A video that supposedly featured legitimate Singaporean street food has drawn ire among social media users from Singapore for its alleged “whitewashing”.
The video, roughly two minutes in length, was posted by INSIDER Food over Facebook and has since been viewed over 900,000 times. It started by introducing the eatery called Chomp Chomp, located in New York City.
Simpson Wong, the owner and chef at the eatery who grew up in Malaysia, shared his motivation behind setting up the business:
“I grew up very, very poor, so we [didn’t] go out to eat at different restaurants or try different cuisines. But when we go out, my parents would take us to a hawker center because it’s a lot cheaper.”
“When we get to the hawker center, we would run to our favorite stores so that we get to taste, like, eight different kinds of dishes,” he added.
The video went on to flash dishes many Singaporeans recognized until a bunch of unexpected ones popped up: chili crab cheese fries, crab omelette and lamb rendang mee pok with fried egg and a cracker.
Writer Ariel Pang wrote (via AsiaOne):
“Huh? This is Singaporean street food? Since when were chilli crab french fries available in hawker centres? And since when do we spoon our mee pok onto a cracker and eat it like a taco?”
Confused netizens immediately criticized the video and the food for being inauthentic, with some calling out its inappropriate caption that reads, “This is Singaporean street food.”
Watch the full clip below! Is this whitewashing or more of an Asian-American-washing?