A Young Woman Shares Why She And Her Driver Were Denied Service By A Restaurant In Kolkata

Posted on September 13, 2016 in Society

By YKA Staff:

Editor’s note: A viral Facebook post is earning popular Kolkata restaurant Mocambo a lot of online ire for colonial era treatment of customers. Yesterday Dilashi Helmnani put up a post on Facebook detailing the kind of experience she had at the restaurant where she went to treat her driver to a meal, only to be turned away because apparently, the restaurant doesn’t allow ‘roadside’ people in.

We have reproduced the text of her post verbatim below:

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How shallow and inhuman have we become ?

Last night being my last day in Kolkata decided to try out this popular restraunt called Mocambo’ at Park Street .I decided to go with my driver -Manish bhaiya here whose great service and care throughout my stay in Kolkata for a week was excellent . ( Also yesterday afternoon he missed his lunch because I forgot to tell him to go for lunch – uncertain about the time it would take me to finish the meeting -he missed his lunch )

Guilty of my mistake . I decided to go out for dinner with him .

As soon as I reached Mocambo at around 8:40 PM . I asked the staff to give me a table for 2.

Staff : There is a waiting of 15 minutes .
Me : *as excited I was to try out this popular joint *happily agreed

Staff :* by this time they observed I was with Manish bhaiya * walked up to me and said it will take 45 minutes for the table to get ready .
Me : *little confused by time communicated *earlier …now eagerly asked but you said 15 minutes

Staff : yes the table was going to get empty but they ordered for more food
Me : *peeping through the glass windows *but I can see some empty tables inside .
Staff : they are four seaters.. today is Friday we cannot give that table .
Me: ok

After waiting for 10-15 minutes . When I see people who came after me getting the table .

Me : why are you not giving me the table ?
Staff : Maam we can’t give you a table
Me : But why ?
Staff : who are you with
Me : subtly pointing towards Manish bhaiya .
Staff : aahhh….Maam he is not properly dressed .

Me : * he was cleanly dressed in a cream trouser and a shirt tucked out .. And floaters *
I asked what is your dress code ?
Staff : we don’t have a dress code .
Me : then ??
Staff :No No he is not properly dressed it’s a fine dine restraunt
Me : *agitated by now *what’s wrong with his dressing tell me and is there a written dress code he is not following ?

By this time Manish bhaiya understood parts of the conversation in English and by the daunting looks of the staff -walks up to me and says – ‘Didi hum Nahi Khaenge aap Khana Kha lijiyega na ‘

Me : * hurt with his innocence and inhuman inconsiderate behaviour of the staff at Mocambo *
Me : call your manager give me a valid reason why he cannot come in .
Staff : goes and calls another person
Me : sir why can’t he come in ?
Staff : because he is drunk
Me : *furious and baffled with the audacity of the staff *How do you know he is drunk ?
Staff : because my other colleague told me he is so
Me : on what basis due you make such assumptions . Did he drink in front of you or did you even go near him * they were standing 2-3 meters apart *He is driving me around since 8 o clock in the morning leave apart being drunk he is not even had food
Staff : but I know he is drunk
Me : prove it then
Me : what’s your name
Staff : I can’t tell you my name
Me : why ?
Staff : No No I can’t it’s just I can’t let you in with him
Me : I Don’t want to get in to your racist restraunt walks away with Manish bhaiya with deep grief in my heart on how Inhuman and shallow the world has become 🙁

Manish bhaiya is one of the finest human beings I have met in a long time he took good care of me and did his duty with all his heart .He is a simple man make 275 Rs a day for 12 hours of driving and sends more then half of the money back home . he has a difficult life Still he laughs a lot shares a lot of stories and is more human and empathetic then any I know .

To Mocambo staff and restraunt at Park Street Kolkata Which doesn’t consider human as human and differentiates, discriminates and stratifies them into classes just because he doesn’t fit into your description of a perfect customer . ( doesn’t own a iPhone maybe doesn’t talk in English ) I m sorry you don’t deserve a fine human like Manish bhaiya sitting and eating in your racist restraunt .

( Disclaimer : This is entirely based on my personal experience and has no relation with my organisation / profession ).”

Her post can also be found here.

Several other media outlets later reached out to Mocambo for their side of the story, which promptly shot itself in the foot by claiming that, “We’ve such high standard guests coming here, it’s a fine dining restaurant, we cannot have such a roadsider coming and sitting here.” The post received over 25,000 shares and has gone viral on Facebook with online commentators criticizing Mocambo and its ‘colonial era’ mindset. The eatery’s Zomato score also took a dive from 4.5/5 to 1.8/5 as their page was filled with negative reviews.


Image Source: Nirmalaya Ghosh|Twitter