Ordering at a cai fan (economic rice) stall can be quite an overwhelming experience. The sheer number of dishes on display is mind-boggling enough as it is, and you are now tasked to pick just three — four if it's a special day — to accompany your rice.
This isn't lost on two famous local artists, Benjamin Kheng and Annette Lee, who decided to write a full song on cai fan and dedicate it to their fellow cai fan lovers.
Let's start with a bit of a TikTok teaser, shall we? (Cause it's just more fun like that)
Ben posted this 40-second clip on his TikTok two days ago (Sept 18) which stated his challenge: "Write a song about cai fan."
The video cuts to the next scene where the 31-year-old is in an empty theatre, all suited up and belting out the pre-chorus.
The lyrics perfectly encapsulate the walk-up to the cai fan uncle or auntie — "Because before I can even decide, you already ask me what I want. All I can say is... this and that, this and that, this and that. My heart doesn't know what to eat... this and that."
The simple act of ordering one of our favourite meals has somehow turned into a belter of a Mandopop love song, especially when Annette, 29, joined in halfway to harmonise with Ben.
I mean, even if you roll your eyes or do a slight facepalm on the subject matter, you simply cannot deny how catchy it is.
In Annette's verse, she mentioned ordering cai fan can be as stressful as taking an exam.
Over the last two days, the videos on both their accounts have had a combined total of 417,000 views on TikTok.
Netizens were impressed at how they made a song about the humble cai fan so emotional. Funnily enough, some were a little bit confused about the lyrics in the chorus. The repetitive use of "zhe ge, na ge" (this one, that one in Mandarin) came off as something rather different.
Also, one netizen gave explained why the simplicity of the two ubiquitous Mandarin phrases worked for them.
Another TikTok user is hoping that the two singers would put together a song for the nasi padang (a similar concept of rice with different dishes, popular in the Malay community) ordering experience as well.
Come on, Ben and Annette, just do it.
In the meantime, enjoy the full four-minute music video below. The song is also out on all streaming platforms.