Gordon Ramsay’s upcoming London restaurant Lucky Cat has been steeped in controversy since plans for the eatery were announced — first for its concept and head chef, then for Ramsay’s response to a reviewer’s gripes about Lucky Cat’s preview event in mid-April.
Now, only weeks after the latter incident, one of the restaurant’s cocktails is causing a stir.
Over the last few days, a signature drink dubbed “White Geisha” has received negative feedback on Twitter, with one user calling it “out of touch” while another claims it “sums up Gordon Ramsay’s bulls--- ‘Asian eating house’ and everything that is wrong about it.”
Ramsay’s Lucky Cat had originally tweeted about its White Geisha cocktail back in March, but criticism over the drink appeared to begin garnering backlash after it was retweeted by author Nancy Wang Yuen, who blasted Ramsay on Monday for contributing to the “literal consumption of exoticized/objectified/sexualized idealization of Asian women.”
Responses to the Yuen’s tweet called the cocktail tacky, racist and sexist.
Lucky Cat’s original tweet also began to get an entirely new slew of responses from critics, some of whom blasted Ramsay himself (although at least one said the drink “looks amazing.”)
A representative for Ramsay’s restaurant group was not immediately available to comment on the backlash, or whether the drink will be listed on the menu when Lucky Cat officially opens in London’s Mayfair district in June.
Lucky Cat had previously come under scrutiny after plans were announced for the “authentic Asian eating house” and the announcement of a non-Asian head chef in February. And in mid-March, writer and restaurant reviewer Angela Hui covered a preview event for Eater London, during which she allegedly took the restaurant to task on Instagram over the authenticity of the concept as well as the food.
Ramsay responded to Hui directly, writing, in part, “Gordon Ramsay Restaurants do not discriminate based on gender, race or beliefs and we don’t expect anyone else to. I may not agree with all reviews, but if someone is going to be critical, then I expect them to be professional and have some integrity.”