Forget State Dinners. How about the State Breakfast?

Forget State Dinners. How about the State Breakfast?

You've heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

But apparently, world leaders choose to ignore the sagely adage, preferring to host lavish and costly state lunches and dinners for visiting dignitaries.

What they end up doing, is spending large amounts of money - the general price tag of a White House State Dinner is US$500,000 (S$671,000) - on expensive meat cuts and exotic seafood.

Just a day ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and wife, Ho Ching, concluded the first White House State Dinner for Singapore in more than three decades.

On the four-course menu were items such as American Wagyu beef seared in Vermont butter, Maryland blue crab and yellow peaches from California and Virgina.

All mouth-wateringly good I'm sure, but I think it would be even better for world leaders to host State Breakfasts instead.

For starters, State Breakfasts would be way cheaper to organise. Tell me, where can you find kopi siu dai and kaya toast sets that cost half a million dollars?

No one has to spend money on expensive gowns, tuxedos, and jewellery.

No need for fancy decorations, entertainment or pomp. It's way too early for all that.

No need to worry about the media zooming in on fashion faux pas like 'auntie' flip-flops or that your clutch bag costs $14.80 and was designed by a kid at Pathlight Secondary School.

It wouldn't matter because who's ever heard of any dress code standards being set for breakfast? In some households, even just boxer shorts are acceptable.

If anyone really wanted, they could come in a set of stunning pyjamas and socks and call that outfit "presidential pyjamas".

It rolls off the tongue too, doesn't it?

In any case, this is breakfast. It's overlooked and underrated. It can be kept so low key yet be so powerful for building bilateral relations.

In fact, as a champion of breakfasts, I would like to propose a State Breakfast menu for Singapore that could truly become a breakfast of champions.

It might look something like this:


1. You tiao

- Golden crispy dough fritters which are perfect for bilateral sharing.

2. Chye Tau Kueh (black/white)

- Some prefer black. Some prefer white. I'm diplomatic and love both.

3. Tau huay

- Perfect for the lactose intolerant, it's also high in protein needed by any country's leader. Hipsters would approve too.

4. Soft boiled eggs

- Because. Eggs.

5. Nasi lemak

- The main course: It's a full meal on a plate and highly customisable. Extra chicken wing? No problem.

6. Otak-otak

- The side dish that provides that palatal kick any stubborn statesman needs to wake up his idea.

7. Kaya Toast

- A Singapore classic that connects with many different cultures. What's there not to like about it?

8. Teh/Kopi

- And finally, the hot nectar from the gods to wash it all down and provide a caffeine boost to think clearly through the day.

What else do you think should be served at a State Breakfast?


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