16/11/2017 11:26 SAST | Updated 16/11/2017 11:32 SAST

Naming A Restaurant 'Misohawni' Was A 'Mishap' -- Like WTF?

A mishap is spilling coffee on your white shirt while you're driving to work.


A Johannesburg restaurant has decided to change its offensive name –– following social media backlash.

Earlier this month, Ryan Vermaak and his business partner, Fabio di Cosmo, opened Misohawni -- an Asian-style restaurant in Melville.

Except that "Misohawni" is a term used to sexually harass Asian women.

Dakota Kim -- a US restaurant owner and an Asian woman, who was one of the first people to bring this issue to light, succinctly explained in a series of tweets why the use of this name was problematic:

In an earlier response, Vermaak told Jacaranda FM that there was no inspiration behind the name. "It's just a name. Some people like it, some people won't. You can't please everybody."


"Names, like words, matter –– and in this case, two glaring things are bought to our attention: the lack of cultural sensitivity, and the lack of research or laziness that is condoned somehow..." said local food and culture journalist, Ishay Govender-Ypma, speaking to Food24.

The co-owners have since changed their tune.

Through a statement released on their Facebook page on Wednesday, the duo apologised for the "naming mishap" and admitted that they "fell back on an ingrained stereotype that we clearly did not understand".

"Naming mishap" -- again, seriously?

Here are a few examples of mishaps:

1. A mishap is when you spill coffee on your white shirt.

2. A mishap is when a condom breaks during sex.

3. A mishap is when a fish bone gets stuck in your throat during dinner with a potential.

4. A mishap is when you put salt in your tea, instead of sugar.

5. A mishap is when the pants you forced on this morning split.

Perhaps the owners can chew on that.