Singapore: Summit City

Singapore, summit city: Fun with fusion food

Food and beverage outlets have rolled out items to mark the summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Order the Kimchi Donald Duck Donburi at Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, then down $3 World Peace Bomb liqueur shots at Empire Sky Lounge.

True to the nation's reputation as a culinary capital, Singapore's food industry is pulling out the stops to ring in the upcoming summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

At least 16 food-and-beverage outlets - from hawker stalls to restaurants, bars to bakeries - have rolled out food and drink to mark the historic event, putting an American and Korean spin on everything from burgers and cocktails to braised duck rice and popiah.

Many items come with tongue-in-cheek names and playful promotional images, all in the name of fun food diplomacy.

The $6 Kimchi Donald Duck Donburi, launched today by Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap's owner Melvin Chew, is a dish of yam rice with braised duck, tamago, braised radish and kimchi. It is available until June 30.

Also debuting today is home-grown bakery chain The Pine Garden's USA.NK Bread and Cake.

The flatbread ($2.90) includes mild cheddar, Spam cubes, spicy Shin Ramyun bits and kimchi pieces, while the cake ($46 for 500g, $65 for 1kg, order online at www.pgcake.com) features soft egg white sponge, tart Korean yuja curd, strawberry and cheesecake mousse, and pop rocks.


USA.NK Cake from The Pine Garden. PHOTO: THE PINE GARDEN

The bread and cake items are available at The Pine Garden's outlet (01-2369, 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10) until June 30.

 

For a more local take, head to Good Chance Popiah (outlets in Jalan Berseh, tel: 3157-2232; and Silat Avenue, tel: 6271-0698). The eatery is rolling out its deep-fried kimchi popiah ($18 for five rolls, pre-order required, two days in advance) filled with kimchi, prawn and cheese and topped with crispy batter bits from har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken).

The dish is typically sold only at events, but its fourth-generation owner Boon Kai Chun, better known as Ah Boy, is making it available in conjunction with the summit.

Getting in on the action is Harmony Nasi Lemak, a new brand that is part of OSG Bar + Kitchen at Suntec City. The Trump-Kimchi Dry Aged Beef Nasi Lemak ($21 nett) combines dry-aged beef from the US and kimchi, along with basmati rice and sambal with ikan bilis for that local spin. It is intentionally served in a bowl and with chopsticks - a symbol of Chinese culture - to mark the US and North Korea coming together in Singapore, says Mr Zach Wen, co-founder of Harmony Nasi Lemak.


The Trump-Kimchi Dry Aged Beef Nasi Lemak from Harmony Nasi Lemak. PHOTO: HARMONY NASI LEMAK

Mr Wen, who took more than a month to come up with the dish, says: "It wasn't intentionally created for the summit, but we did take inspiration from it. We also want to leverage on it to spread harmony and make the dish a meaningful one."

Since its introduction last Monday, social media has been abuzz and up to 20 portions of the dish have been sold daily.

Kimchi, clearly, is the flavour of the summit and is also a key ingredient featured in the onslaught of Trump-Kim burgers.


Trump-Kim Burger from Royal Plaza on Scotts. PHOTO: ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS

These include Royal Plaza on Scotts' Trump-Kim Burger ($12++, until Friday, 6 to 10pm, Scotts Lounge) with minced chicken, seaweed and kimchi patty, served with Korean rice rolls and fries; Wolf Burgers' Burger For World Peace ($12.90, until June 17, Suntec City and Changi City Point) with bulgogi marinated shabu brisket, kimchi mayonnaise, Korean-style pickled radish, caramelised onions and American sharp cheddar.


Burger For World Peace from Wolf Burgers. PHOTO: WOLF BURGERS SINGAPORE

More burger options include Dallas Restaurant & Bar's buttermilk chicken burger with kimchi, served with crispy fries and housemade coleslaw ($20++, until June 30, outlets at Suntec City, Boat Quay and Marina Bay Sands).


Buttermilk chicken burger with kimchi from Dallas Restaurant & Bar. PHOTO: DALLAS RESTAURANT & BAR

Also in Suntec City, check out the Cowboy Kimchi Burger ($18.80) from The Butcher's Kitchen. The burger - a permanent item on the menu - features a US Black Angus beef patty with kimchi, onions, tomatoes and romaine lettuce.

Over at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, the Old Satay Club Mee Goreng stall No. 4 offers a Trump-Kim Peace Burger ($12, available for only a limited period) with a beef patty, cheese and kimchi, served with nachos and spicy tomato salsa.

The recently rebranded Sinfonia Ristorante at the Victoria Concert Hall will launch The R.W.B. or "red, white and blue" ($42++, available tomorrow until Friday).


The R.W.B. or “red, white and blue” from Sinfonia Ristorante. PHOTO: SINFONIA RISTORANTE

The dish pairs a Japanese wagyu steak topped with caviar, served alongside a deep-fried chicken slider, aioli sauce and sweet chilli sauce.

And for a burger with a twist, The Beast Southern Kitchen + Bourbon Bar in Jalan Klapa features a #worldbeast burger ($23, untilThursday), which brings together two halves.


The #worldbeast burger from The Beast Southern Kitchen + Bourbon Bar. PHOTO: THE BEAST

The American half of the burger includes fried mac and cheese burger "buns" with a beef patty, bacon jam and barbecue sauce, while the Korean half has deep-fried kimchi rice "buns", bulgogi beef patty, caramelised onions and creamy garlic sauce.

If burgers are not your thing, head to Lucha Loco (15 Duxton Hill) for its special themed tacos. The El Trump Taco includes a beef patty, melted cheese, lettuce, chipotle ketchup, pickles, while The Rocket Man Taco includes Korean fried chicken, spicy dressing and pickled white radish. The tacos are available until Saturday at $10++ each.


The El Trump Taco and The Rocket Man Taco from Lucha Loco. PHOTO: LUCHA LOCO

Drinks are also getting the Trump-Kim treatment and one can kick back with cocktails at Empire Sky Lounge's (Level 45 Singapore Land Tower, 50 Raffles Place) very own summit.

On Tuesday, it will offer $3++ World Peace Bombs as well as cocktails ($12++ each) - the Whisky Trump, a whisky-based cocktail; and The Rocket, a Campari-based red cocktail. There will also be a Peace Platter ($15++) with kimchi chicken wings, mini burgers and fries.


The Rocket and Whisky Trump from Empire Sky Lounge. PHOTO: HIDDEN DOOR CONCEPTS

Or grab a friend and head to Hopheads Bar in Clemenceau Avenue for a pair of Bromance drinks. Priced at $19++, the drinks are made with diet coke, tequila, Asahi black and white grape soju.


Bromance drinks from Hopheads Bar. PHOTO: HOPHEADS BAR

Other outlets offering drinks include gastropub Escobar with its blue, bourbon-based "Trump" cocktail and red soju "Kim" cocktail ($12.60 each); and Bar-Roque Grill in Tanjong Pagar, which features Bourbon Old Fashioned and Soju Mojito cocktails ($12++ each, available from tomorrow to Friday).


Soju Mojito cocktail from Bar-Roque Grill. PHOTO: BAR-ROQUE GRILL

Bar-Roque Grill's chef Stephane Istel says: "We wanted to commemorate the summit as it's a major historic event taking place in Singapore. It's already generating such a buzz that is sure to have everyone talking even after it's over."

• Follow Eunice Quek on Twitter @STEuniceQ

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Fun with fusion food'. Print Edition | Subscribe