "racist, sexist language."

"As I read the menu, I wondered how the all-Asian kitchen staff on view feel about their dishes being described as 'velly special,'" Paulin said.

"We get it, some Asians struggle to pronounce 'r' and 'l', but does anyone over the age of 13 find that funny?"

Bamboozle owner Phillip Kraal said his customers don't seem to be offended by the tongue-in-cheek menu.

"Pretty much everyone of our customers enjoys the written menu as part of their overall experience," he said.

Kraal added, though, that he appreciates the new feedback and is "actively considering it."

"I don't think this kind of dismissal as being overly politically correct is helpful. The criticism should be levied at people who do that," Dave Bromwich, the president of the Chinese Friendship Society, said.

"These people haven't moved forward enough to appreciate the value of New Zealand's society in 2018. It's something the majority of New Zealanders have overcome."

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