The 35-year-old was targeted by a group of nine men outside a takeaway in Hawick in the early hours of Sunday.
He was standing outside the Istanbul fast food shop on the town’s North Bridge Street when he was approached at about 2am.
The gang made racially-motivated comments before pursuing him down the street and punching him on the head and body, police said.
Constable Ryan Anderson said: “This was an extremely cowardly attack that caused significant distress to the victim.
“The suspects carried out an unprovoked assault and we are extremely keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of North Bridge Street in the early hours of Sunday and who may have seen these men.
“Likewise, anyone who may have noticed this group in the area earlier in the evening is also asked to come forward.
“Police Scotland treats all reports of hate crime extremely seriously and takes a zero-tolerance approach towards anyone involved in this unacceptable behaviour.”