I’m not a very large fan of historical past nor do I give in simply to the cult of character. Typically, although, tales of the previous a couple of larger-than-life individual draw me in. That’s precisely what occurred once I got here throughout an Instagram publish about former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Historian PJ Thum got here throughout an attention-grabbing doc despatched by the Singapore Excessive Fee to the British Overseas and Commonwealth Workplace within the UK. It was an in depth set of directions about our then-PM Lee’s likes and dislikes in order that preparations might be made for his 1979 state go to.
What PM Lee ate and drank within the UK in 1979
Soup was to be served “clear and sizzling”. I learn some derisive and/or dismissive feedback in regards to the request for “onion soup… with out the onions”. That seemingly paradoxical assertion simply signifies that the onion soup is served with the strong items of onion strained out, folks, no biggie.
Mr. Lee’s favorite fish was ikan kurau and he favored it fried with fantastic bread crumbs and served with a contemporary lemon. He wasn’t the largest seafood lover, although, because the doc specified that there was to be no crab meat or cuttle fish.
Pork chops have been to be restricted to a single piece of roughly 7 ounces (198 grams) and served with baked beans and French beans. See, that’s why he was all the time so slim.
Steak lovers might be obsessively pedantic in regards to the preparation of their meat and Mr. Lee was no completely different. He was to be served solely an 8-ounce (227 gram) Scotch Aberdeen Angus or American Sirloin and Porterhouse, and Fillet from New Zealand.
The meat first needed to be marinated with Lea and Perrin sauce, mustard, ginger juice, salt and pepper. The meat was then to be fried brown with corn oil until ‘medium completed’.
The standalone part on alcohol made me smile, too.
Mr Lee didn’t need served wine by default however would ask when he felt like having some. His preferences have been La Tour St Emilion 1972 and Chassange Montrachet 1972/74 for reds. His listing of most well-liked whites stretched to 4, topped by Serrger Wurtzberg Riesling Spatless 1976 and Brauneberger Juffer Spatless 1973.
Beers needed to be served “barely chilled” with the listing restricted to Heineken and Tuborg. “Beer with curry meals” was specified by black and white. I smiled wider once I learn that Mrs. Lee shared her husband’s style in beer. That’s half the battles gained, guys.
His pre-dinner cocktail was to be “Stolichnaya Vodka with Tonic water and a slice of lemon or 1 teaspoon pure honey with juice of half lemon and boiled water in a glass”. This explains why there was some on-line chatter about how particular a few of these requests have been.
One other factor made clear was that there was to be “no alcohol throughout working lunch” (authentic emphasis).
PM Lee had requested for fruit after lunch and dinner, restricted to papaya, pisang mas and mandarin oranges. And “Sunkist after a curry meal”. It was suggested that he “could require” a cup of Milo or Ovaltine at night time. I can empathise.
I’m certain that to some folks, this will likely seem to be only a listing of random foods and drinks preferences. My fascination stems from how particular among the requests have been whereas others have been so usually Singaporean, significantly the request for Milo, which just about all of us can perceive.
I additionally recognize his emphasis on excluding alcohol from working lunches. On the opposite, it was cute how he and Mrs. Lee would have sat about sharing the identical bottles of Heineken and Tuborg as he recounted the day’s happenings to her.
Greater than something, this was an infusion of humanity into the individual behind the character, and we should always all be capable of recognize that.
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