We survived the Trump-Kim summit-themed food and booze trail

Trump, Kim, and co. have come for the big summit, and the minutiae of their every move has been sustaining 3,000+ journalists thirsty for a scoop or story. Any story.

While our Coconuts Singapore editors and TV crew have been busy covering the big happenings, I’m your “any story” editor, folks — and here’s my contribution: We’ve mapped out the various summit-themed dishes and drinks that local businesses have rolled out recently, and set out to try each stop on this Trump-Kim food and booze trail across Singapore.

And here, we present our findings. It’s the Coconuts guide to Summit City F&B specials, y’all.

First stop: Royal Plaza on Scotts, Trump-Kim Burger and Summit Iced Tea

The wave of “summit mania” has been especially strong here, and the staff at Scotts Lounge operated at assembly line levels of efficiency to serve a full house on the day that we went. Nearly every one of the 30 or so patrons had ordered the Trump-Kim burger and Summit Iced Tea set, and there was a queue out the door an hour into service. Staffers told us they sold out the day before, too.

Diners photographing their Trump-Kim burgers at Scotts Lounge. It’s summit mania, man. Photos: Galen Crout

The burger is a wee thing. Its patty is made of ground chicken mixed with flecks of kimchi, which gives the whole thing a pronounced garlic flavor. That’s sandwiched between buns that have been buttered and grilled on the inside, with another thin layer of minced kimchi and a smidgeon of mayonnaise. It’s tasty, nicely textured, and over in three to four bites.

This cute lil’ guy would probably fit into a certain world leader’s hands, nice and snug. Photo: Galen Crout

The two pieces of gimbap (the “Korean rice rolls”) on the side are there to fill you up. No frills or attempts at flavor here, friends — this is pure sustenance. There’s probably room for a tasteless joke there, but in the spirit of this summit we’re moving forward.

FIND IT:
The Trump-Kim Chicken and Kimchi Burger (SGD$12++) and Summit Iced Tea (honey yuzu iced tea, SGD$6++) will be served until June 15, from 6pm to 10pm, at Scotts Lounge at Royal Plaza on Scotts.

Next: Hopheads, the Bromance cocktail set

The “Bromance” cocktail set at Hopheads. Photo: Reider Larsen

Over at Hopheads, they’re doing something called the “Bromance” cocktail set — two glasses of diet Coke (it’s The Donald’s fave), tequila, and Asahi Black, a dry, nutty dark lager. It’s served with a shot of white grape soju that you’re meant to drop into the main glass, sake bomb-style.

If you think that sounds like an unholy mix of substances whose molecules have no business meeting, ever — hey, turns out you’re right. It mostly tastes like Coke (diet at that, ugh). Notes of watered-down dark beer brooding in the background. Finishes with a savage bitchslap of artificial grape flavoring. You do get three stickers to take home, though, which is satisfying — like being back in grade school and getting rewarded for finishing a task.

FIND IT:
The Bromance two-glass cocktail set (SGD$19++) comes with three stickers (1 Trump, 1 Kim, 1 Peace Sign) and will be served until June 13, 11:30am to midnight, at Hopheads.

Onward, ho: The Beast Southern Kitchen, #WorldBeast Burger

Expectation vs. reality — hey, pretty darn close. Photos: Galen Crout (L) and Reider Larsen (R)

Up near tourist haven Haji Lane, we find ourselves eye to eye with the WorldBeast Burger, which uses deep-fried patties of mac n’ cheese in lieu of conventional burger buns. Inside, the beef patty is dressed up differently on each half: on the American side, with bacon jam and barbecue sauce, and the Korean side, with bulgogi-marinated beef, caramelized onions, and garlic sauce.

Taste? Not bad. You’d have to be a pretty big fan of barbecue sauce, though, since there’s so much of it on the American side that it masks the taste of the mac n’ cheese. The Korean side, with that creamy garlic sauce, works much better. All in all, a satisfying, structurally sound burger.

FIND IT:
The #WorldBeast burger with fries (SGD$23++) will be served until June 14, 5pm to midnight, at The Beast Southern Kitchen & Bourbon Bar.

Continuing on: Wolf Burgers, Burger For World Peace

Mission: Unaccomplished. Photo: Cindy Kuan

Off to Suntec City, where we have three places to hit. First — Wolf Burgers, within the PasarBella mall food court.

JK. It’s closed. All we got was a snap of the sign, with its depiction of a burger impersonating a clam. For those who are curious, this is their take on the American-Korean fusion burger: bulgogi-marinated sliced brisket with kimchi mayo, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and yellow danmuji rounds of pickled radish. Sounds nice enough, but we’ll never know. If you make it out there, tell us what we missed, yeah?

FIND IT:
The Burger for World Peace (SGD$12.90++) will be served until June 17,  from 11:30am to 9:30pm, at Wolf Burgers.

Forget you, Wolf Burgers. We’re headed to: The Butcher’s Kitchen, Cowboy Kimchi Burger

Another burger awaits us within the same mall. We head up the escalators, one floor, to seek out the “Cowboy Kimchi Burger” — a Black Angus beef patty with kimchi, tomato, onion, and lettuce. They say they make their own hamburger buns, too.

Oh no. It’s closed, too.

Again, we’ll have to take your word for it — Is it good? Bad? You prefer your F&B gimmicks with a lil’ more gimmick? Good news! Harmony Nasi Lemak is next.

FIND IT:
The Cowboy Kimchi Burger (SGD$18.80++) will be served until June 17,  from 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 9pm (weekends from 11am to 9pm), at The Butcher’s Kitchen.

Still open: Harmony Nasi Lemak / OSG Bar, Trump Kim-Chi Nasi Lemak

SUBTLETY NOT WELCOME HERE. Photos: Galen Crout

Probably the most high-profile of the summit food specials around town — the “Trump Kim-Chi Nasi Lemak” takes the beloved traditional and swaps in “US dry-aged beef” and kimchi to stay in theme. The rest of the ingredients remain the same: coconut rice, sambal, peanuts, deep-fried anchovies, cucumber slices, and an egg.

A lot of people are going to be irritated by the pricing on this one straightaway, so let’s address it. Management at Harmony Nasi Lemak probably has the following line of defense prepared: “We use premium beef! It’s dry-aged! And imported!”

The Trump Kim-Chi Nasi Lemak bowl. Photos: Galen Crout

Right. OK, here’s the thing. The beef in this dish, as it’s currently being prepared, doesn’t warrant that price point. All the beef slices in there are an off-putting mushy texture, have no bite, and only disperse the faintest hints of what proper dry-aged beef should taste like.

Maybe it’s a problem with overcooking via sous vide, maybe it’s storage issues, or both. Whatever it is, even if you’re working with premium beef — if you mishandle it, then you do a disservice to the entire lineup of entities involved: the cow, the butcher, the people who did the aging, the people who prepped and shipped it out here to your kitchen. Please fix it. If you did, it could be a pretty solid dish.

FIND IT:
The Trump Kim-Chi Nasi Lemak (SGD$21++) is available from 7am to 2am at Harmony Nasi Lemak/OSG Kitchen & Bar.

Considering: Sinfonia Ristorante, The RWB Burger

Heading back downtown, we consider Sinfonia Ristorante — they’re doing a dish called the “RWB Burger” that has red, white, and blue elements. Red: wagyu beef with caviar on top. White: deep-fried chicken fillet, in a slider with aioli and sweet chili sauces. Blue: blue cheese sauce.

It all sounds a bit much. The excess of it all — this dish, this exercise — is starting to eat away at our dignity, and we decide to skip this one. But hey, it’s there if you’re into it.

FIND IT:
The RWB Burger (SGD$42++) is available until June 15, from noon to 3pm, and 6pm to 11pm, at Sinfonia Ristorante.

Stumbling on to… Empire Sky Lounge, The Trump Whiskey and The Rocket Cocktails, plus World Peace Bombs

We stopped by the nearby Empire Lounge to see about their promo, but turns out the bar is only doing a one-time event on the night of the summit, June 12. Here’s what they’ll have: a “Whisky Trump” cocktail, and a red cocktail (Campari-based) called “The Rocket.” They’re also doing shooters called “World Peace Bombs.” What a time to be alive…

FIND IT:
The Whisky Trump and The Rocket (SGD$12++ each), and World Peace Bombs (SGD$3++) are available June 12, from 5pm to 1am, at Empire Lounge.

OK, we’ve got no choice but… Escobar, The Trump and The Kim Cocktails

Actual mural in Escobar, the bar. Photo: Galen Crout

Yes, we’re at Escobar — that elegant, high-concept cocktail bar that pissed off a slew of people and organizations with its theme and decor.

They’re doing two red, white, and blue-colored cocktails, one named after each of our protagonists: The Trump, which contains bourbon, pineapple juice, blue curaçao, and roselle syrup; and The Kim, which uses soju, gin, muddled raspberries, and roselle syrup.

“The Kim” cocktail (R) and “The Trump” cocktail (L). Photo: Galen Crout

Except for its coloring, it’s basically the kind of cocktail that beach resorts sling. Heavy on the fruit flavors, and unlike the bar that birthed it, largely inoffensive. Of all the places we’ve been to on this list, though, this is the kind of place to get sloshed. Just a note for those looking for that kind of night.

FIND IT:
The Trump and The Kim cocktails (SGD$12.60++ each) are available “until they leave”, from 11am to 11pm, at Escobar.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Lucha Loco, The El Trump Taco and The Rocket Man Taco

The Rocket Man taco (L) against the El Trumpo Taco (R). Photo: Cindy Kuan

Squeezing in one more before throwing in the towel on these summit specials — it’s taco time.

Trendy Mexican restaurant Lucha Loco is doing “The Rocket Man Taco,” (pictured above), which uses Korean-style fried chicken, purple cabbage, and pickled radish rounds. This one is a fine example of fusion food done right, except those corn tortillas. They’ve let them dry out, and as a consequence, they’re on the brittle side.

That “El Trumpo Taco” though. It’s essentially just an underwhelming burger wrapped in one dry corn tortilla, which is hardly able to contain its contents: a beef patty as dense as a hockey puck, a cheese slice, lettuce, pickles, and what they call “secret sauce.”

Lucha Loco’s El Trumpo taco. Photos: Cindy Kuan

I finished it. I don’t believe in food waste. And if you don’t either, then don’t give them a reason to make another one.

FIND IT:

The Rocket Man Taco and El Trumpo Taco (SGD$10++ each) is available until June 16, from noon to 4pm, and 5pm to 11:45pm, at Lucha Loco.

***

Editor’s Note: The food and drinks covered in this article were paid for by Coconuts Media, and reviewed anonymously.

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