“It wasn’t a long interaction. I didn’t expect his response"
The owner of a popular Indian restaurant has spoken out after being subjected to racist abuse by someone who posed as a customer.
Abu Raihan, who runs Akbar the Great in Darlington, received a phone call from someone who claimed to have dined at the restaurant the evening before and was served lamb chops that were not cooked properly.
The caller demanded compensation.
Abu, who runs the restaurant alongside his head chef father Abdul Mannan, then politely explained that they do not serve lamb chops at the restaurant.
The caller then told Abu: “You’re lying to me, f**k off back to where you came from.”
Abu asked: “Back to where I came from? Do you mean Bradford, where my family home is? Darlington, where my business is? Or Harrogate, where I was born?”
The caller then swore at Abu again before putting the phone down.
Abu explained: “He first accused me of lying, I said why would I lie about something we don’t do? He told me to eff off and go back to where I came from.
“I knew what he meant but I diverted it another way so I asked him if he meant Bradford, Darlington or Harrogate and then he got frustrated by my reply and he just said eff off and put the phone down.
“It wasn’t a long interaction. I didn’t expect his response and he didn’t expect my response.
“I didn’t expect him to say something like that in this day and age but there are still some people around with that mentality.
“I was a bit shocked when he said it and I thought I can either get angry and swear or I can explain to him in a nice way and that annoyed him more.
“I’m sure this has happened at other places as well.”
“I was born in England and have lived here for the past 32 years. I am British and proud to be.”
Abu is now trying to put the racist phone call behind him as he looks toward the English Curry Awards, where his restaurant has been nominated for a ‘Restaurant of the Year’ award.
The event will take place in Birmingham at the end of August 2022.
Speaking directly to the caller, Abu said:
“Change your mentality, we are in 2022 now in a multi-cultural society.”