A restaurant in Melville, Gauteng, South Africa, has been gaining worldwide attention for its tactless name concocted by its non-Asian owners — Misohawni.
Lauded by South African food journalist Marie-Lais Emond as a “cheekily named spot”, the restaurant, founded by Ryan Vermaak and Fabio di Cosmo, boasts bespoke ramen, Korean BBQ, poké, and izakaya dishes all under one roof.
The phrase comes from the movie “Full Metal Jacket”, Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 movie depicting an American platoon in the Vietnam War. In one scene, a Vietnamese woman approaches two soldiers and tries to solicit sex in exchange for fifteen dollars, saying things like “me so horny” and “me love you long time”.
The phrases are familiar to Asian women, who have been the recipients of sexual harassment aimed specifically at them due to their race/gender combination. It should therefore come as no surprise that netizens were less than thrilled with the restaurant’s name, calling it racist and misogynistic.
A new ‘Asian’ restaurant opening in Joburg, owned by non Asians. It covers 3 different cultures: 1.ramen (Japanese), 2.poke (Hawaiian) & 3.Korean BBQ. As an Asian woman, I really hate the name. It might seem funny but when men say it while they sexually harass you it’s not. pic.twitter.com/gAVDiSKFah
— Ming Chows 林明巧 (@mingcheau) November 14, 2017
disgusted but not surprised in the least pic.twitter.com/Tbpq6qnASY
— lindy (@Lindyyay) November 14, 2017
I saw this account on IG a few weeks ago. White guys profiting off culture they probably know nothing about pic.twitter.com/4m40qTwHOp
— Wisaal (@WISAAL__) November 14, 2017
People from all over the world took to the restaurant’s FaceBook page to voice their disappointment in its name, some even giving it a one star rating in their frustration.
What do you think? Do you agree with netizens everywhere, or is this an acceptable name? Let us know in the comments.