S R NATHAN 1924 — 2016

Foodie who loved briyani and durians

Mr Nathan with Mr Zainul and MP Teo Ho Pin at a President's Challenge charity briyani event at Al-Iman Mosque in 2004.
Mr Nathan with Mr Zainul and MP Teo Ho Pin at a President's Challenge charity briyani event at Al-Iman Mosque in 2004.BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO

The mere mention of briyani, nasi lemak and durians would put a smile on Mr S R Nathan's face, said former senior minister of state Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

He was among several eulogists who spoke about Mr Nathan's love for food.

"I long remember the days when we would have a chat while having tea and enjoying durian puffs at his residence," he recalled.

 

Former Community Chest chairman Jennie Chua also reminisced about regular mee rebus lunches at Mr Nathan's Ceylon Road home which, she said, were the "most treasured of all".

There was a lunch scheduled for this month, but Mr Nathan had already taken ill.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, recounting that Mr Nathan would occasionally join him for lunch at the Istana after he retired, said: "I am afraid to report that my food paled in comparison to what he used to serve me when he was president."

Mr Nathan also often invited his friends to his home for tea, and would be dressed casually at these sessions. His attire of choice, Mr Zainul noted, was the sarong.

 

Related Stories: 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Foodie who loved briyani and durians'. Print Edition | Subscribe