A restaurant in Liverpool has attracted online ridicule for selling an 8oz “ladies fillet” steak, which is smaller than the other cuts on its menu.

The entry for the £18.95 dish on the Manhattan Bar and Grill menu reads: “One for the ladies! A beautiful 8oz cut, because we can!”

The dish garnered online attention when the food and drink writer Vicky Andrews tweeted a photo of the menu with the caption: “Would you order a ‘ladies fillet’?” She added: “Perhaps it is pink and the boys’ one is blue.”

The Observer restaurant critic and writer Jay Rayner seemed at a loss for words, tweeting: “A fillet for the laydeez. Because… I mean.. but…”

As word spread on Twitter, many users began to make fun of the idea of having a smaller dish for women, with criticisms ranging from it being patronising to plain sexist.

One woman tweeted: “What if you’re lady enough to eat the big steak?”

Another asked: “Do the other ones come topped with a Yorkie bar or something?” which evoked the witty response: “Only if ordered blue.”

Someone else joked: “Ladies fillet comes with complimentary sanitary towel.”

One woman called it “a whole new level of sexism”.

Karl Hassan, the managing director of the Manhattan Bar and Grill, said he was blown away by the online response as the dish had been on the menu since the restaurant opened five years ago and was always well-received by diners.

“We’ve never had any complaints about it before. I think it’s been blown out of proportion. We were asked by a lot of female customers and a lot of hen parties for a smaller steak because they couldn’t finish it,” he said.

“We also get men that order it. When they order it whoever they’re out with will have a little giggle, they laugh about it in humour. We just call it the ‘ladies fillet’ because that’s where the idea came from.”

Asked whether the restaurant might consider using a more neutral name for the dish when it reviewed its menu in April, he said: “Maybe we will look at changing it. In light of what people have been saying, it’s certainly something to consider.”

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