THE GREAT SINGAPORE QUEUE

1. Singaporeans are very able, when it comes to “queuing up”. Queuing up for? We can queue up for various freebies, MacDonald’s Hello Kitties, and so on. Some people in the queue may not even know what the queue is for, and the idea is that “there must be something great when there is a long queue”.

2. Recently there is a frenzy over the visit of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to Singapore. Ramsay is here in Singapore after taking up a challenge by local food bloggers to face-off against Singapore’s top three hawkers in a culinary showdown.

3. Ang Kiam Meng from Jumbo Seafood, Mdm Foo Kui Lian from Tian Tian Chicken Rice, and Ryan Koh from 328 Katong Laksa were chosen as the most popular hawkers. They were picked after eight days of voting which saw over 2.5 million votes cast.

4. On Friday and Saturday, Ramsay was learning how to cook the three dishes. The final face-off was held just tonight at Newton Food Centre, starting around 6pm. The was non-ticketed event open to the public. A thousand servings of food will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The thousand people will then be able to cast their votes after tasting the food.

5. When we see “Celebrity chef”, “non ticketed event”, and “first-come-first-serve”, we can sort of expect some long queuing a few hours prior to the commencement timing of 6pm. My plan the night before was to reach the venue at about 3 hours before the start of the event.

6. Eventually, this morning I decided not to go. Later I found out that people who were at the venue since 2pm didn’t manage to fit into the one thousand people cap when at about 3pm “queuing coupons” were given out to those in the queue. And at that point, there is still a 3 hours gap to the start of the event proper. Once again, the great Singapore queue!

7. So I was thinking, perhaps online balloting should be deployed for such future events. And my idea is that only those who had earlier voted for the 3 stalls would be eligible to participate in the balloting for the dinner! Those lucky one thousand people picked via balloting would then be allowed into the venue.

8. Congrats the Singapore hawkers for their win, in particular Tiantian chicken rice, and Katong laksa! Most importantly, what’s apparent is that it has been a great cultural exchange between chefs!

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