A sushi restaurant in Osaka, Japan, is in hot water over giving out extra wasabi to foreign guests.
Rocket News reports that an outlet of the Ichibazushi restaurant chain, located in Osaka’s Namba District, has been getting a lot of negative attention lately, especially online. Foreigners, many from South Korea, who’ve visited this restaurant and ordered the sushi, complain that they are getting nearly twice as much wasabi as Japanese guests on a regular basis.
Many took their complaints to Twitter, showcasing pictures of the wasabi offense. For those of us who can’t read the script, I think the picture speaks for itself. Way too much of that nose-stinging, eye-watering, spicy green wasabi.
Following all of this criticism, Fujii Shokuhin Co., operator of the restaurant chain, made a public statement to dispel rumors of racism and anti-Korean sentiments. According to The Japan Times, the gist of that statement was that yes, workers were a little too liberal with the wasabi, but no, there was no racism behind these actions.
“There was no discriminatory intent involved here,” the statement reads.
Wasabi was simply added by chefs of their own accord, and so any additional wasabi was through over-generosity based on what they thought customers might like. Of course, this didn’t go over all that well, as you can probably imagine. Again, criticism came in the form of Twitter, and also in the form of harsh reviews via TripAdvisor and Google.
Fujii Shokuhin, however, says it will take measures to ensure that this kind of thing stops happening, and that employees will be put through a training program to teach better service. As angry as everyone is, Japanese observers included, it’s likely this will take a while to blow over.