The restaurant admitted to adding copious amounts of wasabi into foreign customers' food
A Japanese sushi chain in Tokyo is being accused of “wasabi terrorism” after it admitted to adding copious amounts of wasabi into unsuspecting foreigners’ food.
Ichibazushi based in Osaka issued an apology on its website but denied that there was any discrimination involved.
“We apologize for causing trouble on the internet about our services for customers,” Fujii Shokuhin Co. said in a statement on its website.
The restaurant insisted that the excess wasabi added to the sushi was in response to foreign-born patrons ordering extra portions of the pungent root. However, it did acknowledge that its chefs had hidden excess amounts of wasabi to unsuspecting customers’ food – sometimes twice as much as usual.
“Because many of our overseas customers frequently order extra amounts of pickled ginger and wasabi, we gave them more without checking first,” the chain’s operator said, “the result was unpleasant for some guests who aren’t fans of wasabi.”
The number of incidents has not been reported.
The apology came after social media users complained of “wasabi terrorism” and racism towards foreigners, especially Koreans. The Daily Caller reports of one netizen saying, “Wasabi terror’: apparently some sushi restaurants in Osaka have been trolling Korean tourists by adding extra wasabi to their orders. Racial harassment? Osaka sushi restaurant serves Korean tourists with inedible amounts of #wasabi between fish and rice.”
Twitter users such as sakeuchi317 did not accept the restaurant’s apology, “that is no apology; it’s an excuse. What they did was a hate crime.”