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'Singapore Noodles' packaging with Native American imagery baffles actual Singaporeans

'Singapore Noodles' packaging with Native American imagery baffles actual Singaporeans
PHOTO: Facebook / Kevin Bathman

Should tourists go up to a local hawker and ask for a fresh plate of Singapore noodles, they’ll only receive a steaming hot bowl of confused, blank looks because what the hell even is that dish. 

Granted, the vaguely-defined dish known as Singapore Noodles does exist in many places overseas, especially in Asian restaurants in predominantly Caucasian countries. But adding to the level of perplexity in the already baffling discussion is this post by Facebook user Kevin Bathman. 

On Jan 30, Kevin uploaded a peculiar picture of packets of instant noodles. Let’s try to break it down. 

  • It’s a packet of Singapore Curry Instant Noodles, which is something that doesn’t exist here. Unless we’re talking about mee goreng from the Indian-Muslim stalls? But the picture on the packaging doesn’t even look like it.
  • What does Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh have to do with Singapore? 
  • Most importantly, why the heck is there cultural appropriation in the form of a Native American headdress worn by a Bollywood actor for a packet of Singapore-flavoured noodles? 
  • Why is there an “I love Desi Chinese” statement plastered on it? How is Singapore cuisine considered Sino-Indian? 

Kevin explained that the brand — Ching’s Secret — is actually an Indian brand that specialises in Indian-Chinese cuisine. You can actually find Ching’s Secret products stocked on the shelves of Mustafa Centre, with fusion options like Schezwan Chutney and Green Chili sauce. 


Like Kevin, local netizens are just as baffled about the mishmash of everything that isn’t actually Singaporean on something that touts to be the taste of Singapore. 

It appears that the packaging — odd as it is — actually has variations. Prominent instant noodle blogger The Ramen Rater managed to find a packet of the Singapore Curry Instant Noodles in Washington. According to him, the noodles taste pretty decent with a profile akin to “curry meets masala”. His all-time favourite instant noodle is Prima Taste’s Laksa La Mian, so you know you can trust his taste. 

But again, this begs the question: does it taste like something from out of Singapore? In a transnational investigation into the foreign yet familiar dish published in Mynah Magazine (disclaimer: I had a hand in the article), the closest thing that resembles Singapore Noodles is none other than fried bee hoon. 


In the end, what Ching’s Secret’s take on Singapore noodles might just be a mere imitation of the classic Maggi curry noodles. Both pale in comparison anyway when placed next to our MSG-laden lord and saviour Indomie.

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