If anything were to start a riot between Singapore and our northern neighbors Malaysia, it would probably be food. After all, Malaysians have for years balked at Singaporean cuisine — of which they claim to be watered-down versions of their own food.
Recently, Malaysian burger chain myBurgerLab sparked a near war after it tweeted that the company was developing a response to McDonald’s Singapore’s incredibly popular Nasi Lemak Burger (which has since sold out). It added a sweet little “Dear Singapore, nice try, but…” just to get that Singaporean ire flowing faster than runny yolk down Orchard Road during peak hours.
The themed sandwich was launched in Singapore earlier this month in celebration of the country’s National Day on Aug 9. With Malaysia’s own Merdeka Day (national day) around the corner on August 31, it seemed like the time was nigh to show that, while not entirely original in their thinking, they could probably do this better, especially since it’s their own national dish.
— myBurgerLab (@myBurgerLab) July 28, 2017
Yes, while many Malaysians and Malaysian companies (hello Grab) choose to move to Singapore the minute success is on the horizon, Malaysians are comforted only by one thing: in a world filled with uncertainties, they’re 99.9% sure they make better food. The 0.01% is a watery sambal aberration that hits every 1 in 10,000 meals.
myBurgerLab spoke to Channel NewsAsia and said that the Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang Burger it developed was more of a response to Malaysians asking for something to be made “because Malaysia’s McDonald’s didn’t have it.”
It went on to explain:
“We actually had this recipe three years ago, but we decided not to launch it because we felt it was a boring product. We thought: ‘Why would you eat a nasi lemak burger when you can have nasi lemak?’
Well, it seems times have changed and people want some form of fusion in their food nowadays.”
Chiiiiiild. That’s a lot of shade from under the bun, myBurgerLab.
Singaporeans on social media were not amused. Some salty folks even threw their confidence behind the fact that no one could outdo McDonald’s (geez, have you never eaten anywhere else?):
Others were angered by the fact that myBurgerLab would even joke about “gunning down the whole of Singapore” over a burger (you okay, bro?):
Oh please, if there is ever anything that Malaysia is accused of, let it not be the take down of all Singaporeans over a burger. Not even real nasi lemak, but the knock-off of a McDonald’s burger. Of course, myBurgerLab isn’t the first to take on the fast food chain’s Nasi Lemak burger — homegrown cafes The Beast and Burger Mak Mona have their own iterations of the sandwich with actual, proper coconut rice ‘buns’.
But don’t let petty conflicts tear us neighbors apart (again). Remember the ties that bind us: a mutual appreciation of Mustafa Center, and cheaper hookers in Johor Baru.
Story by Coconuts KL; Additional reporting by Coconuts Singapore