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Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in NYC criticized for offering smaller portions to women

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Sushi Noz, a two-star Michelin restaurant in New York City, has gone viral after a negative review on TikTok criticized it for offering smaller portions to female patrons.

The negative review: The video review by Luis Carlos Zaragoza criticized the restaurant for the practice despite it charging the same price of $700 per person for the omakase service. Zaragoza also noted his dislike in the restaurant’s chosen wine pairing, the courses’ “awkward” arrival times and the chef’s alleged rude behavior and food waste

“They recently just got an additional Michelin star so now they have two, but believe it or not, our experience here for the first time since having two stars was actually the most negative one,” the diner, who has eaten at the restaurant six times, said in his video. “Unfortunately, Sushi Noz is definitely not worth the special trip it once was.”

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Online reactions: The video, which was uploaded on Feb. 20, has since garnered over 7 million views and more than 700,000 likes. It received mixed reactions, with some viewers condemning the perceived sexism and others defending the omakase tradition, where women customers are given smaller portions supposedly “to complement their hand sizes,” according to Eater

“SMALLER PORTIONS?? There’s actually no way. How can they even do that?! Especially for the price?? What the heck?” one TikTok user wrote in the most-liked comment on the video.

“That part about the smaller portions for women BOILS MY BLOOD!” another commented. “Forced portion control in this day in age is actually insane and this is straight up sexism, especially as the price is the same as for.”

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“Did he miss understood what omakase means?” one person countered.

“It’s a tradition get over it,” another chimed in.

The restaurant’s defense: In a statement sent to Today, a spokesperson for Sushi Noz said that smaller rice portions are offered to first-time guests to ensure they can enjoy the entire meal comfortably without becoming too full. They also emphasized that any misunderstandings were unintended.

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“In a traditional Japanese restaurant like ours, cultural and language barriers naturally lead to misunderstandings from time to time — that being said, this is the first time in six years that we’ve heard of these actions interpreted this way, which couldn’t have been further from the chef’s intentions,” the statement read. 

Cultural misunderstandings: It is unknown whether the negative experience was a standalone incident or a common experience for other diners at Sushi Noz in New York City. However, the incident highlights broader issues of gender discrimination and cultural misunderstandings in the culinary world, sparking discussions on outdated traditions and the importance of respecting individual preferences. 

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