PM Lee's food adventures with foreign dignitaries

PM Lee Hsien Loong having durians with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
PM Lee Hsien Loong having durians with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.PHOTO: LEE HSIEN LOONG/ FACEBOOK
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife hosted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to dinner at My Briyani House at Kallang Wave Mall on Aug 27, 2014.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife hosted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to dinner at My Briyani House at Kallang Wave Mall on Aug 27, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Food is a major part of Singapore's culture. Apart from the naming of unique orchid hybrids after VIPs, which has become standard practice, foreign dignitaries and VIPs are treated to delicious meals on their visits.

The food can range from Michelin-worthy fare to humble hawker favourites.

Take a look at six places that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has taken his foreign visitors. Perhaps you might have visited some of these yourself.

1. The Coconut Club with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

During the Philippine President's state visit last week, PM Lee hosted him to lunch at The Coconut Club in Ann Siang Hill on Dec 16.

The eatery specialises in just one dish: fragrant nasi lemak made with fresh, hand-squeezed coconut milk, with all the trimmings from sambal to fried chicken. For the occasion, the VIPs were also served kerabu and chendol.

The meal concluded with the king of fruits, durians - Mao Shan Wang and D13 - for Du30.

2. National Kitchen by Violet Oon with Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

The princess was in town for the opening ceremony of the Global Young Scientists Summit in January this year.

PM Lee did a short tour of the National Gallery Singapore, which showcases Singaporean and South-east Asian art, with Princess Sirindhorn.

They had lunch at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon restaurant afterwards, feasting on ngoh hiang, kueh pie tee, satay and chicken rice, which PM Lee said was the princess' favourite Singaporean dish.

3. Komala Vilas with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Mr Modi was in Singapore for a two-day visit to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, in November last year.

After Mr Modi had delivered the 37th Singapore Lecture, PM Lee took him to Komala Vilas in Little India for supper.

The meal, which lasted 45 minutes, was a vegetarian spread of idli (a pancake made with a fermented black lentils and rice batter), vadai (savoury fritters) and the restaurant's famous thosai (a thin crepe made from rice batter and lentils).

4. Corner House with Chinese President Xi Jinping

The Chinese leader was in Singapore on a two-day visit in November last year, which included a historic meeting with Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou - the first top-level contact between the two sides since they split 67 years ago.

PM Lee and his wife Ho Ching took Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan to lunch at the Corner House restaurant in the Botanic Gardens, Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site.

The restaurant, helmed by Singaporean chef Jason Tan, was awarded one Michelin star when the inaugural guide launched in Singapore in July.

5. Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak with Indonesian President Joko Widodo

The President, better known as Jokowi, was in Singapore in November 2014, to attend his youngest son's graduation from ACS (International).

PM Lee hosted him to a modest breakfast of nasi lemak and roti prata.

The nasi lemak was bought from Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak in Adam Road, also fancied by the Sultan of Brunei who takes away dozens of packets whenever he is in Singapore.

6. My Briyani House with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

The Malaysia leader visited Singapore to jointly officiate the opening of the Agrobazaar Malaysia outlet located at Sultan Gate, with PM Lee on Aug 27, 2014,.

The 5,100 sq ft outlet features and promotes fresh fruit and agro-based produce from Malaysia.

That evening, PM Lee and his wife hosted Mr Najib and his wife to dinner at My Briyani House at Kallang Wave Mall.