Thursday, September 12, 2013

Has Singapore lost the food war?

I feel that you can easily find Japanese food, Korean food, French food, German food in Singapore. Today, even Swiss feed, Swedish food can be found in Singapore. Years back, you can only find Thai Food, and "American food" but looking at Lau Pa Sat, I find that the local hawker fare with Singaporean food is getting harder to find. Most of the stores, even at hawker center is from other countries. You can get Shanghai "La-Mein", Korean Bulgogi, Japanese Ramen, but at 8pm, besides satay, I can't find much other Singapore food like Hokkien Noodles, Fried Kway Teow or Prawn Mee.

I live on the East Coast in the US, and I can hardly find Singapore restaurants. In fact, by searching Yelp, most of these stores sell Malaysian food. So are you telling me that there are no good food in Singapore?

I mean I can find most Singapore like food in Boston as well, in Chinatown Boston, there is a restaurant called Penang -- but it is different. In fact, on the whole of the US East Coast, I think I've been to 4 restaurants which may have Singapore like food. One in DC, 2 in New York (One is called New Malaysia) and 1 in Boston (Yeah, and its called Penang)

So has Singapore lost the food war?

Lately, I've noticed that food and culture is very related. Korean food, Korean stores, Korean music... does it pave a way for us to buy Korean cars and Korean phones?

The lack of awareness of Singapore overseas does not really help Singapore companies go out. IE Singapore and Spring Singapore tries to help companies venture overseas, but in terms of really having a Singapore brand that people can identify, little is done.

There is a Singapore day, once every ... long long time, and people can try Singapore food in New York City, but our music, culture, and supposed world renowned food which I do crave from time to time cannot be found.

I think Singapore should stop all the "trying to be like Silicon Valley" and STB and EDB should promote our Singapore food overseas. With food, we can share our local flavors and our creative, diabetes inducing drinks like Milo Dinosaur to the world!

And also look at Singapore food courts... many of them are chains and the quality had been going down a lot as the people working in there are mostly untrained workers with low wages. If Singapore wants to remain a tourist hotspot, we must win the food war again!

-- Iron Bowl

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