Trying new cuisines is an absolute delight for our taste buds! No wonder we Indians are open to trying every possible cuisine out there. But, Sakura Ryokan – a Japanese restaurant in Ahmedabad is now denying Indians the pleasure of eating authentic Japenese food here in India!
Yes! The restaurant has banned all the Indians from entering Sakura Ryokan restaurant by declaring it ‘Only for Japanese’. The restaurant is located inside Gokuldham Bungalows at Sanand road of Ahmedabad. While the restaurant has been kept out of the league of Indians, it is managed completely by Indians. Speaking of the irony, huh?
Sakura Ryokan is a two-year-old joint which was opened for everyone but then just two months ago they sized it down to ‘Japanese Only’. Their current staff includes Mr. Bhupinder Singh who is a manager at the restaurant and women staff from Nagaland. He explained that “We had initially allowed Indians to dine too but, two months ago some men from the city had come for a meal and they kept staring at the Japanese lady clients. They also said something distasteful. I get my clients from various Japanese companies and I cannot afford to lose them. So I decided to keep Indians out”. A waitress too expressed her difficulties and uneasiness when Indian men pass absurd comments and keep staring at her.
Dr. Mohak Mehta (a member of Foodaholics in Ahmedabad Facebook Group), upon knowing about this partiality, called the joint and said that he was planning a visit but he has been told that Indians were not allowed at the joint. The manager Bhupinder Singh, on the other side of the call replied “We were open to Indians before, but Indians are big-time eave-teasers and we have female waitresses. So we have banned them.”. They believe that Indian customers often misbehave and make the foreign customers very uncomfortable. Upon further conversation, Bhupinder also told “Indians do incessant eve-teasing when allowed. That’s why we have banned them. Tell me Sir, why are MNCs not hiring even 10% locals? Because Indians are lazy, useless and prone to union-making. They never want to work. Same is their mentality with regards to being presentable. That is why we plan on banning them for foreseeable future.”. Dr. Mohak was taken aback by Bhupinder’s reply and told him he couldn’t believe what he just heard from the manager. Bhupinder further said he stood by his views and apart from him the policy was decided by senior management too.
Another member of Foodaholics in Ahmedabad Facebook Group happened to visit the restaurant. Initially, he was denied entry to the place but when he arrived there with few Japanese delegates, he was offered a table right away!
An advocate said “According to the Shops and Establishments Act, it does not matter whether a restaurant is run from a public property or a private one. They cannot refuse entry to people of particular nationalities. If a restaurant caters to Japanese who do not live in the guest house but can walk in, then anyone should be allowed the same
This is not the first restaurant in India to take such extreme actions. Uno-In Hotel in Bengaluru too was exclusively for Japanese people. However, it was shut down in 2014 by city corporation on grounds of racial discrimination. Free Kasol Cafe, Kasol is an Israeli cafe which still denies entry to Indians.