Dîner en Blanc - Atas Picnic for Atas People in Singapore (no local food or local bloggers allowed) - Alvinology

Dîner en Blanc – Atas Picnic for Atas People in Singapore (no local food or local bloggers allowed)

Read about this incident from my friends, Daniel and Irene‘s blogs.

I would not have known about Dîner en Blanc happening in Singapore if not for their blog posts and social media.

Since the organisers decided to diss local bloggers and local food, I am throwing in my support to Daniel and Irene.

Singapore’s blogfather, Mr Brown had already “farted” his support.  I am sure more bloggers and Singaporeans will join in.

Boycott Dîner en Blanc in Singapore on 30 August 2012. 

Boycott Dîner en Blanc in SIngapore
Boycott Dîner en Blanc in SIngapore

Dîner en Blanc is a picnic event imported from Paris that is held in outdoor public spaces worldwide. The location is kept secret till the actual day. There are strict rules to follow to maintain classiness – attire must be all-white (reminds me of a certain political party commonly associated with being elitist and hao lian); table décor must be white; tables and chairs must be brought on your own and of a certain size; beer and hard alcohol are not allowed; no plastic cutlery and paper plates; food brought must be “quality” food; and men are to sit on one side and women on the other (source via Daniel’s blog).

Okay lah, it’s their event, they are free to dictate the rules.

Moreover, it is following the event’s tradition and spirit that is observed worldwide in different countries.

My grouse?

Well, apparently the organisers and their PR folks invited a bunch of local bloggers, including Daniel and Irene to the event and asked them to blog about it. Daniel wrote a post making some suggestions on local food that may be suitable for the event, including tau huay (soybean pudding). This offended the organisers so badly that they demand him to remove his blog post. When he failed to do so, they unceremoniously uninvited all the bloggers except for Irene (maybe cos she is from New York and is deemed more atas to them). Nonetheless, Irene being Irene, stands with us sinkies.

How’s that for snubbing Singaporeans and Singapore food?

If local food is not welcome, communicate it from the start.

If the event is meant for expats only, communicate it from the start too.

We sinkies know our place. We will just shun the event.

Now, we not shun, we boycott. 


  1. Why are Singaporeans always so defensive about the local food. Ok, it is good but I’ve had better Asian cuisine in many places in Europe, especially London and Paris. Let the frenchies have their party the way they want it.

  2. @Peter Finn

    Singapore is small. There isn’t much you can do on this little island besides eating and shopping. We do not have mountains and great scenery. We do not have a 5000 year old history and our own cultural lineage. We don’t have the world’s longest river or tallest building or whatever. What we do have is our own little melting pot of local cuisine that came about from all the different ethnic groups being together; it is uniquely Singaporean, and one of the few things we can truly claim as our own. You can be damn well sure we’re proud of it. When you look down on local food, you’re looking down on us Singaporeans. What makes their food better? just because they are westerners? Also, don’t forget Singapore’s colonial past….

  3. “I’ve had better Asian cuisine in many places in Europe, especially London and Paris.”

    Pray tell what is the meaning of this blasphemy.

  4. @Peter Finn I am going to venture that you don’t actually eat at all the right places. So pray tell, what is it about Singaporean food that is ‘lacking’ compared to ‘Asian’ (which specific cuisine, even?) food in Europe? Too subtle for your robust western palate? Not chi-chi enough? No ‘Singapore Fried Noodles’? Your post is an utter joke and would be hilarious were it not actually offensive?

  5. Also, the whole furore began when local food was deemed as ‘not classy enough’. Sorry, but eating is one of the few democratic pleasures people of all races and religions share in common here, and let’s be real if we wanted to come up with some classy descriptive bullshit for our foods like the West is oh so fond of doing, we very well can. Since you’re in another host country and purport to celebrate ‘food from all places and walks of life’ you better damn well walk the talk. I would agree that presentation has to be immaculate, but the food itself is a different story altogether.

  6. I sincerely wonder what Mr Peter Finn has been eating all this while. Burgers? Ridiculous man, please go away and have your Asian food in London and/or Paris. And then prepare to get your tongue thickened by MSG.

  7. @A Chinese Who Loves Curry, don’t believe in what your mother told you, that you were picked up from a dustbin. You do have cultural lineage and history. Your history and cultural lineage link all the way back to mainland china.

    Your siblings are not the waste plastic bottles, food wrappers!

  8. @ What’s wrong with all these Chinese Singaporeans!
    Dude, obviously they meant that we’re a country of immigrants, a young country. It’s difficult to have a sense of national identity, and food is really the main thing we have and we’re proud of. I may be ethnic Chinese but this doesn’t mean I identify with China. Ask most HongKonger or Taiwanese and they’ll tell you the same thing.

  9. At the end of it, it was the local organizers that discriminted against local food, not the french.

    lol, not unexpected. I guess it’s a bit like how GAP is just like Giordanos in the US but we treat it like an ‘atas’ brand here.

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