Jade Sixty is a New York steakhouse that opened on Tuesday on the Upper East Side, but for a restaurant “inspired by Asia” someone sure forgot to read up on the do’s and don’ts of using chopsticks.
In a New York Times “Off The Menu” column, originally titled “New York Steakhouse Inspired by Asia Opens on Upper East Side,” Jade Sixty was described as serving “nine cuts of beef, surf & turf, whole chicken and seafood platters,” while also offering a menu inspired by Asia, including soup dumplings, chicken yakitori, spring rolls, and sushi specialties.
The column featured a photo, taken by photographer Sasha Maslov for the New York Times, showing a table at the 175-seat restaurant full of dim sum, beef and broccoli, and smack dab in the middle was an uncut steak.
The newspaper has since taken down the photo with the caption, “Some of the offerings at Jade Sixty, part steakhouse and part Asian, on the Upper East Side,” and changed the headline to exclude the word “Asian.”
But what set Twitter users off was the placement of the chopsticks stuck beneath the meat in the first photo.
“Was that chopsticks placement also ‘inspired by asia,’”Wilfred Chan, social editor at Splinter, first tweeted.
“That is very weird. Looks like laparoscopes and not chopsticks. WHO DOES THAT,” one user replied.
“Asians stick chopsticks under steaks as levers to catapult the meat into their mouths. Tres traditional,” another joked.
Netizens on Facebook pointed out that the photographer was at fault for not looking up basic chopsticks etiquette.
“Photographer Sasha need to make good on this photo and re do it again,” one commenter wrote.
“I guess no Asians were involved with this photoshoot. The way the chopsticks are placed are a total disrespect. Get some diversity in your photoshoots and get it done culturally correct. This such a huge disgrace. Piss poor photoshoot.”
Placing your chopsticks in the shape of a V on the table is considered to be a bad omen in Vietnamese culture, according to Gizmodo; additionally, placing your chopsticks straight up in a dish (commonly rice) is taboo in Japanese and Chinese cultures, among others, as that is how food is offered to the dead.
This wouldn’t be the first time New York Times has come under fire for its lack of knowledge about Asian food; earlier this year, the publication famously “discovered” boba, hastily revising their article several times before finally apologizing.
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