Two separate food outlets have come under fire in recent weeks, both being accused of having racist names for food items.
Bamboozle, a popular Christchurch Asian fusion eatery run by Phillip Kraal, was criticised on social media for including items on their menu such as “Ho Lee Kok” and “Chirri Garrik An Prawn Dumpring,” a phonetic spelling of a stereotypical Asian accent.
“Pretty much every one 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,” said Kraal, adamant that the restaurant would not change the menu and boasting that they had seen record crowds since the issue was first raised.
Less than a week later, a Ponsonby Central food truck Blitzd was accused of racism the day after it opened for a smoothie bowl named ‘Ghetto Girl’. “Ghetto is linked to things like poverty, and people living in low socioeconomic areas in New Zealand are primarily people of Maori and Pacific Island descent and we do have brown skin,” said a complainant, noting that it didn’t seem like a coincidence that it was the only chocolate smoothie on the menu. Owner Maddie Brogan quickly apologised and changed the name to ‘Go Girl’.
“We’ve plenty of world class restaurants in New Zealand, there’s nothing world class about using racial stereotypes to sell food,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said. “Kiwis are already taking to social media to say they won’t be going to places where racial tropes are on the menu or shelf.”