Hyatt Regency in Tokyo admits mislabeling prawns on menu


The Hyatt Regency hotel located in Tokyo's Shinjuku is the latest hotel to be caught up in the widening restaurant menu mislabeling scandal.

The hotel admitted Friday that ingredients being used in one restaurant differed from what was on the menu.

According to a hotel spokesman, the hotel's Chinese restaurant had been falsely advertising its use of both high quality "Shiba shrimp," and "Taisho Shrimp," when, in fact, lesser quality "Indian Shrimp" were being served to customers, TBS reported Saturday. Records found at the hotel proved the inconsistency had been occurring since 2008.

The spokesman said that labeling the shrimp based on size was simply in accordance with common industry practice. "Shiba shrimp," for example, refers to all smaller varieties, whether they are Shiba shrimp or not. The hotel said it will refund customers who had been misled.

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Don't come the raw prawn with me, mate!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What next... Saizaria's famous shrimp cocktail salad doesn't actually contain shrimp? Hamburg steaks aren't actually steaks? Say it ain't so!!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"lesser quality" - Come on, let's call a shrimp, a shrimp,shall we? The word is: "cheap"! The Hyatt Regency was underhandedly increasing its margins by foisting counterfeit shrimp on its customers and charging premium prices.

"Common industry practice"? Whatever happened to conducting honest business?

Oh, who am I kidding? "Honest business" is an oxymoron...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It is stupid labeling. It should label Hyatt Kuruma-ebi. or Kuruma-ebi of Hyatt. This way, customers will know that Hyatt serve large shrimp. Maybe they serve small shrimp instead of prawn?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think the hotel is being attacked a little unfairly here. Who hasn't called something by the wrong name? I called a sheltie a collie once and no one jumped down my throat for it.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

That's a discourtesy to the "Indian Shrimp".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

lesser quality “Indian Shrimp”

Can someone please explain the actual difference in quality?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wouldn't a fraud case like this be better placed in the Crime section?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Food mislabeling seems to be quite common here. Even places that are seen as expensive, like the Hyatt, are getting caught up in it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Everyone's got their hands in the cookie jar. Once one of them gets caught, the whole lot of them start 'fessing up to lying and stealing.

Just give the overcharged money back to the fooled customers? Is there going to be any other punishment? Is this it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Frequent small deceptions add up to something much larger.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

lesser quality “Indian Shrimp” comon ive eatin King prawns from Thailand and prawns from Australia/NZ and they taste just as good if not better than what Japan has to offer, and at a much cheaper price. this we are better quality BS, is just scam so Japanese producers can justify there high prices, bring on the TPP and youll see just how much the J public is getting ripped off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Even the fish in the sea around Japan is better quality than the fish in other places in the world. Those fish must know that they are going to end up on a discerning Japanese palate and swim all the way from other parts of the world to have the privilege.

The cynic in me is starting to think that this spate of food mislabeling stories is a diversion from other much more important issues such as food contaminated by radiation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“Shiba shrimp,” for example, refers to all smaller varieties, whether they are Shiba shrimp or not.

How come I had never heard of that ? Lamest excuse I ever heard. Next week, they'll tell us that if you buy your shrimps in Ise, you can call them "isebi". And fish eggs of a certain size would be commonly called Sevruga Caviar... They could have just printed "shrimp" like the burger places do, you always see "shrimp burger", and nobody complains as long there is one bit of any type of shrimp in it.

It is stupid labeling.

It's their choice of labeling. Nobody tells them how to write their menu. But if they use fancy terms in order to charge the moon, they have to provide the promised products. If not, they are crooks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think this is happening everywhere in Japan. I have serious doubts about labels regarding country of origin, the area in the country, whether its organic etc etc. Basically because unless the restaurant poisons somebody, there is no policing and no punishment. Lying to your customers (since 2008 in this case) deserves a hefty punishment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This just goes to show that the whole 'made in Japan' and 'UMMmMAI!' when tasting something is purely and utterly a mindframe and not necessarily fact. Like I've said before, one of the more interesting shows I watched on Japanese TV was a taste-testing show where they had two bowls of various products for each person to try. For example, one bowl with Hokkaido crab, and the other with minced pollock, and more than half of the tarento couldn't got which was the Hokkaido crab wrong.

With too many people here it's if you're told something is expensive and delicious, it must be. So, the restaurants with big names (expensive, therefore good!) cut corners and just continue to say products are this and that, knowing the sheeple will come. Mislabeling in Japan seems to be a prerequisite to success. Sadly, this probably won't hurt business at all, and they probably won't stop.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

India prawnas are Kuruma ebii which are larger than ebi or ko-ebi. Easy to handle shells. Taste same. If someone name ebi as Sgiba and Taisho, the hotel can use its name to this large Indian prawn to establish fancy image.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Although, I must admit: the Japanese obsession with food is, on the whole, a net positive.

I mean, really, is not the foodie culture here just about unsurpassed...?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lying to your customers (since 2008 in this case) deserves a hefty punishment.

The punishment is no longer having customers. Hyatt will survive without Japanese diners because they fill mostly with customers that don't choose and are not aware of the story (foreigners traveling in groups or on travel agency packages).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good old honest and trustworthy Japan. Honestly, is anyone going to be punished for all this fraud? The labeling of good and the health and safety standards are a joke here.

My concern is why is this such big news now? What is going on that the media and government are trying to bury?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Still just the tip of the iceberg, there is much bigger scandals just under the surface in the food industry here, scratch a little more it'll boil up to the surface and surprise many.

Relabeling, mislabelling, lying about the expiry date, showing a picture on the menu that is twice the volume or totally different to what turns up in front of you, and lying about the actual product have been going on for years and this hotel even admitted it goes back to 2008, bet ya it goes back even further.

The famous TGIF used to show a photo of 4 loaded potato skins on it's menu and only serve 3, when they were pulled up on it they threw the clients out and banned them from coming back, because those customers refused to pay for the deliberate rip off. One of those clients then called head office and complained, the menu was subsequently changed to reflect what was served and that manager removed. Don't ask me how I Know this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

While we're at it, technically, prawn and shrimp are not the same creature, though they are often used interchangeably.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IMaybe it is not far less quality, but far less whole sales priced? To me, Kuruma-ebi was a lot easier to eat than just shrimp. koebi, I can eat soft shell. larger shrimp, Iand kuruma-ebi, I take shell out. body part, head part, I can eat more in kuruma-ebi than ebi. It is closer to Ise=ebi (lobster) than ebi on easy eating. All taste same in same cooking method. Just like Ise ebi, Kuruma ebi can be used as desert better than crabs in which legs are not easy to shell out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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