SINGAPORE: Dry-aged beef and kimchi may seem an unlikely combination for a nasi lemak dish, but that hasn’t stopped a local eatery from introducing a new summit-themed option to its menu, as local food and beverage outlets build on the hype surrounding the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“It’s a very historic event, and we wanted to create a dish which shows the harmony between both,” Harmony Nasi Lemak spokesman Zach Wen told Channel NewsAsia. “I hope people don’t see it as a gimmick, but rather focus on the idea of behind it.”
The Trump Kim-Chi dish, which took a month to conceptualise, comes complete with its own hashtag (#MakeHarmonyGreatAgain) and will set customers back S$21. It is available at the Harmony Nasi Lemak eatery, part of OSG Bar + Kitchen at Suntec City.
“To our limited knowledge, the US is protective of the beef trade. So we want to make Trump feel good because we are using American beef,” noted Mr Wen. “Food also has to be harmonised. Nasi lemak has achar (pickled vegetables), so we replaced the achar with kimchi – to create that balance.”
Harmony is not alone in creating a summit-themed dish as interest in the summit intensifies. Mexican restaurant and bar Lucha Loco has also got in on the act, offering El Trumpo (Cheeseburger) and Rocket Man (Korean Fried Chicken) tacos.
“I don’t think a summit of this scale has ever been held in Singapore where you have two controversial leaders, so we wanted to just inject a bit of fun and lightheartedness,” said group marketing manager Leon Foong.
The tacos are available from Jun 4 to 16 and are priced at S$10 each. Each taco purchased qualifies customers for a Friday and Saturday night draw where they get the opportunity to smash custom-made Trump-Kim piñatas.
“We’ve always liked to poke fun – we’re very much a fun restaurant. For us, it’s about producing satire, being tongue-in-cheek,” added Mr Foong. “This is a bit of a poke but it’s all in the nature of having a good laugh.”
At local bar Hopheads, a pair of drinks consisting of Asahi beer, diet Coke, Tequila and white grape soju nicknamed Bromance is their ode to the Singapore summit.
“We’re quite a young and trendy place, so we thought that this could be interesting and relevant,” said floor manager Carlo Ibanez. The set, which costs S$19, comes complete with stickers of Trump and Kim puckering their lips.
Hotels too are getting involved.
Down the road from the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore - which has been also been designated as a special event area for the summit - Royal Plaza on Scotts is including in its menu a Trump-Kim Burger and Summit Iced Tea.
Available from Jun 8 to 15, the grilled Trump-Kim Burger is made up of minced chicken and kimchi patty, seaweed, with Korean rice rolls and fries. Customers can also wash down their meal with a Summit Iced Tea, specially concocted by infusing iconic Korean flavour honey yuzu into traditional iced tea.
In commemoration of the summit on Jun 12, the burger is priced at S$12 and the iced tea at S$6.
According to Mr Wen, Harmony has experienced a 10 per cent uptick in business since they launched their new nasi lemak on Monday. “The response has been quite positive, although the pricing is considered quite expensive for a nasi lemak,” Mr Wen said.
Mr Foong too has seen increased demand for the tacos, just one day after its launch.
“People are already asking about the tacos even during lunch today. As we get closer to the summit, we’ll see more people coming in,” he said. “So far, it has been quite balanced. People order two to try and share. They come hand-in-hand, it’s actually quite a good combination.”