‘Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak’: summit-themed dish uses kimchi and American beef slices

Photo: @xavierlur
Photo: @xavierlur

The culinary elements of the United States, Korea, and Singapore collide into one potentially explosive (hur hur) dish: nasi lemak with kimchi and US dry-aged beef.

It makes even more sense that the Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak is being sold by Harmony Nasi Lemak. Peace, love, and harmony y’all.

Going for $21 (!) at the Harmony Nasi Lemak outlet at Suntec City, the dish reportedly took a month to conceptualize. Aromatic rice cooked in coconut milk is topped with kimchi in place of acar (a localized version of pickled vegetables), sliced cucumber, sambal, nuts, fried anchovies and slices of grilled American beef. We sincerely hope that the steak slices aren’t prepared like how the current US president likes it: well-done with ketchup. Blech.

Hell, it even comes with its own hashtag #MakeHarmonyGreatAgain — styled after Trump’s infamous “Make America Great Again” slogan.

“It’s a very historic event, and we wanted to create a dish which shows the harmony between both,” said Harmony Nasi Lemak spokesperson Zach Wen to Channel NewsAsia. “I hope people don’t see it as a gimmick, but rather focus on the idea of behind it.”

But… it is a gimmick. Why else would so many other local bars and restaurants hop on the bandwagon with their own F&B promotions related to the Trump-Kim summit?

Gimmick or not, the Trump-Kim Chi Nasi Lemak has so far brought a 10 percent increase in business for the nasi lemak joint since the summit special was launched on Monday, or so Wen claimed to CNA.

“The response has been quite positive, although the pricing is considered quite expensive for a nasi lemak,” he stated. Damn right he is — one of Singapore’s best nasi lemak that we’ve personally blind-tasted goes for just $12.80 at The Coconut Club. As another comparison, Harmony Nasi Lemak’s standard fare typically goes for less than $6.

Then again, the nasi lemak dish could provide neutral culinary ground for the summit — either leader can’t be seen eating the other party’s home fare. But one that blends both their cuisines with one of Singapore’s national dishes? Sure, why not.

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