After a social media backlash about their poor name choice of their restaurant, Ryan Vermaak and Fabio Di Cosmo have apologised and will take "immediate steps to rectify the issue."
The restaurant's Facebook page profile image has since been updated with a new logo, alluding that the new name might be Miso.
#Misohawni is a phrase that originates from the cult classic 'Full Metal Jacket' by Stanley Kubrick.
In the midst of the Vietnam war, a scene plays out where a Vietnamese woman chats to two soldiers, soliciting sex in exchange for money and uses the phrases: "me so horny” and “me love you long time".
It's the name Vermaak and Di Cosmo initially decided to call their Melville, Johannesburg restaurant.
In a statement posted on Facebook the co-owners say: “Let us start by saying that this was never our intention and we are truly and deeply sorry for any hurt that we may have caused.”
Vermaak says: “Opening an Asian fusion restaurant has been a dream of ours for many years and this came from a place of us being inspired by the food and wanting to celebrate Asian culture and not to mock it.”
He adds: “In our enthusiasm to open the restaurant however we fully admit that we showed serious lack of expertise and understanding when it came to the name and fell back on an ingrained stereotype that we clearly did not understand - and for that we are sorry.”
Vermaak says they will go back to the drawing board and re-name their restaurant.
“We have taken heed of what the public are saying and it is important that we take it seriously, with this in mind we are currently in the process of a rename to ensure we can give the people of JHB a place to enjoy regionally inspired Asian Cuisine,” he says.
He adds: “We are happy to engage with the community, and anyone who we have impacted, with the intention of opening dialogue with them, because while we’ve learned from this experience we believe that there is always an opportunity to learn more.”
Vermaak and Di Cosmo have been working in the entertainment industry for 15 years in which they have strived to create spaces and experiences that are safe and inclusive for women and people of all races.
Vermaak also says: “Our intention with our restaurant was always and still is, to do the same.”
Social media is still discussing #MiSoHawni
I know there are more important things going on than the #misohawni debacle but it really is quite annoying when your neighbourhood goes globally viral because of some font-crazy dudesbros.
On the misohawni page, their apology statement. I’m so shook, I’m fuming.
Two guys name their new Asian fusion restaurant "MisoHawni", and then apologise claiming ignorance after getting social media attention they couldn't have paid for. I call #bullshit!