The Palestinian-owned family business has been fundraising and spreading awareness in the wake of the conflict in Gaza.
Rathmines restaurant Shaku Maku have alleged an "orchestrated attack" on their business after a series of negative one-star reviews were lodged on Google. This alleged online attack came just a couple of hours after the company unveiled a pro-Palestinian mural on the side of their Rathmines Road Lower business.
The mural by Dublin artist Emmalene Blake shows a smiling child against a Palestinian flag wearing a keffiyeh and was erected to honour the Palestinian lives lost in Gaza over the past 38 days.
Shaku Maku shared a picture of the mural on Instagram on Saturday, thanking the Irish people for their continued support of Palestine.
Shortly afterwards, the restaurant received an influx of negative reviews (seven in the space of two hours), in what they say is an orchestrated attack.
Sharing a screen recording of the one-star reviews, the Shaku Maku team wrote: "We’ve had an orchestrated attack on Google reviews from some people who aren’t very happy about the Palestinian flag on our restaurant".
Happily, if you search reviews for Shaku Maku now, the one-star ratings are well buried. Since they shared the post they've had an influx of positive reviews, with patrons detailing warm service, "exceptional" food and authentic flavours.
In a statement to Lovin Dublin, Shaku Maku wrote:
"On the 12th of November, we noticed a mass influx of 1-star reviews, all written within the space of an hour. The accounts had only reviewed places in Israel, so we knew these weren't coming from genuine customers.
We have recently had a mural painted by Emmalene Blake on the side of our restaurant to honour the thousands of children who have been killed in this Genocide. As a small family-run Palestinian restaurant, we have maintained a 4.7 rating on Google reviews since we opened; any negative reviews we take as constructive criticism and actively engage with them to improve the experience for everyone. Ask anyone what they think of Shaku Maku - they'll tell you our staff are friendly and our food is the real deal.
Some of our recipes come directly from my grandmother, born in 1918 in Beersheba, south of Gaza (now occupied by Israel). She was displaced during the Nakba, but her recipes and hospitality continue on through the food we serve the good people of Dublin. We were overwhelmed by the support from our customers after we posted about this on our Instagram. We asked them if they had dined with us to please review us. Anyone who has yet to eat with us, we encourage you to join us in Shaku Maku- the best way to experience Palestinian culture is through our food".
Last month, Shaku Maku held a "Plates for Palestine" fundraiser with proceeds going to the Irish Red Cross Gaza Emergency Relief fund. The event raised €7,400 for the fund, and was attended by hundreds of people.
Shaku Maku is located on Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6.
Header image via Instagram /shakumakudublin