Food

Chef Bob Tries S$7 Old Chang Kee Sardine Puff In London, Says It Tastes Better

Chef Bob Tries S$7 Old Chang Kee Sardine Puff In London

Taking a bite of home abroad comes with a heftier price tag, as local celebrity chef Chef Bob recently discovered. Indulging in an Old Chang Kee (OCK) Sardine Puff in London set him back £4.25 (S$7.25), a stark contrast to the prices of OCK’s menu items here in Singapore.

Source: @chefbob on TikTok

However, despite the added expense, Chef Bob claims that the sardine puff in London is superior to the ones he has tried back home.

Old Chang Kee store in London sells sardine puffs

In a TikTok video on Saturday (20 Jan), Chef Bob recorded his visit to an Old Chang Kee store nestled in the bustling streets of Trafalgar, London.

Upon enquiring about the availability of epok-epok sardine or Sardine Puffs, Chef Bob was informed by the counter staff that they indeed had the item for sale.

Apart from the Sardine Puff, the menu showcased a variety of options appealing to Singaporean tastes. These included a Spicy Mala Chicken Puff also priced at £4.25 (S$7.25) and a Beef Rendang Puff for £4.50 (S$7.68).

Source: @chefbob on TikTok

When Chef Bob asked if the store sold teh tarik or pulled tea with condensed milk, however, he was met with confusion from the service staff. Upon clarification that he was referring to tea, the staff responded that they did not serve hot drinks.

Price difference shocks TikTok viewers

Some netizens expressed surprise at the disparity in prices, with one feeling that the S$7 price tag was “insane”.

Source: TikTok

Meanwhile, others who’ve witnessed or heard about such stark price differences before were less surprised.

One commenter shared how their friend paid US$14 (S$18.78) for just two pieces of plain roti prata and S$16.50 (US$22.13) for a plate of mee rebus in the United States of America (USA).

 

Source: TikTok

Chef claims that London’s puff tastes better than Singapore’s

In the comments, Chef Bob engaged with some users, confidently suggesting that the Sardine Puff he enjoyed in London tasted better than its counterpart in Singapore.

In particular, he highlighted that the “margarine taste” was “too strong” in the Singapore version.

Source: TikTok

He explained to MS News: “I think they use butter instead of margarine for the skin of the curry puff. It’s accustomed to the local taste. The ones in Singapore, the margarine taste is so strong that it tastes very jelak (overwhelmingly rich).”

Chef Bob added that the sardine filling is very moist and flavourful, more so than what we can get in Singapore.

Price and ingredients aside, he concluded that the OCK Sardine Puff was “better here (in London) in every aspect”.

Source: TikTok

Rarity of Asian food & ingredients makes prices worth it

In his video, Chef Bob mentioned that he found himself searching for local Singaporean food when he was abroad. He shared that relishing the Sardine Puff, particularly in the chilly weather, was a “perfect combination”.

For him, the sole missing element to complete the entire experience was teh tarik, which the store did not offer.

Nevertheless, there isn’t a lack of Asian comfort food in London, as Chef Bob observed shops like Rasa Sayang selling Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine constantly drawing crowds. He also visited Bayswater, which he likened to Geylang Serai in Singapore, due to the wide availability of halal food there.

Among the shops selling them is Putera Puteri, which sells teh tarik for £3.50 (S$5.97). Justifying such prices, the chef reasoned that: “In London, to get Asian ingredients is very hard. So that’s why they need to sell it at a higher price point.”

Old Chang Kee waving Singapore’s culinary flag high in London

As for OCK, Chef Bob remarked that the brand is very well-received. Since his hotel was nearby, he often saw long queues forming at the shop.

He expressed his happiness at seeing the positive reception and praised OCK for positioning itself well and accommodating local tastebuds.

Seeing the brand flying Singapore’s flag high in London, Chef Bob exclaimed that he was “super proud”.

Without a shadow of a doubt, he told MS News that he would purchase the puff at the same price again. He quipped,

Don’t compare the exchange rate. Compare apple to apple. The price is justifiable here because of the size, because of the quality of the puff itself, and because of the taste of the product.

Moreover, he noted that OCK is a “good brand” that people have been buying since 1956. The brand currently has two outlets in London. You may find the addresses here.

Would you pay S$7 for a Sardine Puff overseas? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from @chefbob on TikTok.

Amber Ang

Amber is an unapologetic fangirl and a huge Swiftie.

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