The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, said that Shi Shi Restaurant, operated by Chinese in Ikeja, is not racist as claimed by many Twitter users.
Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
The restaurant was accused of racism by a journalist who claimed he had been turned back, along with his friends, for being blacks. He said the guard had boldly explained to them that only Chinese were allowed.
However, Ayorinde said officers sent to the restaurant reported that they were allowed in and served what they requested. He explained that the officers, sent undercover, took photographs without being noticed.
“The two officers who went there on Monday did so incognito and found the allegations to be false. The officers were served without any questions or discrimination. They also took photographs without being noticed.
“Our officers also observed that the restaurant had a number of Nigerians working inside there and did similarly observe that pepper soup, a Nigerian delicacy is also on the menu. More, importantly, the restaurant has been registered with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture since 2016 as required by law,” the statement read.
A director of the company, Niyi Adegbite, told The Punch that the restaurant has two sections, Hot Pot and the popular area.
He explained that while the popular area was open to the public, the Hot Pot was reserved only for Chinese because it afforded them the opportunity to cook for themselves.
“The restaurant is divided into two sections. There is one open to the public and there is one called Hot Pot. The Hot Pot is where you enter and cook on your own. All the ingredients are made available. But it’s only for Chinese nationals. Maybe it’s this one that some people tried entering and were disallowed and is now causing the outcry.”