The original email, sent out on 21 January and first flagged by Hot Dinners, was intended to promote the group’s upcoming Chinatown-based noodle restaurant Yiu Fat Noodle by referencing this weekend’s Chinese New Year celebrations, which in 2020 is the Year of the Rat.
The email read: “In order to pay our respects to the cosmic rodent, we have lovingly prepared an array of delightful dishes - selected especially from our brand new menu for Yiu Fat Noodle, which will be opening up in China Town this year. There will be a special guest DJ behind the wheels of steel to keep the party moving along as it should and unlike many China Town restaurants, we intend to celebrate the rat, not catch it, kill it and mix it into a bowl of steaming noodles!”
It took until late yesterday (22 January) afternoon for the group to send a follow-up email, which apologised to readers for the slur.
“We want to apologise if we caused offense to anyone in our newsletter yesterday, this truly wasn’t our intention,” it said.
“We pride ourselves at Pachamama Group for having a diverse and fun loving team, with our two founders being from Central Asia themselves and diversity being at the core of our business. We have many friends and neighbours in China Town and eat there regularly. We would be heartbroken to think that we offended anyone. Our newsletter tends to be fairly tongue in cheek, but looking back we can understand how this might have not come across as intended and we can only apologise deeply.”
Pachamama, whose portfolio includes Peruvian-inspired London restaurants Pachamama, Chicama and Pachamama East, originally announced the opening of Yiu Fat Noodle back in 2018, with the restaurant expected to open in Newport Place later this year.