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Singaporeans disapprove New York restaurant Chomp Chomp's take on hawker food

At least it's better than serving Singapore Noodles, right?

By Tay Shi Ting | Apr 21, 2017

  • Singaporeans disapprove New York restaurant Chomp Chomp's take on hawker food
    Photo credit: Chomp Chomp

Singaporeans showed their disapproval of a New York City restaurant that has taken after the name of one of our most beloved hawker centres, Chomp Chomp. It is unknown if the NYC place was inspired by the now-closed-for-renovation Serangoon Garden establishment. But a few years after Chomp Chomp (the NYC one) is in business, Singaporeans here have now taken interest in the restaurant because of an Insider Food video that went viral on social media.

So how did Chomp Chomp in NYC get started? It was Chef-owner Simpson Wong, a Malaysian-born banker, who opened it. He used to own Viet-Thai-Malaysian restaurant Cafe Asean, which is now closed. He later opened Jefferson, a new-American restaurant, and Wong, a place focusing on Asian cuisine. Chomp Chomp is his latest venture because he said he wanted New Yorkers to have a taste of authentic Singaporean hawker food (good luck with that!). Still, the restaurant actually made it on the New York's Michelin Bib Gourmand list and the New York Times had also given it two stars.

Its menu does feature many Singaporean hawker favorites like laksa, mee rebus, chee cheong fun, roti jala and chili crab. However, what many commentors had a gripe with was that these dishes have been disfigured. The chili crab cheese fries got flak from Facebook user Kevin Robert Anthony, who said it "seems very American". Similar comments by others also suggested that it was perhaps the fusion nature of the cuisine that they didn't like. Take a look:

What we think is that the only wrong Chomp Chomp did was to brand itself as serving authentic Singaporean cusine. If they had proclaimed themselves as a fusion restaurant, things might not have gotten so out of hand. Still, looking at their offerings, we would have loved to see items like durian on their menu, especially since their logo even uses the durian's thorny shape as part of its design.

Here's the Insider Food video that got Singaporeans all rilled up. 


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