Foodpanda Customer Struggles To Communicate With Help Centre About Missing Rice In Bak Kut Teh Set

It can be difficult to find the English equivalent to some of our colloquial Singlish phrases. Try finding a substitute for abuden in 3 seconds and you’ll likely be stumped.

Well, it seems the same applies to the names of our Singaporean dishes.


Early on Thursday (18 Feb), one hungry Foodpanda customer decided to order a bak kut teh set but was left disappointed when it came without rice.

When she turned to the food delivery service’s help centre, she found herself in the difficult position of having to translate bak kut teh to English. A screenshot of the conversation posted on Facebook has since garnered more than 4,000 shares.


Foodpanda customer orders bak kut teh from Geylang stall

Speaking to MS News, the netizen said she ordered a bak kut teh set from a stall in Geylang via the Foodpanda app.

However, when the food arrived shortly past midnight on Thursday (18 Feb), she was dismayed to find that it was reportedly missing a bowl of rice advertised as part of the set.


The set cost $11.30 before delivery charges.

In the end, the customer had no choice but to cook a bowl of rice herself.

Image from an MS News reader 

Support staff asks her to speak in English

Disappointed by the omission, the Foodpanda customer decided to approach the food delivery company’s help centre.

However, when she tried describing the issue with the bak kut teh set, the support staff allegedly said that he would only be able to assist if she communicated in English.

Tired and famished, the customer instantly translated bak kut teh word-for-word to “meat tea soup”.


As strange as the translation sounded, it seemed like the support staff did manage to understand the message.

Later, Foodpanda offered the customer a $13 voucher, but she eventually settled for a $4.50 one, claiming that the missing rice didn’t cost that much.

Image from an MS News reader 

10/10 for integrity.

MS News has reached out to Foodpanda for a statement and will update this article once they get back.

Glad everyone had a good laugh

Though it’s unfortunate that the order didn’t come as described, we’re glad the customer, as well as others on social media, had a good laugh over the hilarious translation.

Moving forward, we hope Foodpanda’s support staff will be able to recognise our local dishes to avoid similar confusions.

Have you had a hilarious encounter with a help centre? Share them with us in the comments below.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and courtesy of an MS News reader.