Singaporean cuisine has made waves internationally in recent years, earning praise from the likes of the Michelin Guide and celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and the late Anthony Bourdain.
Last month, however, the praise came from an unexpected quarter – soldiers from the United States Army. On Tuesday, the Singapore Army uploaded a video on its Facebook page showing US soldiers trying out Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) field rations during Exercise Daring Warrior 2018.
The exercise was a combined live-firing exercise conducted by the US Army and the Singapore Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from Oct 8 to 25. About 150 SAF soldiers took part in the exercise, which saw them training alongside US soldiers.
In the clip, which is slightly over a minute long, US soldiers are seen trying out several different types of SAF rations, including makhani bean stew with chicken, glutinous rice with chicken, and sweet potato and red bean soup.
A US soldier, identified on his uniform as Private First Class Slack, tries the makhani bean stew with chicken and says it tastes “pretty good”, comparing it to beans and chicken, a Western dish.
“This is pretty good, I’d probably have this more than once,” says another US soldier, identified as Private Phillips.
Singaporean soldier tries to explain the concept of glutinous rice with chicken to a US sergeant major, whose name tag reads McLaughlin, describing it as a “Chinese kind of delicacy”.
“We try to give that to our soldiers to let them taste the food back home when they’re out in the field,” the Singaporean says in the clip.
Aside from the taste, some of the US soldiers in the video also say they like the quantity or serving sizes, adding that they would eat the rations again, given the opportunity.