Manhattan restaurant responds to claim of rat in soup with kitchen video and 6-year-old Yelp review
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: A well-known Koreatown eatery that was accused of serving a couple soup that contained a dead rat has responded to the accusations with a number of social media posts that include footage of the food being prepared and a six-year-old, since-deleted Yelp review.
Following the filing of a recent lawsuit by Eunice Lucero-Lee and her husband Jason Lee, who shared shocking video and pictures of the meal on March 13, Gammeeok in Midtown Manhattan has responded to the claims. The 24-hour restaurant on 32nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was promptly closed by the Health Department while an investigation was conducted after the post rapidly went viral. The restaurant claims that they have been closed because of "maintenance."
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'It is understandable but regrettable that public opinion has deteriorated'
As per The Daily Mail, Lucero-Lee, 40, and her husband have been placing orders at the Manhattan restaurant for more than ten years, and up until this past weekend, they had never encountered any issues with the food. Gammeeok, which presently has a C grade from the Department of Health, denied in another post that their sogogi gukbap, a hearty stew, could have contained a rat due to the method used to prepare it.
To make their case, they included a video which shows the food being prepared. In the video, line cooks are seen preparing the Lees' meal in an apparently spotless kitchen with no sign of any rodents. It isn't clear whether the soup being made was the couple's Saturday UberEats order, but according to Gammeeok's caption on the post which was included with the photo, it seems that it was.
The Lees' claimed in their post that the restaurant failed to include chopsticks, so the restaurant made a point to include a clip of staff members putting them in the bag of the finished order. "This is Gammaeok," the post begins, before addressing the recently filed suit and reiterating the previously aired Yelp review allegations. "It is understandable but regrettable that public opinion has deteriorated. Once, the person ordered food with ubereats. If a 'rat' came out, it could be argued as evidence saying 'Look at this' when they came to our store, but we didn't see any real thing," the post continues.
The couple found a large bug in their food from another Korean restaurant
The restaurant responded to the couple's claims by saying they don't "make sense" in a series of posts on March 15. The restaurant also claimed that six years prior, the pair left a review for another Korean eatery in which they claimed to have discovered "a large bug" in their takeout soup. However, they later removed the review after their post went viral.
Gammeeok claimed that the review about another unnamed Korean eatery in K-Town was written by the couple, saying, "It's a rare experience to most people in their whole life." The review has since been deleted. "They remove the review now. Why?" the restaurant asked, not specifying the eatery. The post featured a picture of a dish that looked like the Lees' purchase and had a fly floating on top of it. The couple, who brought the case on Wednesday, hasn't answered the accusation.
The restaurant then addressed claims that when the couple called to complain about the order, they offered them a $5,000 bribe to keep silent about the incident in order to prevent any disruptions to their business. This never happened, according to the restaurant, and a manager's offer of a $100 gift card to the Lees -- made "in the spirit of always treating customer complaints in keeping a low profile" -- was the only compensation ordered by the restaurant.