State visits are traditionally filled with pomp, pageantry and lavish dinners. However, the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia broke away from the norm on Wednesday (Aug 27), when they opted for a local favourite, nasi briyani.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hosted his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Najib Razak, to a simple meal at My Briyani House at the Kallang Wave Mall after a visit to the new Singapore Sports Hub. Relations between Singapore and Malaysia have always been warm, but they took a spicy turn when Mr Lee and Mr Najib went to the My Briyani House for dinner.
The heat was certainly on in the kitchen, as the restaurant staff were only notified of the distinguished guests’ planned visit just a week ago. However, the preparations paid off, and the staff were excited to see both prime ministers tasting their signature dishes.
“We were quite impressed and we were quite glad that they tried the food and liked it. That was what we are most happy about,” said the general manager of My Briyani House, Mr Joseph Low.
The choice for both the Singapore and Malaysia leaders when they dined at the restaurant was one of the signature dishes, Chicken Briyani. Apparently, the owner said it took six months to perfect this recipe to find that right balance of spice. The outlet has been open for less than two months.
While there are no plans to commemorate the leaders’ visit with a special dish, the restaurant’s specialities are already gaining fans.
One diner, Rosaline Phan, said: “We went to a number of shops but we found this place very attractive … We found the fish curry very good and the taste is fantastic. The roti prata was awesome.”
“The atmosphere, ambience and service is superb. And the food is not too bad, but there is still space for improvement,” said another diner, Choo Siew Geok.
My Briyani House will open its third branch at Seletar Mall in the next few months.