‘It just exploded!’: Bored Canadian sailors fight boredom sampling Singapore’s desserts (Video)

Sailors react to kueh. Photo: HMCS Calgary
Sailors react to kueh. Photo: HMCS Calgary

A ship full of bored Canadian sailors got to a taste of Singapore recently, at least in the form of a platter of its gelatinous cakes known as kueh – and they seemed to like it. 

The crew, which can’t leave the ship due to COVID, was filmed reacting to mouthfuls of ang ku kueh, kueh salat, ondeh ondeh and other varieties aboard the HMCS Calgary, which docked Sunday. 

“It was tasty…once I got over the initial surprise,” one shipmate said of a palm sugar-filled ondeh ondeh ball after almost doing a spit-take of his first bite, which he said had “exploded.”

His was among numerous Canadians-react-to-foreign snacks in the minute-long clip hosted by sailor 1st Class Hart Young, who toured the vessel serving the cakes on a silver platter to his fellow crewmen.

“What is ‘Kueh?’ We had no idea! During HMCS Calgary’s #Singapore stop, we got to try this colorful, delicious, and mysterious-to-us Singaporean treat for the first time,” Tuesday’s video was captioned. 

Ang ku kueh is a sticky glutinous rice dessert filled with peanut and mung bean while the multicolored lapis is a glutinous dessert made with coconut milk. Kueh dadar is a pancake rolled with sweet, grated coconut; kueh salat is a steamed glutinous rice dessert with coconut milk and blue pea flowers; and finally, kueh talam is a kind of pudding made with pandan and coconut cream.

The sailors said that the other desserts were “delicious” and “creamy.”

It was a moment of levity for the crew, which one week ago sailed through the contentious South China Sea on a patrol that took them past the heavily contested Spratly Islands.

The fleet was anchored at Changi Naval Base for three days while en route through the Indo-Pacific and Middle East on a mission in concert with Canadian naval allies. Its last recorded position was in the Strait of Malacca approaching Kuala Lumpur.

It was the sixth Canadian naval vessel to visit Singapore since 2016.

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