Fuck Naw to the Straw

Where:
The Coconut Club
No. 6 Ann Siang Hill
Singapore 069787

Price:
Nasi lemak, a few sides to share and a non-alcoholic drink was around SGD20 per person

Phone:
+65 6635 2999 (no bookings though and reserve the right to only seat complete parties)

Fuck naw to the straw?
When I went to The Coconut Club, they were still serving drinks with straws by default. However, I wrote to them after my meal to ask them to consider saying #fucknawtothestraw or at least going “Straws on Request” and in a stunning and amazing fuck yeah action, they went straw free practically overnight. What’s been even more inspiring has been to see how this small change has their entire operations considering how can they lead a more sustainable hospitality existence. Fucking incredible work guys and for this, FYN gives you a massive FUCK YEAH. Follow their journey on Instagram.

davidoyelowoacademy

The deal:
I love smashing up a local hawker feed but sometimes you want things to be a little more comfortable than being jammed into a hot and steamy hawker centre with grimy tables, dirty floors and pigeons stalking you for remnants of your meal. This is why I ended up at The Coconut Club for lunch, cause I wanted Asian eats without the sweat session. The Coconut Club had its birth after a Singaporean dude, Chef Eng Su, attended a Nasi Lemak conference in Malaysia and decided that he wanted to bring that fuck yeah Malaysia Truly Asia nasi lemak feeling to Majulah Singapura. Go on, you know you want to sing it:

malaysia-truly-asia

This is where we cue all the Malaysians out there just shaking their heads and being all,”Yo Singapore, why are you even bothering because as if they’ll even come close to Malaysian nasi lemak, or real talk, [insert any other dish here which Malaysia and Singapore both do]“.  OK OK WE GET IT MALAYSIA, your food is better and cheaper, always and Malaysia be like:

djkhaled-wethebest

I tried The Coconut Club for a Sunday lunch time slot and this is most definitely a queueing scenario. The line moves relatively swiftly for small parties but if you’re trying anything more than six, be prepared to wait around at least 15 – 20 minutes. The sign reserves the right to only seat complete parties but even while I wait for my more tardy homies, The Coconut Club’s manager is smiley as fuck and isn’t too strict on this, offering us drinks while efficiently managing the whole system which I give a major fuck yeah.

The Coconut Club has a small menu, taking the route of focussing on their star of the show – the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah (SGD12.80). Most Singaporeans believe this is a fucking expensive plate of nasi lemak.  Nasi lemak as a dish is simple enough – some rice cooked in coconut milk, fried chicken, ikan bilis (dried fish), peanuts, cucumber, a fried egg and some sambal.  I get where The Coconut Club is playing at because nasi lemak in Singapore can be a bit of a crap shoot. It’s often a very cheap snack, wrapped up in banana leaves for a couple of bucks, a whisper of sambal and some ikan bilils, a hawker centre dish with a runty piece of chicken and some sad ikan bilis or you can go all fancy for some nasi lemak for SGD20+ in a hotel restaurant and you’re a bit, why did I just spend so much money on a bit of rice and chicken?

My plate of nasi lemak arrives and it looks like soaring dreams and resplendent hope.  The turmeric fried chicken (ayam goreng berumpah) captures my heart beause it’s not lame ass dried out chicken breast but the far superior fuck yeah chicken thigh and drumstick, my mighty Khaleesi, Queen of the Dark Meat.  Coated with other fuck yeah spices like lemongrass and galangal, with a little bit of chilli, it’s juicy and tasty as fuck.

The Coconut Club pride themselves on having gone on an extensive coconut hunt when they were developing their recipe over two years before settling on using Malaysian West African coconuts, specifically from a plantation in Sabak Bernam, Malaysia.  They make their own coconut milk in-house to ensure peak coconut rice times and as someone who once tried to grate a coconut to make coconut milk before firmly putting into the “NEVER DOING THIS FUCKING BULLSHIT COOKING TASK AGAIN” bucket, I can fully respect the effort behind this.  The effort behind this doesn’t seem to be in vain though because The Coconut Club’s rice is pure fuck yeah magic and you all know what I’m about, CARB LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE, and this nasi is most def best life standard carbs.

gotwhatisthissorcery

All the other elements on the plate get the fuck yeah tick of approval.  It all seems simple enough but so many places fuck it up.  There’s crisp as fuck ikan bilis, slices of cucumber which aren’t flaccid, stinky pieces of watery sadness, a fried egg with its crisp frilly edge and a runny yolk, and the peanuts are fresh and well roasted.  Importantly, there’s a very decent portion of sambal which pulls the whole thing together.  No sambal, no nasi lemak life.

The Coconut Club offers some other dishes to get, such as the market price fried fish and the sambal lala (quite well regarded, but sold out when I went).  I had a side of Otak-Otak (SGD10.50), a fish cake made from ground fish meat, tapioca starch and spices before being grilled in a banana leaf package which was fucking delicious. Sad times though, the sambal stingray was a bit mushy and lacklustre.  I’ll be real, I wouldn’t mess around with the flop stingray sidepiece next time and just stick to the Nasi Lemak main event.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the cendol because I got ambushed into having a nine people lunch (ugh, my nightmare – I don’t know why people love eating in a herd so much, I’m not a fucking antelope) meaning that I didn’t want to bother with the logistics of who wanted dessert or not.  Let me get back to you because ice ice baby, I fucking love that cendol jam.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah nasi lemak times with a fuck yeah to making changes to a less plastic straw filled future.  Expect to see this one on the list when my FYN homies ask me where they should eat in SG when they visit before they blatantly ignore me.

OK FYN Homies, it’s 2018 and it’s time for us to get real and talk about SINGLE USE PLASTIC

FIRST OFF, SMUG AND OBNOXIOUSLY SELF AWARE FYN PERSONAL ANECDOTE TIME

britneybored

Fuck don’t be like that – but I used to see the Facebook posts and videos on these Zero Waste Warriors who were all “Yes, I went to the shops the other day and forgot my bag so I just got my dried goods lady to spoon my raw almonds directly into my hand and then I just walked home, clutching my nuts, smug in the knowledge that I’d avoided using a plastic bag”.  I was just wallowing in my plastic filled life, sipping on my Slacktivist Soda with a plastic straw and was all, this sustainability shit is for overachievers amirite?

dog-overachiever

But what changed for me was I started seeing information on just how long these plastics last, where it ends up in landfill, the ocean or our food chain. Let this hot piece of 1990s Bon Jovi explain to you just how long plastic kicks around in the environment:

bonjovi-always

More importantly, it was the mental shift in how sure, some people are goddamn environmental angels who don’t use any plastics and have completely moved to using bamboo leaves to wrap everything in their lives, the rest of us should just focus on taking small steps to reduce our plastic usage as every small positive change adds to a larger change.  Then the final thing that pushed me well over the edge was the images of our oceans and beaches being completely choked by gross, fuck no plastic trash and then going to a supermarket and seeing shelves of vegetables and fruits, all wrapped in plastic on plastic trays.  It seemed that everywhere I looked, the food and beverage business seems to be all:

aqua-barbiegirl

So here it is, The FYN Guide to Being Sustainable AF as told through pop music cultural references.

ONE:  FUCK NAW TO THE STRAW

This is one of the easiest steps anyone can take to reducing their plastic footprint and I refer to this as the “gateway step” to reducing plastic, as it’s small, doesn’t change your life and easily makes a change.  Just say #fucknawtothestraw and if you really need to drink from a straw, BYOStraw (there’s many great sustainable options, made from stainless steel or bamboo.  I use a rad gift I got from a FYN homie, from Bambuhay).  Restaurants, I’m really sympathetic because keeping reusable straws clean is a complete and utter ballache, not to mention paper straws which fail at their sole purpose (transporting liquid from glass to someone’s mouth).  Real life footage of a paper straw in a drink:

bonnie-fall-apart

So, my two suggestions are reusable is great in theory, but REAL TALK for most drinks, we’re all entirely capable of using our mouths to drink direct from a glass.  And if restaurants feel it’s that essential to their customers to have straws, at least move to a “Straw on Request” model to see who really asks for them.

FYN Homies, this is where I encourage all of you to write to EVERY single restaurant / bar you go to which still serves drinks with plastic straws.  I now take this step with every place I go and sometimes you’ll get a FUCK YEAH response where they’ll actually write back and they will stop using straws overnight and other times, at least you start the dialogue.  From little things, big changes grow.  I’ve even prepared some copy-pasta for you guys to use.  Make sure you comment / tag me in any positive dialogue you get back and use #fucknawtothestraw:

Hi!

I had drinks at your establishment recently and noticed that you guys are still using plastic straws in your drinks. Globally, millions of straws are used a day which are used for a few minutes and then end up in landfill forever, never to decompose. Reducing single use plastic is a small step that restaurants, bars and consumers can take to try and reduce our plastic footprint. Can I suggest that you consider removing plastic straws from your drinks? If you really feel that straws are vital to your clients’ experience, a plastic reducing option is to make it a “straws on request” establishment – ie. Serve drinks by default without a straw and wait for someone to ask before you provide them with one. The straws that you use might seem innocent enough but you multiply this by all of the bars and restaurants in the world and that’s a lot of plastic straws which will outlive us all. Let’s see if we can all be part of the change.

Best,
YOUR NAME HERE #fucknawtothestraw

And if they’re assholes about it or don’t even dignify you with a response, pick another venue who is doing more about this to give your business to.

eminem-stan2

TWO:  DROPPING PLASTIC DRINK BOTTLES FROM YOUR LIFE

Disposal PET water/drink bottles are so unnecessary, especially when you live in a country where the tap water is potable.  It takes a bit of organisation and forethought, but BYOBottle, fill up where you can and stop being part of the cycle which sees PET bottles just breaking down into smaller, toxic particles. If you get caught without water, think about whether going without bottled water for one hour is actually going to kill you.  Pop bottles all night when you BYO and as TI notes, you can have whatever you like without being part of the single use plastic bottle problem.

ti-whatever-you-like

THREE:  TAKE AWAY, TAKEAWAY COFFEE CUPS

I am someone who is practically mainlining coffee just to drag myself through the tedious and dull existence that is known as Monday to Friday.  Those plastic coffee cup lids and waterproof paper cups aren’t going anywhere though from now until the end of time.  If your barista can’t pour your drink into your own cup (I use a KeepCup) then find one that does, before celebrating your righteous entry into truly living and breathing the sustainable Cup of Life.

rickymartin-cupoflife2

FOUR:  BE A BAG HAG

This one is obvious AF – bring your own bag and don’t take plastic bags for your food or shopping.  Fighting off plastic bags is a constant battle and I’m bellowing “NO BAG” all the time, at everyone.  But for real. is there any point in taking a plastic bag which you get to use:

fugees-onetime

But if you fuck up and you forget to bring your bag out to the shops, like no biggie – just at least try to reuse it:

fugees-twotimes

Then go back to strumming your environmentally friendly heart with your cloth tote bag.

FIVE:  BYO Container / Utensils

Ok, this one’s a little bit more intense because you’re ordering your sad little box of overpriced salad and you don’t want to upset the production line that they’ve got going on.  But how do you even know if it’s an issue?  I’ve found that most places are actually pretty chill about you bringing your own container and if they’re not, plenty more boring ass salad options around or bring your own lunch.  Single use lunch plastic bums me out so hard – I see it all in the trash, plastic container, plastic utensils and all wrapped up in a plastic bag.  My normal salad joint made the move from plastic to cardboard containers, but said they couldn’t find an affordable, sustainable lid option.  So I keep my plastic lid that fits their containers, wash it and bring it back every single time.

britney-hitme


So there you have it, that’s my five, easy fuck yeah steps to leading a less plastic filled existence.  Even if you just start with one less straw, one less coffee cup or one less plastic lunchbox this week, that’s one less piece of plastic that’s going to kick around forever.  Take a small step and see where it goes.  Support businesses who are making steps to more sustainable choices (cause that shit costs more than the cheap plastic options).  As always, let me know what works for you and believe me, together we can all be better.

tupac-change-the-way-we-eat

 

%d bloggers like this: