President Rodrigo Duterte indulges in durian with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK
Singapore PM’s food adventures with Duterte, foreign dignitaries
The Straits Times/Asia News Network / 01:20 PM December 19, 2016
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 five places that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has taken his foreign visitors. Perhaps you might have visited some of these yourself.
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.
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 the Du30.
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 Southeast 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.
Komala Vilas with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
PM 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 PM 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).
Corner House with Chinese President Xi Jinping
The Chinese leader was in Singapore on a two-day visit in November last year, which included an historic meeting with Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou – the first top-level contact between the two countries 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.
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak with Indonesian President Joko Widodo
President Widodo, known by his nickname 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.