Another week, another hilarious error of culinary judgement by people who clearly have no right to be paid for their food “expertise”.
We all remember the legendary “crispy rendang” episode of MasterChef UK, where the judges eliminated Malaysian contestant Zaleha Olpin because her chicken rendang skin wasn’t crispy (which is like giving your friendly Italian neighbourhood joint a one-star Google Review because their pepperoni pizza didn’t come smothered with curry sauce).
And that time Australian cooking show Good Chef Bad Chef demonstrated how to cook a Malaysian nasi lemak (steamed coconut rice with sambal etc.) by cooking nasi goreng (fried rice).
I’ve never watched the show but I helpfully suggested at the time that they renamed it to Clueless Chef. What was especially amusing was seeing the Australian fans of the show defend the nasi goreng as just another “creative variation” of nasi lemak — which is like saying fish and chips are a creative variation of pizza (I don’t know why I have pizza on my mind this morning).
The latest pitchfork mob-inducing outrage involves a Top 50 list ranking the world’s best cities for street food.
The list was published by ceoworld.biz — my go-to source on all things culinary (not really — I’d never heard of them until today).
It ranks Singapore as the #1 city for street food — not just that, no Malaysian city even makes the list. At this stage I have to assume the author is some genius troll who knows how to rile up an entire country famous for our culinary pride.
We like to make fun of our southern neighbours, and they generally give as good as they take, but this time, even Singaporeans are somewhat perplexed by the award -
Among the comments (with minor typo and grammar edits, because, you know, yours truly is a bit of an apostrophe Nazi)—
Nah, we don’t even deserve the title, lol
I’m Singaporean and I’m confused too
As a Singaporean, I honestly wonder why…
I’m Singaporean and I have to side with Malaysia with this, food is just better in Malaysia
Malaysia have true blue hardcore street food handsdown! I am a Singaporean and I totally agree with this bro!…I love Malaysian street food. Keep it up…I didn’t read about that crap article but I am sure it’s rubbish…Malaysian street food TERBAIK (is the best)!
Am from Singapore…no doubt there is lots of food here..but I still love the street food in Malaysia…lots of it…any corner that I turn to, I can have lots of food that I may not find in Singapore.
As a Singaporean, I would gladly declare, the street food in Malaysia is not only creatively presented but also, sedap (delicious).
There’s no street food in Singapore anymore as all the street food vendors are located either in coffeeshops or hawker centres. But I prefer street food in Malaysia and love going to Malaysia.
I’m a true red Singaporean and that crap about Singapore street food no. 1 is just plain BS lah…Malaysia & Thailand still the best!!
Even my Singaporean friends feel bad reading the article while eating Johor (Malaysia) food.
I’m a Singaporean…and I’m embarrassed by the article…Malaysian street food is the bomb! How can they not notice the Ramly Burger and all?!
Street food anywhere is better than Singapore, why? Because there IS NO STREET FOOD IN SINGAPORE!!! This award is total nonsense! From a Singaporean here.
Look, I’ve been to Singapore many times, and I love the place AND the food — in fact I’ve even written about the rivalry between the two countries in the past >> Singapore vs Malaysia: Food Fight!
So, what do you think? Why does Malaysia consistently get overlooked in the food stakes, when even Singaporeans agree our food is better? Ponder this while I head out to the shops for a fresh supply of pitchforks.
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Jackie M is an ex-restaurateur and sole parent of Baby Noah, who was born with Down Syndrome and some very complex medical issues that saw him spend the first 217 days of his life in hospital. She is also the founder of WokAroundAsia.com — an online Asian culinary coaching course where students are taught to master Malaysian street food using her proprietary EATS Framework.