Never in my years of blogging have I been told to remove a blog post. Minor edits due to factual errors, sure. If it is a request to remove a negative comment, I will usually ignore because I have decided to be fair, just and objective to my blog readers. This is what blogging is about right?

Being asked to remove a post recently is definitely my first. (Read: My original Dîner en Blanc entry)

You may wonder if I had written a very drastic and negative review about a restaurant. Firstly, I won’t waste time writing about an F&B place which I feel do not deserve that extra publicity (good or bad); and secondly, I do not slam places. That is my style.

On the 20th of July, I WAS invited to attend a Dîner en Blanc event as a media personnel (and can bring a friend), the French viral picnic which is to take place in Singapore for the first time. Accordingly, Singapore would be the first Asian city to host the Dîner en Blanc.

Sounds exciting, except for its strict rules – attire must be white, table décor must be white, tables and chairs must brought on your own and of a certain size, beer and hard alcohol are not allowed, neither plastic cutlery and paper plates, food brought must be “quality” food, and men are to sit on one side and women on the other. That is totally discounting people who come with same sex dining partners, but that is another matter altogether. Other than that, I thought that the rules are still reasonable.

On the 21st of August, I blogged about Dîner en Blanc, told readers about the rules and exclusivity, and recommended 12 foods to bring to the picnic. To be more creative, the 12 foods recommended have local or Asian flavours, and are primarily white. I cleared my content with the PR company (just to be safe) and they also thought the idea was fun and imaginative.

Then the problems began.

I first had a warning from fellow food blogger RubbishEatRubbishGrow, “eh, I quote my friend who is helping out with Diner en blanc. It is not one of the picnics to bring hawker food. You’re expected to bring more atas food leh.”

To which I replied “I personally hate the idea that only cakes, tapas and canapes are considered ‘atas’ food. Why can’t Soon Kueh be served on nice China plates and be considered ‘atas’? Right?”

And there I was thinking that the French organisers would be gracious, and in fact happy that we bring a Singapore flavour to their prestigious event. I was so wrong.

The next day I received a call from the PR company for me to totally remove the post. Not modify. Not edit. But totally remove the post. Reason according to both the French and local organisers was the local delicacies were not in line with the image of the picnic.

For your information, the 12 white food I recommended were tau hway, teochew pau, cheese raisin buns, xiao long bao, chee chiong fun, fishballs, Hainanese chicken rice, white bee hoon, chwee kueh, kueh tu tu, soon kueh and popiah – everyone of which I feel deserve to be in that platform. (The 12 food I recommended)

Maybe there is some miscommunication somewhere. (And I still hope it is all a big miscommunication). If the French organisers are unhappy with ‘tau hway’ being featured, let me explain that it is a traditional long-time favourite of local Singaporeans and other Asian countries, made from soy beans which is a great vernacular of Asian gastronomy. Tau hway is a simple, inexpensive and elegant dessert. Jazz it up to be served on a fine China bowl, and it will look good.

And chicken rice actually needs no introduction, but for good measure, it is Singapore’s signature dish, praised by renowned chef Anthony Bourdain no less, and served in not a few of Singapore’s top hotels.

Part 2.

I found out that I was uninvited for the event. Not only me, but ALL other bloggers and social media personnel. Reason given was: There is not enough space for people. Do you buy into that reason?

To both the French and local organisers, my teachers taught me that you do not ‘un-invite’ guests to an event. At least we all know that is being very un-courteous and impolite. Basic manners, isn’t it? Who would have expected – coming from what one would have imagined to be one of the classiest events of the world.

I am absolutely fine with not going for the Diner En Blanc event. Remember, I am only going to be there because I WAS invited.

Screen capture of Diner En Blanc’s Facebook reply

Here are three lessons I take from this incident:

1) You can disrespect me as a blogger, and disrespect my blog post, but you do not disrespect my culture. If you are going to hold a party at my house, I welcome you with open arms, I respect your rules but please respect your hosts as well.

2) My Singapore local delicacies are the classiest food ever in our hearts. Yes, foie gras, bisque, mille-feuille, escargots, crème brulee are all classy-sounding food. Our tau hway, chicken rice and soon kueh are also all classy in their own way. Thank you very much.

3) You do not dictate to bloggers which posts to put up, which posts not to; invite us, then uninvite us. You do not own us; Neither do you own the Internet.

My last note is for the local organisers and attendees. I would urge you to stand along-side with us, that our Singapore local delicacies that we grew up with, lived with, feed our children with, and feel so proud of, that represents our colourful heritage – can appear in a white prestigious picnic like Dîner en Blanc.

Of course, I still hope, this is all a big misunderstanding.

Fellow blogger Smith Leong created this, which brought a smile on an otherwise stressful day.

Updated Entry
Lessons Learnt from Diner En Blanc – Food is Meant to Unite, Not Divide


  1. Eh?! Seriously they actually have a rule against bringing local food! :0 WTF is that?!? First time I hear of this and to now see it on the screenshot too……

    Tsk. That is just not right. :[

  2. Totally agree with you! Who are THEY to define if our local food are ATAS or not! Why categorize them in the first place?! First time feeling so disrespected as a blogger 🙁

  3. I agree with you that none of the 12 local dishes you mentioned are not appropriate. I feel the organizers should have done some research and learn to respect different culture and food.

    I am not sure why they want to do such an event out of Paris and venture into Asia Singapore. But since they have decided to do so, the basic is to embrace the culture and do their best to blend the differences and bring forth a new idea of food-collaboration.

    Not sure if my comments make sense or not. I just feel the organizers are not respectful of our culture and people.

  4. So rude of them and insensitive of them, my goodness. Kudos to not removing your posts as the organizers demanded, well done! Support totally :)))

  5. I’m flabbergasted! The audacity of them to snub our local food. This is certainly not welcomed if they hold such high and mighty views of their own culture and turn a nose to what Singapore has to offer as a melting pot of food and culture. Supporting you on this Daniel!

  6. actually, if you have to bring your own tables and chairs, isn’t the excuse of “not having enough space” a really poor one?

  7. Bloggers have the right to be respected for the job that they do, they are also members of the media regardless of what others think. They should be a respected for things they write, say and opinions should be valued for things done. And please respect the food served whether it is hawkers, restaurants and hotels because those are iconic dishes, representative of the country. Last but not least, please develop CULTURAL SENSITIVITY and RESPECT towards all races. This is the millenium. Surely, we learnt this in school during Social Studies.

  8. I totally agree with you, I’ve never removed a post for these reasons (probably why I’ve been fired from Street Directory’s restaurant review panel, ho hum!).

    I can understand the organizers’ request for standardisation, in the sense that they are trying to produce visual beauty from a certain uniformity and of course, they need pp to buy food baskets from them to make back the cost and logistical nightmare of this event. However, what I object to is the way invitations are given out by friends-only (hands up all those who think this is invariably going to be predominantly an Expat event) and the high-handed suggestion that you are more, in their own words, ‘euphoric’ when you eat white foods. It’s as if this is a high-handed, highly ironic celebration of people intoxicated by their own materialistic and superficial superiority.

  9. As someone else was suggesting – we shd do a picnic en noir next to this event n hv all our own foods!! Black char kway teow, chin chow, sesame paste etc heh

  10. Well done for sticking to your blogging standards. I’m busy planning all the dishes I’m going to squeeze into my 3 day stay next month. Love Singaporean food and Singapore!

    P.s Manners never grow old. White parties do…. just ask Puff Daddy. 😉

  11. The only reason I could think of they requested to remove your post is because you made reference to a certain political party. Just my 2 cents.

  12. There are so many local picnic events, who needs DeB?? Even ntuc is having their own picnic event. Go local!!!! Kudos to you for standing your ground!

  13. Hi Daniel, agree with you 100% extremely poor behavior on the part of the organisers and their PR team.

    Maybe we should organise an event with only local foods allowed? Call it Makan en Blanc?

  14. Gotta bring own full course of food, own tables and chairs?! I find that funny and ridiculous. Forget it, local cuisine is too real to be at such a pretentious event.

  15. Thank you Daniel, for standing up in defence of local food. Perhaps the French and local organisers of the event realised that such local delicacies are good for the “backbone” that is needed to stand up in defence of our local cuisine.

    Many of the 12 items you have recommended are among my favourites and not being expensive certainly does not degrade the enjoyment I derive from consuming them.

  16. I totally support you in this matter. “Atas” or not, it is really up to one individual to judge. Who are they to say that the food you recommended are not “atas”? And it is really rude of them to invite and then uninvited!

  17. UN-INVITE???? Regardless the reasons, it is not acceptable period. Keep the blog, u are merely stating facts. How else do they want to cover this? They already posted their un-invitation in their FB page!

  18. Good job for sticking to your principles! But i think their event will have a lotta uninvited “guests” anyway.. as its on the eve of a certain chinese festival… 😀

  19. let them eat kueh!

    i stay away from the pretentious crowd, but i fight those who attempt to curtail free speech. well done, sir!

  20. well, the picnic will definately have it’s local supporters, mostly atas wannabes. and just because they consider our local food fit for the rubbish bin isn’t really our problem. We’ll go on loving our very rich and diverse cuisine, and they can feast on their snails and diseased goose liver.

    Maybe famous chefs like Jamie Oliver will appreciate the nitty gritty localised cuisines, and will go hunting to the deepest darkest corners to find a little nanny making food her own style.

    So if we singaporeans want to continue to hold our heads high, then boycott the stupid event. we gain nothing from this, and we don’t need to gain anything from them.

  21. Asian culture says customer is always right.

    Dealt with a french company in the past. Customer had a serious issue with their product. French expat told customer in the face..Renault, volkswagon and so many others no problem how come you have problem? X(

    French culture and us not same.

    Anyway, its a french concept event with a french theme. Dont like don join loh. Or organise a local one and ban foreign dish.

  22. i have a feeling the organizers that said no to hawker fare were singaporeans. singaporeans who feel hawker fare is too low class, food of the commoners. most of the time foreigners are always receptive to food but i may be wrong this time. whoever said our cuisine is not up to par should be shot. it just so happens that our food culture was born out of the hawker centers so what are you going to do about it?

    food is all about presentation, i could get the best tenderloin steak in europe and serve it up on a red melamine plate with heinz ketchup in a packet and you will think its a low class hawker-styled western t-bone steak. however i could also put it on a nice white ceramic plate with forks, knives and spoons beside the plate, a bib and a glass of wine and wow-wow-wee…. high class steak.

    • Haha reminds me of a steak i cooked for my wife… Bought a $25 veal steak, cooked it, garnished it with baked beans and lettuce 🙂 ….. and chilli sauce of course….

  23. I do not know the full story.

    But looking at this post, whats wrong with local food?. There’s also nothing wrong with hawker food.

    I support our hawkers. SIngapore started off that way, from street food to hawker and now food courts. Next time, we may no longer have our own local hawkers. So lets continue to support the hawkers. Its not easy for them (long hours, rental increase, difficulty in getting helpers, salary of helper increasing and lastly our generation of SGers are now keen to be hawkers)

  24. I feel this is to a certain extent somewhat racist (or “countryist”)! Racist towards the people of Singapore. They could have handled the event better. Even if they had originally not considered local food to be suitable, they should at least have had a proper discussion on the issue instead of just slamming the door shut in the faces of people they invited. It’s so mercenary. When they need you, they invite you. When your usefulness is done, Goodbye and Get out.

  25. Let’s be honest, the whole Diner En Blanc concept is based upon snobbery– you have to be invited by someone “in the know”, secret setting, exclusive bullshit bullshit bullshit. Because otherwise it’s just a bunch of people in stupid white clothes having a picnic.

    So now they have extended their snobbery to food in a fit of “Let’s pretend we’re European” self-hatred. Instead of making it a Singaporean cultural experience (and therefore unique), they are content to copycat what has gone on in other cities. Why be creative and different?

    Does anyone know the time and location of this farce? I’m tempted to go (dressed in colors) and protest. They’re using a PUBLIC location (supported by MY tax dollars) for their poncy picnic.

  26. Wonder who are the local organizers or PR company? I mean since they are locals, they should appreciate local food more? Right? Such bad PR and silly event rules and they still got the nerve to un-invite guests.

  27. French food atas? My foot. The whole country and the EU is in an economic mess, soon they will have to eat our great and cheap food like tau huey to survive!

  28. Dear friends, as the blogger directly involved in the Diner En Blanc incident, I would urge all not to incite anger, not to form camps, and we as Singaporeans should remain gracious. Food is meant to unite, not divide. Peace.

  29. I’m just getting more and more appalled at Diner en Blanc. This just smacks of pretentiousness, elitism and high-handed superiority. There’s no backpedalling out of this PR fiasco.

  30. It’s your blog, and they uninvited you like the social buffoons that they are, so you have no obligations to remove anything, from, your own personal Blog. Well done!

  31. Yes! I agree with ur point!

    ” You do not dictate to bloggers which posts to put up, which posts not to; invite us, then uninvite us. You do not own us; Neither do you own the Internet. ”

    And please lah, tau huay is yummy..send them a dozen of it with a ” Keep calm and eat tau hauy! “

  32. Fancy food doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good food and good food necessarily need to be fancy. The whole “my food is better than yours” attitude just proves that the event is not about the food anyway. I wonder why they bothered to invite food lovers in the first place. Nevermind, let them have their fun. Real food lovers don’t need to bother with pretentious crap like that. We all eat what makes us happy and as long as we’re happy, who cares what other people think. 🙂

    • Thanks Spencer. 🙂

      Ladies and gentlemen, let’s just consider it time, stomach space and calories saved for better use. Lol.


  33. Great work Daniel! I especially like the last part of your entry. As a Singaporean, I am in with you on this matter. This event doesn’t mean shit to me if they don’t respect my culture

  34. The fact that the suggested ‘light’ coloured local dishes were rejected is one thing. If it’s an exclusive picnic with French cuisine in mind, so be it. But to be told to remove your blog post… yeah, from a fellow blogger to you – hats off for not budging from your stance!

  35. When the French are involved, you should expect such behaviour. It matters not whether Singaporeans were involved in the planning or not.

  36. You have my complete support Daniel!
    Canapes and tapas are commonly found in bars and streetside cafes in Europe…saying that our local food, food that we eat with our families and friends, is not as good is like slapping all of us in the face!
    Not apologising and even uninviting guests is extremely rude…..I will never want to go to an event hosted by such rude people. And to think that the local organizer is a home-grown company which built itself on the local working class…

  37. If they wanted it to be French/European themed… then they should put that in the rules… they didn’t set their rules properly…

  38. Well said.. Dun bother to go this kind of picnic.. It only bring shame to us.. Stand on ur ground and be proud of it. They are superficial .. what look good doesnt neccessarily taste gd but what look like shit doesnt really taste like shit..

    If you come to our country to hold this kind of event please be mindful of ur word, as we din really invite you guys to come here and criticize our local delight.. and we din force you to fit into our culture too.

    jus my 2 cents

  39. Snobs! I would eat my local fare anytime over force-fed duck livers and garden slugs. Can I also suggest that we include more multiracial food? E.g. Kueh Bangkit, Putu Mayam, Nasi Lemak, Keputat, Tahu Goreng with lots of bean sprouts, Burbur Hitam (the milk is white), Roti Prata, Masala Thosai, Naan, Lassi and Kacang Puteh (even the name is white). 🙂 Yums… … Our local fare is diverse, rich in culture and deep in tradition. It reflects our multi racial and multi cultural roots. Each has a character on its own. To me, my Singapore hawker fare is priceless.

  40. After reading up what little I can find about this Diner en blanc thingy, i believed that it’s probably an ‘event’ that is leaning heavily towards “French” way/perception of food/cuisine. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong or right how food/cuisine should be perceived or embraced, but perhaps the local organisers failed to be meticulous in providing detailed instructions, objectives/goals of Diner en blanc. The entire experience highlighted here was probably worsened by their clumsiness in PR (Singapore tend to be rather weak in this). It’s not about whether they should include local food or not, but if one of the key goals of this event is to promote “french, white, decadent, elitist thingy”, then so be it – and the organisers should have made it clear – then this would have been avoided. There will always be others who will attend such – and let them attend – since the objective was never about the appreciation of local food. I see this as ‘epic’ failures (of the organisers) in communicating and handling the issues more so than whether they should appreciate local food or not. Well, such things are always subjective.

  41. Don’t you all know, les Frogs bastards have always been a racist bunch since time immemorial. They still prefer calling us “Asiatique” as in Asiatic – itself a racist connotation – than “Asien” or Asian. Go figure.

    • Compilation of quotes from Nabei :

      – “les Frogs bastards”
      – “Ching chong ching chong ching chong?”
      – “Singaporean Chinese deserved to get whacked by the Melayus.”
      – “Foreign trash”

      The French might be racist, but they are not the only ones …

  42. If bad publicity is what they want for the event, then their wish is granted.
    As a fellow Singaporean myself, I find that it’s absolutely nothing wrong with bringing local food to such event. Why are they even making people feel obliged? If they think that our local food isn’t “atas” enough, then they shouldn’t even hold it in Singapore in the first place.

    So much for respecting our culture. *rolls eyes*

  43. Did I smell some kind of supremacist from the colonisation days? What so great to attend when they come with arrogance and not appreciative of Asian’s heritage? Give me a break!

  44. Daniel,
    Why no Indian, Eurasian or Malay food ( other than putu pireng aka ‘kueh tutu’ )in the list of local food you suggested? off hand, I can think of putumayam, uppuma, white payasam, lassi…

  45. Aiyo, the people attending just bring the real authentic french food lar, your ox eyes, breaded frog legs, cockscomb (crown of a chicken), snails, tete de veau (whole veal’s head), and my favourite part is the whole range of animal spare parts that will bring any Kway Chap to shame. We seriously need more other animal parts in our dishes, tongue, ears, cheek and so on.

  46. I think if they want to do a French/white picnic on a host site, they need to at least provide the food they want there… Then locals could ‘learn’ abt it… Especially since not many people know abt French food other than escargot, duck l’orange n crepe suzette…
    I suggest doing a massive SINGAPORE FOOD PICNIC right next door to that event n show them how it is done!!!! And if some of their guests want to jump ship, invite them over with open arms…

  47. So disappointing to read this and what had happened. The PR agency and the organiser should know by now the result of this – very bad publicity!
    Enjoy and be proud of our local food. “Atas” or not is all about how people perceive them. It is not truth.
    Thanks for sharing your views, which I fully agree.

  48. Here I feel the strong need to say, “Whoa!” to the haters. Come on, lah. I am offended by the behaviour of the DeB organizers, but (i) I am fluent in French; (ii) I have many French friends, mostly working in the French Foreign Ministry or in fine dining, and I can tell you that the absurd behaviour of these DeB organizers is NOT “typically French”. And I don’t think it’s simply down to the fact that my friends are all too “well-bred”/ “well brought-up”/”di atlas” to behave like those organizers. My friends are NORMAL DECENT FRENCH PEOPLE WHO ARE PROUD OF THEIR CULTURE. And I couldn’t imagine them behaving in such a crass way. Can we please hold back a little with the racist anti-French/ anti-Angmoh comments which — to me — reek of “wahliao eh, I have a massive chip on my shoulder”?

    • I concur. This is less of “French people doing douchebag-y things” and more of “douchebags doing X with a French flavor”. Important to bear the distinction in mind.

    • @OGJ – based on what do you say that French are not “typically French”? The French public sector employees are known for their awful attitudes in France so which planet have you been living on?

      Also, what is this “typical” French attitude? THe one that saw 25 per cent of the French electorate voting for the racist Marine “please get out of France” le Pen or the other 25 per cent who voted for the former far-right Nicholas Sarkozy?

        • Methinks you meant to say *bollocks*?? Kalau nak marah, at least get the spelling correctly. Bahalol sekali, budak Perancis ni.

        • Eh Perancis, you want to carry on with this fight? I challenge you to speak Malay. Don’t come and give me crap like chiak sai. Wanna speak Singlish oso dunno how to spell.

          • Theres no standard written form of singlish my friend since it is just romanization of min nan yu (hokkien). If you want to write it properly it would be using characters:


            You challenge me to speak bahasa: why would i learn this language if i dont live in malaysia/indonesia and it is spoken by merely 40 millions of people (french 110 millions, english 400 millions and mandarin 1.3 billion)?

            I did not say anything against malays, If you have identity problems, go and see a shrink.

      • That’s 18% who voted for extreme-right at the last presidential elections, not 25%. And please, do not judge without knowing the situation here. For having lived and worked for 3 years in Singapore, I can easily say Singapore is way more (but really super way more) closed to foreigners than France. Try immigrating to Singapore, just get PR, if you’re white. Good luck with that. As for why people vote for extreme-right, it’s because there are many integration problems in France you can never imagine in Singapore, being so peaceful and controlled, with very few other culture immigration (all your immigrants are Malaysian or Chinese, sharing a lot of your culture). Just go live in a French suburb cité for 3 months, you’ll change your mind pretty quick. I suggest Grigny for instance, not the worst, but a bad one. You’ll see one white dude in a day or two maybe, and your safety is something you’ll have to forget. The biggest racism in France is anti-white, definitely.

      • Just wanted to say it’s making it in the French news too:

        I’m a French who loves your food. This whole thing is a shame. Singapore food is very nice, cheap and readily available. French food is nice too, but you have to go to expensive restaurants to get it – so French actually don’t eat French food. What you find as affordable (yet way less affordable than hawker centers in Spore), is kebad, pizza, mac do and all this junk. If you want something just a bit ok, it’s immediately restaurant or traiteur and it ends up 10 € / person minimum. Asia does it better.

  49. So now I know what this is all about. If not for your blog entry, I wouldn’t even have known that this event existed. But now that I know about this event, it hasn’t left a positive impression on me and I believe [others as well].

    Well, I believe food on its own has no level of hierarchy of any sort and food of any type/cuisine/cooking methods ought to be appreciated for what they are. The local foods that you recommended are truly unique on its own and has been a true classic favourite of not just locals but people all over the world.

    Anyway, I stand by you and I’m sure many others will do so too [whether bloggers or not].

    Thank you for standing up for our local food and local culture!

  50. I seriously think that all your food fits the bill of being white. Just don’t understand these ppl… like what u said. put them in a nice plate and with some deco, it can be consider an int’l cuisine. They dunno what is call “Ru Xiang Sui Shu” meaning coming into ppl country must follow the rule!

  51. 100% Support. For those who are proud of our local food and culture, read this. As Singapore globalizes, we need to put our foot down and let them know we are as good as them. Foreign elitist mentality ends now.

    I also wrote the following on their page.

    This is a PR disaster. For a PR company you have totally destroyed the image of this event. Anybody can tell that you uninvited the bloggers not because of lack of space, but you want to shut them up. That’s totally dictatorial and it spoils the whole idea of being creative and witty. By all means, bring in a foreign event, but respect the local culture if you want it to succeed.

    Our food is equally as good as yours and anybody else’s. p.s. Have you seen white char kway teow with abalone and lobster meat?

  52. Organisers should take a leaf from culinary expert Andrew Zimmern.
    He travel the world, taste their local , even bizarre cuisine. His comments, at times humorous but never disrespectful of the local food and culture.
    Going to the local hawker centre beats this anytime. You eat and dress whatever you like and don’t even need that pretentious invite!

  53. Shame on the organizers. The Singaporean foods selected fit perfectly with the theme of the picnic. The atas attitude toward the French foods is completely unjustified. Do they forget that their foods also came from their people – rich and poor – who create their culture?

  54. Food fit for royalty?

    I’ll give you a shocker.
    Empress Dowager Cixi indulged in FERMENTED beancurd. How’s that for “peasant food” vs. “royal” food?

    People shouldn’t pretend to be cultured, when exclusion in the name of exclusiveness makes you look like a fool. Don’t be the emperor with no clothes.

    Sounds similar to the recent saga when renown violinist Gidon Kremer refused to play at the Verbier Music Festival because it broke the spirit of music making, or the time when Kreisler had to lie about his compositions having a more elite origin.

  55. You want to sit down when I say this. This might actually shock your mind:

    1) It is possible that your problems with Zouk are in, ummm, no way related to this thread.

    2) It is also possible that some themed events just might be racist and exclusionary.

    3) Finally, just because you’re of a certain race doesn’t give you a carte blanche (oooh, see what I did there!) on racism. When you start saying “All Asians are X” you are, by definition, being racist. We are defined by our individual selves, not by a mysterious common set of behavioral set-pieces.

  56. I personally loved your original post, absurd that they demanded for it to be removed and disregarded your efforts to put in a good word for the event and share creative ideas. The organisers would also do well to note that local delicacies are among the most treasured in the world and have many times been served in hotels and fine dining settings.

  57. Hello Daniel,

    I am terribly sorry to hear this, and ashamed (being french myself) by the sad example given by these narrow minded organiser.
    I support you.

  58. Someone with a better graphic design sense than me should make banners reading the following:

    Est ce Dîner en Blanc ou Dîner de Blancs?
    Is this a dinner in white or Dinner of whites? (en anglais)

    Have a picture of a sad looking panda chomping on a bamboo stick and this superimposed in impact font: “What, Tau huay is not white in colour?!”

    Have people dress up in white traditional Asian attire, eating tau huay, kova (that’s Indian) etc, with the caption: pas blanc, pas en blanc. (Not white, not in white)

  59. Hosting a stupid outdoor pinic in WHITE and of all dates, on 30 Aug 12, which happens to be the 14th day of the CHINESE GHOST MONTH ! KNN, no prize for guessing where’s the “secret” venue. Must be LIM CHU KANG CEMETRY lor !

    The organisers will be glad to know that there will be a ginormous turn out of more than 30000000000000 “guests” from the netherworld.

  60. I think it’s not so much about Singaporean food that has been rejected but the whole arrogance of how the dinner party should be held.

    Seriously, I do not understand how sweating it out with 3000 people in an unknown location in humid Singapore, eating cold food, wearing a colour that is almost always unflattering to everyone, buying alcohol from the organisers, being told exactly how big your table is and sitting right next to another party in close proximity is fun, cool and construed as the party of the year?

    Uninviting someone for whatever reason shows that the organisers have not thought through what they want and dont want and are not organised. They also show that they have no manners. I can only imagine how it feels to be uninvited to any event. To feel angry and dismissed would say the least.

    I feel for you. Stand your ground mate!


  61. Thanks Uberific, way to be as petty and close-minded as the event organisers themselves. Most ang mohs, like myself, appreciate local food and would consider banning it from an event like this ridiculous and insulting. Add to that the fact that there is also a local team of organisers for the event who are either in agreement with the French originators or are refusing to stand up to them in support of their own cultures and it is a bit less black and white than simply being a case of ang mohs grinding locals under their colonial jackboots.

  62. I went to their website , see what I found!

    “Dîner en Blanc is the worldwide success that it is because every host city gives it a flavor of local culture, ingredients, customs, setting and people. You can imagine that participants at Dîner en Blanc in Vancouver prepare different meals than participants at Dîner en Blanc in Barcelona. We dispel any belief that our organization equates local food with junk food. Our commitment to providing you with a unique experience of conviviality and dining requires that you enjoy a carefully prepared meal of your choice while encouraging you to shy away from commercially prepared ‘junk’ or ‘fast’ food. Anything else that is tasty, original or traditional is welcome.”


    “Dîner en Blanc International and its international partners respect and value the work bloggers do across the globe. Digital and social media have made great contributions to our success and we are grateful. Our local team has asked a blogger to remove a suggestion from his blog. Doing that was an error, it will not happen again, and we apologize.”

    So…… They regretted they asked u to remove the post after all?

  63. “Atas” food? I think they meant “expensive food”. Expensive food does not make it “atas” food. Affordable food does equal low class food. Stop the discrimination.

    It is all a matter of perspective. The organizers and relevant people should have the decency to be open-minded and respectful of local cultures and the people.

    Yes, you are right. It is your blog, therefore it is your call. Anyway, I do not see anything offensive about your writeup. It is merely expressing your views and opinion.

    We stand with you

  64. I stopped reading at the part where the screenshot underscores “We do not permit local food”.

    If that’s the case, hold the fucking picnic someplace else.
    They’re not invited here, at least not by me.

    Pardon my dirty French, by the way.

  65. Of course this was always going to be a “very white” event. Am not surprised by the current furore, and fury, of the online community. Even before the cannot-bring-local-food-because-it-is-not-atas-enough-or-considered-fast-food fiasco, the whole can-only-bring-white-food-and-everything-else-must-be-white policy was very telling. It was quite clear, to me at least, right from the beginning, that this was always going to be a pretentious, snobby, and bordering on racist, event meant for certain fairer races where the subliminal message was that “only white is good”. I was immediately put off by its policies and couldn’t understand why anyone (that isn’t white) would want to attend such an event. Who else saw this coming because I saw this trainwreck from a mile away!

  66. all over the world there are people starving and the French want their bourgeois followers to bring their own atas food to some stupid flash-mob event to eat and show the world they are better than marie antoinette ?

  67. I really don’t think a nation that calls snails and liver ‘fine dining’ should be judging tau huay to be low-class. Just saying. :\ I mean, I love French food and happily do eat escargot and foie gras, but I love tau huay and kway chap and chye tau kway just as much. And it think it’s extremely insensitive to exclude all local food when they originally wanted local flavours incorporated into their ‘oh-so-elegante’ picnic. If they think Singapore is too low-class for their tastes, why hold the event here?

  68. Perhaps we can have our own Diner en Blanc et Rouge picnic, and bring local food with white and red in colour and dressed in white and red. It’s like a big National Day picnic. Ha.. ha..

  69. What horrible French people; they come to Singapore and want to make money from us SIngaporeans through this Diner en Blanc franchise and they DARE TO BE RACIST TO US ABOUT OUR FOOD??????!!!!!!!!!!

    Why does it not surprise me that French are racist – after all, 25 per cent of their population recently voted for a racist and Nazi Presidential candidate called Marine Le Pen.

    Angmohs are really full of shit

      • Hey Frenchie — even if you want to get back at us, at least get your Anglais correctly.

        It is “sweeping GENERALISATIONS”.

        Comprende? Tsk.

          • Ching chong ching chong ching chong? Apa lu cakap, Orang Perancis? What makes you assumed that I’m Chinese?

            Oh wait, moi est Singapourien, so moi is defo a Chinois? Tsk tsk. Bodoh punya mat salleh.

        • nabei, you’re a racist xenophobe yourself.
          fancy calling people ”foreign trash” while accusing others for being racist
          …pot is calling the kettle black

        • Dear Nabei,

          You are a racist xenophobe and seriously pot is calling the kettle black in this case. Fancy accusing other ppl for being racist while you’re really goddamn racist yourself. Great examples include calling pple “Foreign trash” and “Ching chong ching chong”. BTW your français is NOT that great hor, please don’t correct other pple’s anglais when your français est merdique.


          • Eh kiddo, you’ve got a problem with NON-CHINESE SINGAPOREANS? So what if my French is merdique? You understand Bahasa Melayu? Non? So who’s the racist or pot calling the kettle black here?? Singaporean Chinese are not just racist, they are the biggest hypocrites on this side of the planet.

            If you are truly a Singaporean, what a shame. Anak Singapura tak faham Bahasa Melayu. But of course, the likes of you deemed Melayu as low class and beneath you. That’s why you do think by speaking, writing French, you are up there.

            Singaporean Chinese deserved to get whacked by the Melayus.

          • Nabei,

            So any attack on you and your stupid crappy logic is classifies as an attack on a non-Chinese Singaporean lah? That’s a really convenient way of dodging bullets yeah? Come on, grow a pair!

            I’m not attacking anybody else, just YOU as a crappy individual. Don’t lean on others to fight man

            Go see a shrink

          • BTW I don’t recall myself making fun of any Singaporean non-Chinese language hor.I just don’t appreciate you making racist comments, period.

            I never said Melayu is a low class language and I don’t think it’s beneath anybody…In fact I think the contrary.

            You are the one who came up with all these ideas yourself. If you think you are inferior, that’s your own problem. And please don’t speak in the name of a group of people, because you are definitely not their representative. Nobody asked you to be one.You are pretty much the crappiest representative if you think you are one.

            I am aiming at you as an individual, asshole

  70. Maybe it’s the ‘atas’ name which it’s lacking. tau huey = soja tofu. white beehoon = nouilles blanches…. etc. Maybe if you used this names they might accept. 😉

  71. Much ado about nothing. Its their event. Hold your own if you want to be fussy. They are not disrespecting our culture. They just want it to be a non local theme.

  72. I was rather appalled at reading the entry shared by ieatipostishoot. Whoever is doing the PR is not doing a good job advising the organizers. Recommendations is after all recommendation, and remains subjective to different taste buds. Why go so far as to uninvite food bloggers when the better way which is to clarify intentions on both party.

    BOOOOO at them for slighting our local food.

  73. Check out all the detailed rules. If you are going and can abide by it, you truly deserve this:

    *** LinkedIn Group for Dîner en Blanc Singapore ***

    Dîner en Blanc is renowned as one of the most exclusive events in the world.

    Dîner en Blanc is not for everyone. This group is reserved for existing members who have shown the highest level of commitment. It is only available to a select circle of people in Singapore and is by invitation only.

    Once you have completed the Dîner en Blanc Singapore experience on 30th August 2012, you may apply to join this group with the following conditions:

    1. Your conduct is exemplary throughout the journey.

    2. Your attendance is checked and you have completed the entire experience.

    3. Your Bus/Pedestrian Leader has no objection and has approved your application.

    Access to Dîner en Blanc’s group is only available to a select circle of people in Singapore and is by invitation only.

  74. Other than withdrawing invites, which I consider impolite, I don’t see anything wrong with how they organize it.

    It is their event – they have a theme and rules. If you don’t agree, then simply do not attend.

    And secondly, hawker food isn’t fine dining. If it a a fine dining event, then you should consider if the cuisine you suggest is appropriate.

  75. Food is Food, there should be no restriction to which are high class food and what’s not. Everyone should try something in all. Certain food that are long lost are culture of the original place. It should be wide spread to create awareness. But if you said a certain event organizer say this cannot be listed and your are partaking in their event, ya no choice u have to do what the deem fit. but if your post has no relationship to them in anywhere, leave it!!! its good!

  76. Food is Food, there should be no restriction to which are high class food and what’s not. Everyone should try something in all. Certain food that are long lost are culture of the original place. It should be wide spread to create awareness. But if you said a certain event organizer say this cannot be listed and your are partaking in their event, ya no choice u have to do what they tells you to. ITs their rules of the house but if your post has no relationship to them in anywhere, leave it!!! its good!

  77. Have they forgotten that it is on Singapore soil that they have this event?
    Or do they think this is France?
    They better get some basic geography lessons before thinking about doing something as brazenly foolish again.

  78. I don’t get it. If local food isn’t allowed, then what about all the other dinners held in other countries? Are they also not allowed to bring local food? Or should they have been more specific in their food list by stating that only French cuisine is to be brought?

  79. I dont understand why there are so many hateful comments against the french.

    This event is organized by chiak kang tangs who think that french people spend their time buying vuiton bags and eating foie gras.

    I fully support boycotting such an event which is organized in SG while despising its culture, food and people. The best would be to hold a durian party next to their event.

    French food is as humble as SG food, and was created by farmers and peasents. French food is not atas, it is just delicious. The belief that french food is the pinnacle of refinement comes from self-hating ag mo wannabes, not us.

    I understand the hateful reactions, but at least the hatred should be directed against the right people.

    french salutations

  80. Dear Uberific… which rock have you been hiding under?

    Also… you may want to look at the mirror before you start commenting about Singaporeans. One finger pointing at the rest of your fellow countrymen, but four fingers pointing right back at you.

  81. Unbelievably rude of them. You’ve handled this in a classy way which only reflects well on your blog and on the wonderful culture of Singaporean food. Singaporean street food is some of the best food in the world — as anyone who has tasted it knows.

  82. NEA,URA,LTA,SLA or whichever govt body should cancel their permit to hold this atas event,No respect for our local food and culture so why even allow them to hold it????

  83. By canceling all bloggers and social media people invitations, it is obvious they want to clampdown, blackout, censor away all negative publicity of their pretentious event.

    People, finding out where their event is and holding our own local flashmob Singaporean style food picnic right next to them will be the best form of support of our local food and culture.

  84. Just to clarify, I am a singaporean myself, but I don’t think this is a case of the event organizers being biased about singapore culture. Rather, I think you are the one having problems here. First, you wanted to join an event but is not willing to follow the guidelines of the event, making a fuss about dress code and food items. Next, you tried to twist the event to your own liking by suggesting everyone to bring food stuffs that you would prefer. (In such a case, you should have tried organizing a singapore-style picnic instead) This behavior is crashing into someone’s else party and trying to turn it into your own. As you mentioned, you are INVITED to a picnic as a GUEST. Since you are NOT the host of the event, you shouldn’t be thinking that you can set up your own rules. No wonder you are uninvited. I can’t think of any case when someone is willing to welcome a guest who think it is his/her right to abuse the hospitality of the host of an event. It’s like inviting someone to a wedding dinner at a proper hotel but the guest decided he prefer to turn up in singlet and shorts. When you are invited to a french pinic, bring something french. If you want to showcase singapore cusine and culture, organize a singapore picnic in france. But you do not crash into French theme picnic and bring singapore food. Grow up and do things like an adult. Lastly, don’t bring your own failing to behave like a proper adult and turn it into an international issue, crying foul that they are looking down on singapore food and culture. If you have a low self-esteem regarding singapore food (which I do not share), work to change the local food scene. Introduce ranks and certifications for singapore chefs like what the french chefs have to go through and earn their prestige. Stop bringing in China/Malaysia people to cook “singapore” food in our hawker centre and food court. Lastly and most importantly, reward the good cooks by paying more for their good food. (stop all that whining of $10/$20 chicken rice and that it is not any better than that $2/$3 version you always eat) If food is prepared sincerely and taste really good, don’t think twice about paying more for it, so that the chefs will feel appreciated.

    • Hey Stupid Cow — you seemingly have some issues COMPREHENDING English. Daniel Ang WAS **INVITED** BY THE EVENT ORGANISER.

      Hmm. Probably been fucked by the likes of Foreign Trashes like “J” who insulted us by spelling “SINGAPORIAN”. Eh?

      • Hey Nabei

        You got so much time to troll on a thread ah? Can you please stop using French ( or correcting English, in any case) when your own level of French is so jialat? Been using google translate for this issit? So much time to waste

        Ton français est merdique ….


        • Don’t make any assumptions, little missy. My French has been a bit rusty as I’ve not been practicing it much. Even if it’s jialat, I believe I speak MORE LANGUAGES than you do.

          Let me guess, you can speak/write/read English, Chingchong and French – voila, vely the clever orleady rite?

          Kurang ajar punya pukimak.

          • wow I think we have found a champion here, you need to chill out

            (some comment in bahasa no one cares about)

        • Btw, little girl, even if I troll this thread, is IT ANY BUSINESS OF YOURS? And who the feck are you to criticise? Your mother never teach you to mind your own business, innit?

          Kurang ajar punya betina nak kena tempeling.

          • Mmmm heard of free speech? I will mind my business whenever I want to and speak up whenever I feel that things are going wrong, such as that head of yours.
            Well, who am I to criticise right…so I would like to know WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to talk such crap calling ppl names and shit throughout this whole forum?

            Don’t troll if you ain’t got balls to fight w random ppl yo! that’s what you get for trollin’

  85. I agree with you absolutely. Stand your ground because you have the right to your opinion. Who the fu.cking hell do the french think they are. Go pate stuff your french asses

    BOYCOTT FRENCH PRODUCTS. Stop buying and drinking french wine, alcohol, cheese, whatever. SUPPORT and be proud of Singaporeans culture, food and people. Eat local food.

  86. NEA,URA,LTA,SLA, MDA should never allow an event by foreigners that show disrespect for Singaporean culture, food and people.

  87. i dont know if this has been suggested, but we should have a protest picnic the same day that Diner en Blanc is taking place. the only rule for our Occupy Tau Huay is that it MUST be a singaporean dish.

    seriously. send the bourgeoisie attitude back to the 19th century man.

  88. This is like buying a nightclub and writing ” no coloured people ” on the door.
    While it is a private place it does not entitle you to discriminate …

  89. Hey foreign asshole, even if you want to insult us back, at least get the spelling correctly. It is SINGAPOREAN. Not Singaporian. But I can’t blame you really, since you ang mohs do think you are REALLY REALLY SUPER SMART THAN US ASIANS. When you are not.

    I presumed you are one of those Foreign Trashes taking up space on this island. Why am I not surprised by your racist thinking and attitude that stinks to the high heavens?

    It is not smart on your part to make the stupid comparison between US SINGAPOREANS [geddit? It’s SINGAPOREAN] and those from China-land. But of course, IT DOESN’T MAKE AN IOTA OF DIFFERENCE TO YOU ANG MOH MONKEY BASTARD.

  90. French… what do you expect? They aren’t called snobbish for no reasons. I heard the organizer is a local? I think you should publicize who the organizer is so that LHL can reflect on his NDR and see for himself if we are xenophobic or not. Though we are a very open society, I want caution that we better not import such Atas attitude here. Anyway, I am glad you stick to your guns, don’t cave!

  91. This whole thing has been seriously blown out of proportion.

    If you don’t like it then don’t waste your time and attention on it. Simple as that. Angry words against angry words will not accomplish anything.

    Let go and move on. Do you really have nothing else to be busy with?

  92. Do you know the organisers are in fact one big family?

    Clemen Chiang and Nicole Yee are husband and wife!

    These wannabe organisers have 100% tarnished the Dîner en Blanc name, looking down on local food and themselves.

  93. A Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn has already misrepresented this lovely summer snack as Japanese and worse, they serve it in the little yogurt bottles that are used in Beijing for their fresh made yogurt. I’m glad this dish got put on blast thanks to your post but I disagree that the White Dinner should have these dishes – it’s not about traditional or local anything – it’s about having a fancy picnic that lets the fortunate diners experience what it is like to indulge in fresh air but with special food. Bringing a mantou to a party like this is not appropriate. It’s not about race or snobbishness.

    The Emperor might have dao fu fa as a snack – he might even serve it – who knows – but not for this specific dinner that is about putting out your best.

  94. This is really a pity that this incident became an occasion for some comments to be really disrespectful, from both sides.
    This event was organized by a bunch of people who doesn’t represent French feelings towards Asian food (and culture). Asian food is extremely popular in Franc!
    I am French, I certainly don’t appreciate this Dîner en Blanc weird policy, and I would like people to know that we DO respect and enjoy Asian food and culture.

  95. I totally agree with some of the comments here that this is a PR disaster and as an Ex-international events manager, this is an utter failure of the organizers and also their PR company. If they wanted to invite the social media and expect the social media to blog about what they would like to hear, then I guess they really have to be careful and specific when they communicate to the social media. You have invited a food blogger to write the event without giving the specifics and then have him remove his post even after he cleared it with the PR company. This is the same thing as asking a journalist to say sorry on what he had written on the newspaper even though the piece was factual and accurate but did not meet the requirements of the management even though the editor cleared it. In the first place, the organizers and the PR company should communicate to the social what they should be focusing on in the first place. If you want to very specific, then you should just do advertorials on the newspapers, web and magazines. If the bloggers think it is a fantastic idea, they will blog about it for their readers without any invitation. With the dynamics of social media today, the organizers and PR company should know how big it can blow when bloggers with huge following are given such indecent treatment. I am commenting here because this is a very meaningful event that has clearly been ruined by organizers who definitely do not know how to organize an international event and their PR folks for running off after the social media had more uproar than they expected.

  96. —>
    The Singapore organisers have accepted responsibility for this. The most serious error involved a comment – posted on Facebook – that said local food wasn’t welcome. This was wrong and was withdrawn, corrected and apologies tendered;
    Source :

  97. To J, Jennifer and all those who keep harping that this is a French themed event with French food/picnic ….

    STOP! Did you even bother to check out the Diner en Blanc website or read the FAQ or even watch the videos of Diner en Blanc events in other locations? If you did, you’d clearly see that although the event started in France, and incorporates certain etiquette of bygone era of the French court, it is by no means a French event, or a French-themed event or even a French picnic where French food has to be served (and do you really know anything about French food, and what constitutes French food?).

    All the international organisers ask is that certain rules (with regards to table set up, behaviour and dress code) be followed, and how you define elegant for instance is entirely up to the local organisers. In other words, the buck stops with the local organisers, in this case Diner en Blanc Singapore. The fact that Diner en Blanc Singapore organisers misinterpreted the communique without clarifying with the international team is their fault (if in doubt, read the letters on the Diner en Blanc Singapore webpage).

    Sheesh people, get a grip! And that includes those that keep bashing the Diner en Blanc international and the French through sheer laziness and without examining all the facts.

  98. “These wannabe organisers have 100% tarnished the Dîner en Blanc name, looking down on local food and themselves.”

    I’m glad they stood up to cry baby bloggers and respected the history and focus of the event. Your crappy dishes would spoil the event.

  99. It appears things have changed since this misunderstanding/incident, for which I am glad as I am about to attend one of the new Australian events. While we have some great white foods here in Australia (fish and soft cheese come to mind) I would be most put out if told I couldn't bring my planned seafood platter with delicious local produce salad. I understand an event of this size and reputation must have rules; I also feel, like you, that the organizers should embrace the local food and culture in the location and allow attendees to make this event special for themselves. After all, one of the 'rules' of Diner en Blanc is that they encourage uniqueness (provided it remains elegant) – surely local food is part of that?

  100. thanks for posting this. sometimes I think there are people who think we will accept any kind of rules or food as long as it is “foreign” and so “atas” . Glad that there are still singaporeans out there that treasure our local foods as our very own awesome culture foods!

    And I really like when you mention they do not own us, as bloggers, our posts, nor the internet. we blog to express, not to impress (:

  101. I haven't been to a Diner En Blanc and don't want to. From the very start of learning about it, I felt something 'creepy' about it. I am one of the most spontaneous, creative people ever (IMO) and have traveled the globe and have friends everywhere. But there's something weird about the event. I saw friends on FB at the event in Cincinnati where I live. Then I read about how it was planned. Really? People go to this extent to feel 'special' and 'exclusive' about just doing the event? I'm not impressed. The people having experiences applying to get invited—the fees involved—-the nazi menu and dress code. It's not a theater, it's not a celebration; it's just made up. I'd rather go to a tie-dye new age world music outdoor music fest. The fact that you were admonished for and on your blog is the last straw. Definitely not interested in going to a 'whitey dinner'.

  102. Wow. I have never heard of this latest ‘viral fad’, and quite frankly I could have gone the rest of my life without having any knowledge of it whatsoever, thank you very much. Sometimes, I feel just as Brian Wilson so eloquently and lyrically put it many years ago, that “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”. But, I suppose it is nothing new-just the latest reincarnation of many people’s desire to feel that they are apart, and more importantly, above the hoi polloi. Not to mention the not so subtle suggestion that a Eurocentric culture (i.e., being white), is superior to all others. There is something, as you say, “creepy” at play here.

  103. I know this is an old post but as Diner en blanc is coming up again, I somehow stumbled upon it. I totally agree that Diner en blanc seems like the ponciest event EVER. It's almost unbelievable how pretentious it is! I can't believe anyone would ever want to subject themselves to such an event, and it's probably for the better that you ended up not going! I know I wouldn't. Singapore food is the best and should be allowed everywhere!

  104. I’ve been reading all your blog posts silently but this I must comment. So much yes-es to all of this and the 3 reasons. Even if they disrespect people, disrespecting culture is no. All 3 reasons are so on point.

  105. I’ve been reading all your blog posts silently but this I must comment. So much yes-es to all of this and the 3 reasons. Even if they disrespect people, disrespecting culture is a no. All 3 reasons are so on point.

  106. I just like the helpful info you provide on your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here frequently.
    I’m rather certain I’ll be informed plenty of new stuff proper
    here! Best of luck for the next!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here