Recently, a Chinese student who ordered cooked sushi in one of the most popular sushi bars in Japan got a tongue lashing from Chinese netizens. Sukibayashi Jiro is probably the most famous sushi bar in the whole world. The restaurant recently created it’s own documentary by the name “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” In addition to that, President Obama praised the restaurant for the bite-sized delicacies that were prepared by the ultimate legendary sushi master, Jiro Ono.
Even with all these accolades, it looks like even the world’s best sushi can’t satisfy everyone. For instance, a Chinese student who was studying in Japan recently wrote about her experience at the famous sushi bar. She complained that the food was terrible and explained how she got herself into a heated argument with the staff at the sushi bar. She probably thought that the argument with the restaurant staff would compel her fellow countrymen to join the argument and laugh along with her, but that was the complete opposite of what they did.
Instead, she got a tongue lashing from her Chinese counterparts who also told her that she was a disgrace to their country. Why do you think the Chinese netizens were so pissed?
Actually, the truth is that the three-star Michelin-rated Sukibayashi Jiro is renowned worldwide for their amazing sushi, but their service is not as good as you might expect. In fact, there were several reviews about the poor quality of service offered by master Jiro and his team towards foreign customers. Some of the reviews suggested that foreigners should be accompanied by someone who speaks Japanese when going to the sushi bar since the staff speak very little English.
It was reported that Lin and her four friends, who were all Chinese, turned up late at the restaurant in Roppongi, which was managed by Master Jiro’s son, Takashi. Despite being over 40 minutes late, Lin and her friends did not apologize. In fact, they claimed that they were too rushed.
What happened next is probably what led to the heated argument. One of Lin’s friends tried to open one of the common lockers that was within the restaurant. The locker also had other patron’s belongings inside. The friend wanted to retrieve her wallet without asking for help or permission from the staff to open it. Apparently, she was rebuked for what she was trying to do and that’s when both parties became irritated.
But wait… the trouble didn’t end there. Two of Lin’s friends couldn’t digest raw food. Everyone knows that a majority of sushi toppings are raw seafood. Lin’s friend found it difficult to swallow the Japanese delicacy, so they went to another restaurant to eat. The remaining three friends cancelled all the items that were on their pre-ordered course and asked the staff to switch to “cooked sushi” to go instead.
After the unusual request, the sushi master said, “Is sushi served cooked in your country? If you can’t handle raw food, then you should have informed us when you made the reservation!” Lin fought back and said, “Who knew! I didn’t make the reservation!” Chuhan Lin had expressed her outrage in one of her posts asking readers, “If we were Abe! If we were Obama! Would he dare show such an attitude?”
After her rage rant on Weibo, things escalated pretty quickly. Netizens started lashing out at Lin and called her a “national disgrace.” Not long after that, she took down her post due to all the harsh comments that she received from readers.
A picture of Chuhan Lin’s follow-up posts.
On April 27, Lin posted an update on Weibo to answer several questions from netizens. She said that she only went to the sushi bar because it was part of her job and not because she wanted to. She admitted that it as wrong for arrive 40 minutes late and not to apologize to the staff. She also said that the request to change their sushi into “cooked sushi” was an attempt to minimize food wastage. She didn’t expect her request to make things worse. She also admitted that the reason why she deleted her rant post was because “the whole world was scolding her.”
After reading through all the comments and responses on her previous post, she decided to visit the sushi bar in Roppongi again to apologize to the staff for her earlier behavior.
She also mentioned that the sushi master had explained to her that they prepare every ingredient according to the number of guests they are expecting to eat at their sushi bar to ensure that every person who goes to diner at the sushi bar enjoys the freshest delicacies. Not long after that, the management saw that there were huge cultural differences and the sushi master finally understood Lin’s circumstances. He smiled at her and kindly told her to visit them again when she acquires a taste for sushi.
Other countries may not have the same cultural habits as your country, so there will always be some cultural differences. But, it wouldn’t hurt to do some research before visiting other countries. Researching about other countries before you visit them will ensure that you won’t get into a mess like this one…