An Indian restaurateur has weighed in on the controversy raging over so-called racist restaurant names. Have your say, take our poll.
An Indian restaurateur has weighed in on the controversy raging over so-called racist restaurant names. Have your say, take our poll.

‘Curry Muncher’ cafe owner hits back over racist claims

A Gold Coast Indian restaurateur has weighed in on the controversy raging over so-called racist restaurant names, saying she's proud of her eatery - Curry Muncher.

Anita Kumar, who has operated Curry Muncher restaurants on the Glitter Strip for more than two decades, hit back at critics who are calling out the alleged racism.

Queensland restaurants including Sum Yung Guys on the Sunshine Coast, which is co-owned by Masterchef runner-up Matt Sinclair, and Margarita Cartel on the Gold Coast copped a roasting in a recent article on "problematic" names in foodie bible Gourmet Traveller.

"It's not the Sum Yung Guys name alone that offends," the article states.

"In multiple iterations, the Sum Yung Guys logo is presented in wonton font - fun and

vibrant colourways with the same Orientalist messaging.

Signage at Sum Yung Guys restaurant at Sunshine Beach.
Signage at Sum Yung Guys restaurant at Sunshine Beach.

 

"It homogenises and flattens Asia's 40-plus countries and cultures into a kitsch two-dimensional tableau.

"It's lazy. It's mediocre. It's a neo-colonial act of erasure."

The article also pans the Margarita Cartel, saying such names were 'insensitive … because of the stereotypes and racism they perpetuate'.

Indian-born Mrs Kumar, who has a masters degree from Delhi University, said she could not understand the fuss.

She saw "no problem" with calling her restaurant Curry Muncher, despite the term sometimes being used in a derogatory way to describe Indians.

 

Raj Kumar, Anita Kumar and tandoori chef Nirbhai Singh from The Curry Muncher, Paradise Point.
Raj Kumar, Anita Kumar and tandoori chef Nirbhai Singh from The Curry Muncher, Paradise Point.

 

"A few people might have a problem with it but not many," she said.

"We see it as a bit of fun. Curry is a food and to munch is to eat. It's not an issue for us.

"We've had Curry Muncher restaurants for 21 years and we're proud of the name.

"We just focus on serving good Indian cuisine to our many happy customers."

The Sum Yung Guys owners say they have no plans to change their name or decor despite the controversy.

"We don't want to change what we do because the line with this woke culture keeps changing … we might be in trouble with having guys in the name next," co-owner Jeremiah Jones said.

Originally published as 'Curry Muncher' cafe owner hits back over racist claims


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