At Gyotaku, a Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong, business is bad and money is tight. But that didn’t stop owner John Liang from splurging on a new tool last week: a Geiger counter, for 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (about US$1,300).
Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami set off Japan’s nuclear crisis, many diners in Hong Kong have steered clear of sushi restaurants for fear of radiation poisoning from food, particularly fish, that’s come from Japan. As business spirals down, some Hong Kong eateries have chosen to stay the course and use fish from Japan. But others have switched to suppliers from other countries — or turned creative.
Hence Mr. Liang’s hand-held radiation-reading device. It will be available next week for customers who want extra assurance. “They can point the gun at their meal and get a reading before taking a bite,” says Mr. Liang. But actually Mr. Liang has also eliminated Japanese food from his kitchen, switching to fish from Spain, Brazil, Australia, Canada and Taiwan. Even the pork at Gyotaku, once sourced from Japan, now comes from Spain and Australia.