"There are very few American-Chinese places as mindful about the quality of ingredients as we are"

Eater reports that a restaurant in New York that offered “clean Chinese food” is closing down under one year after opening.

In April, nutritionist Arielle Haspel opened Lucky Lee – a restaurant that she claimed is for  “people who love to eat Chinese food and love the benefit that it will actually make them feel good.”

According to the nutritionist, not many Chinese restaurants in New York care about the quality of ingredients compared to her restaurant.

“There are very few American-Chinese places as mindful about the quality of ingredients as we are,” she said. “We’re excited to offer it to people who want this type of food, and it can make them feel good and they can workout after and they can feel focused after and it will add to their health.”

Her comments and her restaurant itself attracted controversy with social media users calling her out for racism. Critics claimed she was perpetuating racist stereotypes of Chinese food and restaurants.

Some slammed the restauranteur for profiting from Chinese culture whilst degrading it at the same time. Others took issue with the name of the restaurant, which sounded Chinese but was in fact the name of Haspel’s white husband.

Haspel had made efforts in amending her slip-ups and said “shame on us for not being smarter about cultural sensitivities.”

On Friday, the restaurant announced on Instagram that it will be shutting down.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are shutting down our woks and ovens tonight,” the post read. “We have truly loved feeding and entertaining you and your families. We are very proud of our food and the space we created, but a lot needs to come together to make a restaurant work in New York City and we wish it could have succeeded as we hoped.”

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It is with a heavy heart that we are shutting down our woks and ovens tonight. We have truly loved feeding and entertaining you and your families. We are very proud of our food and the space we created, but a lot needs to come together to make a restaurant work in New York City and we wish it could have succeeded as we hoped. Thank you to our talented employees who cooked with love and enthusiasm daily. Thank you to you, our amazing customers and neighbors who dined with us and ordered delivery week after week. Thank you also to all who partnered with us to help make our vision a reality. We feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to serve you. While we are heartbroken to say goodbye to Lucky Lee’s, we know that the future still looks bright and delicious. Happy and healthy holidays to all of you. #bewell #luckyleesnyc

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