Singapore Postcard: Trump cocktails, Kim tacos anyone?
SINGAPORE — Singapore is a city that takes great pride in its food, so it should be no surprise that enterprising restaurateurs were using the historic summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 to showcase some culinary creativity.
Restaurants were marking the city-state’s time in the global spotlight with everything from red, white, and blue cocktails to tacos named after the two leaders. Several of the stunts are being marketed with a twist on Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” slogan.
At Harmony Nasi Lemak in central Singapore, a signboard with drawings of Trump and Kim greets passers-by with the words: “Let’s make HARMONY great again!”
Inside, it was selling what it called the “Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak,” which puts American and Korean elements in a traditional dish of rice, fish or chicken, and chili paste that is popular in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia.
The new concoction features US dry-aged beef, and a stack of spicy kimchi, a Korean staple.
Zach Wen, the restaurant’s co-founder, said the dish was not just a gimmick as he hoped it spreads a positive message. He noted that it has already been well received.
“Some Korean people who came … love the kimchi a lot and others (were) saying that the portion is so huge. Why so big? I say because it’s the American version, it’s the American portion,” he said.
At the Mexican restaurant Lucha Loco, they were promising to “make tacos great again” by selling specialty tacos called “El Gringo” and “El Hombre Cohete,” which in Spanish translates as the rocket man. EL Gringo taco has the flavors of an American cheeseburger while El Hombre Cohete is packed with Korean fried chicken.
Executive chef Nelson Burgos said the restaurant was also offering customers the chance to smash piñatas shaped as caricatures of Trum and Kim that are filled with sweets.
It was “a gesture of celebration for us and for having such a big event in Singapore,” he said. “It’s an event that’s probably never going to happen again in our lifetimes.”
Over at nightspot Escobar, they were offering specialty summit cocktails. The “Trump” is a layered bourbon-based drink in the colors of the American flag. The “Kim” is deep red and shaken with soju, a vodka-like alcohol loved in both Koreas.
Owner Stan Sri Ganesh was pleased that so many establishments were coming up with commemorative food and drinks.
“I think it reflects well on Singapore that we’re not all that quiet,” he said. “We can be very colorful if we want to. So that’s a good thing.” /kga
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