Monday, 22 February 2021

Is it as disgusting as it sounds? Pizza Hut's sugary new Bubble Tea Blossom pizza

Covid, Covid, Covid.

That’s all we seem to hear about nowadays.

Remember the good old days when the biggest threat to our health was sugar?

It was public enemy No. 1 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong dedicated one third of his 2017 National Day Rally speech to diabetes. He wore a purple shirt that day.

Sugar was such a hot topic that Maroon 5 wrote a song about it.

But why no song about the coronavirus, Adam Levine? Why?

Sugar didn’t prompt a $11 billion Resilient Package in this year’s Budget announced last week. Covid-19 did.

But the sucrose menace remains among us. We’re just not practising safe distancing to avoid it.

Perhaps because of the coronavirus pandemic and the stress it’s causing us, we’re even turning more to the sweet comfort of evil sugar for succour. High glycemic index be damned.

Or at least that’s my justification for trying Pizza Hut’s new Bubble Tea Blossom pizza.

Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The pandemic made me do it. Blame the coronavirus. It’s Covid-19’s fault I’m eating the latest Frankenstein food creation from Pizza Hut.

The concept is simple. People like bubble tea. People like pizza. Why not put them together?

That was also how we ended up with durian and mala pizza. That is, durian pizza and mala pizza separately, not durian and mala together on a pizza, although that sounds much more interesting. Disgusting! I mean, disgusting.

But the bubble tea pizza is definitely not disgusting even though it may sound like it.

It’s “drizzled with Brown Sugar Milk Tea Sauce, topped with chewy marshmallows and fresh boba pearls, spread atop a bed of mouthwatering cheese”, touted Pizza Hut.

One Facebook commenter wrote: “Not only is this a stupid combination but it is a simple disgrace to all pizza.”

Another typed: “This is worse than pineapples.”

My favourite comment: “Halo polis.”

What I suspect is that these commenters hadn’t actually tasted the bubble tea pizza. They were just reacting reflexively to the unholy union of bubble tea and pizza.

But people who did try it weren’t sweet on the saccharine concoction either.

The AsiaOne reviewer said: “The pizza did have a pleasant aroma, but was a tad too sugary for their liking, clashing with the savoury cheese base.”

Bubble tea = 👍 Pizza = 👍 Bubble tea pizza? 🤔

Posted by AsiaOne on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

You see, unlike bubble tea, you can’t customise the sugar level of the bubble tea pizza. So it’s always 100 per cent whether you want it or not.

The 8 Days reviewer said: “The pizza tastes a tad like someone accidentally spilled a cup of brown sugar pearl milk tea on it.”

I’m not sure whether that's a good thing or bad thing. said: “Bad enough that you should try it.”

That sounds like an endorsement to me.

Aiyo. ➡️ Get stories delivered to you on Telegram:

Posted by on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

So I fired up my Pizza Hut app and ordered a large Bubble Tea Blossom stuffed crust pizza.

But when my pizza was arrived, the marshmallows were missing.

I was about to write a complaint to Pizza Hut, but the delivery person returned minutes later with marshmallows in a small plastic container. Crisis averted.

Despite a Facebook comment that the Boba Blossom “looks like some rabbits had diarrhea on the pizza”, I didn’t think the pizza looked like animals had defecated on it, mostly because I'm not sure what that would look like.

While the marshmallows provided some colour, there weren’t enough of them to add to the taste or mouthfeel. The boba pearls did, but the brown sugar sauce sort of overwhelmed everything.

Which I didn’t mind.

I was more disappointed that even though it’s called bubble tea pizza, there was no tea in it.

I mean, you got the bubble, you got the pizza, but where was the tea?

It should be more accurately called brown sugar boba pizza.

I feel misled. I risked type 2 diabetes for this?

Should’ve listened to the Prime Minister.

I blame Covid.

- Published in The New Paper, 22 February 2021

Monday, 8 February 2021

Cancel Chinese New Year? Readers write in: ‘Cancel your own Chinese’

Apparently, my last column about cancelling Chinese New Year went a bit viral.

Why do I say that?

Because three acquaintances who hadn’t contacted me in years (a cousin, a primary school classmate and an ex-colleague) messaged me about it. They all saw it on WhatsApp.

I mean, no one messaged me about my Baby Yoda column. Sad face emoji.

Another indicator is that I received more e-mails for the column than that time I triggered a bunch of Adam Lambert fans, one of whom called me an “ignorant asshat”. Still stings.

A number of the e-mails supported my open letter to Education Minister Lawrence Wong about banning visiting during CNY because of the pandemic.

Like this one (unedited):
Hands n legs up to support it. Drastic times need drastic measure.....well said, fully support it. Strictly no home visiting.
But the more interesting e-mails were those that, uh, disagreed with me, like this one:
Mr Smong

Due to your great proposal that ‘cancel Chinese New year’. I am lovely to tell you you are welcome to cancel your own Chinese. Don’t ‘Let’s’. just your self. you can wait to celebrate your next Christmas.

“Since your are worrying about the covid19 spreading and the safe of Singapore’s. So I strongly suggest you wrapped up your all families and friends at home but not come out anywhere. it would be much appreciated. Or you should send yourself to USA or UK to fight against the ‘Britsh’ virus.

God will be with you
from someone don’t need your represents
Well, that was an unexpected use of the word “lovely”. I suspect the e-mail might have been written with Google Translate.

While that reader welcomed me to cancel my own “Chinese” for proposing cancelling Chinese New Year, another reader accused me of not being one:
Pl don use a chinese name when u are not one. How misleading.
That was it. That was the whole e-mail.

At least it was concise.

Unlike this epic missive which went slightly off-topic:
Hi, SMOng,

Shouldn’t you be writing about making St John Island as an isolation Zone? During the colonial day the British confine all migrants with TB a known contiguous disease in St John Island.

This is Singapore Alcatraz Hotel accommodation. No escape.

Those people who are issue with SHN has slim chance of infecting the public in general.

Hospital has isolation ward to confine patients known to have contiguous sickness.

In fact I’d voiced my feedback in social media many month back with some detail such as using sea lane. At Changi Airport people on arrival detected positive with COVID19 virus can be transport to Tanah Merah ferry terminal than to St John island via the sea lane to serve their 14 days SHN.

Family member is not affected by those that prefer to stay at home or stay in hotel where staffs or general public who take up the $100/- provided by STPB. Chance of community is very very slim.

For SHN people with serious case while being confine in the island they can be ferry to hospital in the mainland e.g SGH, Alexandra, NUH etc.

Logistically they can use similar concept adopted at Changi Expo.

With the latest report on COVID19 virus mutation that is fast to spreading Senior citizens are in greater risk.

If St John Island is leased to private entity, the government can buy back the leasing for ‘X’ nos of year just like HDB buy back some year from HDB owner or using the land acquisition act to overcome legal issue.

Alternatively the private entity under strict guidance of ministry concerns can set up a program house people issue with SHN.

Recreation activities can be incorporated into the program. As for foods Ta Pau and laundry similarly provide the use once throw away clothings

Using your voice and news print hope you do a writeup on my suggestion.

Thank you.
Hey, you are welcome.

I hope your suggestion goes viral and other acquaintances I haven’t heard from in years will get in touch with me again.

- Published in The New Paper, 8 February 2021

Hi there, after reading your recent article on cancelling the New Year visiting I fully agree with you on the reasoning of containing the virus from exploding just like what happened during last year CNY. The nos kept rising after the festive period was over and we had to swallow our pride of not celebrating our Hari Raya like we used to due to the prohibition of house visiting. We endured and understand fully and willingly followed the rules set by the Government as a way to contain the virus from spreading unabated. Those ppl should be more opened and receptive of the true intention of the Government in implementing these difficult rules in order to save lives especially among the senior citizens. As we should be more socially conscious that saving human's life is more important than having camaraderie with friends and loved ones that could result in the loss of precious lives.

Rahman Jalil,

Do it urself don't impose on other's values... If you don't have any.

John kim

Didn't read your viral post. But it's a good suggestion. If we can hunkered down for the better part of 2019. What's the problem to avoid meeting relatives and exposing everyone. I'm a 67 yo Chinese Singaporean. Haven't missed cny celebration all these years.

This time I'm staying home.

Hi SM Ong,

"Well, that was an unexpected use of the word "lovely". I suspect the e-mail might have been written with Google Translate."

Based on the above sentence, you are mean and Hao Lian in my subjective opinion.

Regards and Stay Safe,
Jade Soh

EARLIER: 8 visitors a day? Aiyah, we should just cancel Chinese New Year

Monday, 25 January 2021

8 visitors a day? Aiyah, we should just cancel Chinese New Year

<Tightened Safe Management Measures> It has been nearly a month since we entered Phase 3. We had anticipated then that...

Posted by Lawrence Wong on Friday, January 22, 2021

Dear Mr Lawrence Wong,

Remember me?

We met when you were campaigning in Yew Tee Square during last year’s election.

I was the joker who asked you whether you were going to cry in Parliament again.

You said no.

I didn’t get the chance to thank you for not having me arrested for harassment.

Good times.

Don’t worry. I’m not writing to you about your Ministry of Education’s response to a transgender student’s claim that the ministry interfered with the student’s hormonal therapy.

Criticism against the Ministry of Education (MOE) has continued to mount over the past week after a transgender student...

Posted by The Independent Singapore on Thursday, January 21, 2021

I’m writing to you about something way less controversial.

I want you to cancel Chinese New Year.

But there’s a good reason for it and not just because I hate giving out hongbao.

As you may be aware, there’s a pandemic going on.

And Chinese New Year is a potential superspreader event.

Scratch that. Chinese New Year is a super-duper mega superspreader event.

You know why? Because Singapore has a lot of Chinese people. I mean, a lot – even more than all the non-Chinese people living here combined.

And most of these Chinese people are really into Chinese New Year since, you know, it’s named after us.

Remember last year, after Singapore had one confirmed case of the “Wuhan virus”, we still carried on with Chinese New Year festivities like everything was normal? No masks!

How did that turn out?

We have had almost 60,000 cases and 29 deaths since then.

Businesses shut down. People lost jobs. The Black Widow movie was delayed.

Even though we lohei-ed like we did every year, it clearly didn’t work. Why keep doing it?

Don’t you wish you could go back in time and start the circuit breaker before last Chinese New Year? How many cases could have been prevented?

On Friday, you announced that each household will be limited to eight visitors per day starting tomorrow, well ahead of Chinese New Year on Feb 12.

Did you decide on eight because it’s a lucky number? How ox-picious of you!

But in light of the numerous breaches of safety measures from the start, it’s a given that covidiots will break the rules.

Some are already joking about gathering on the MRT where there’s apparently no limit to the number of people.

With the worrying increase of community cases recently, you warned of growing complacency and said:
“For every rule we set, please do not try and optimise your maximum gain around the rule as though this is something that you could, you know, gain some additional benefit out of.”

But you know people are gonna.

You said there would be random spot checks, but how would the checkers know whether the eight visitors in the afternoon are the same from the eight visitors earlier in the day or later at night?

Will the checkers monitor households for 24 hours?

Or will you just access everyone’s TraceTogether data?

At best, you can catch people breaking the rules only after the fact. By then, the damage would have been done.

A post-Chinese New Year coronavirus spike is almost inevitable.

And that’s why you should just cancel Chinese New Year.

That is, no visiting allowed at all. It would be so much easier to enforce. No counting required. At any time of the day, zero visitors per household.

Neighbours would snitch on each other. And knowing your neighbour would snitch on you, you’d be afraid to sneak in any visitors. Ownself check ownself.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Yes, I understand that many will not accept the cancellation of Chinese New Year, but I suspect some may actually be relieved.

No more annoying questions from relatives you see once a year about when you’re going to get married or have children. (I’m married with kids, so I’m not talking about myself.)

You can save money on new clothes and hongbao. You don’t have to stock up on snacks for guests. Maybe just for yourself.

It could be the most stress-free Chinese New Year ever.

All this plus preventing the spread of a deadly virus? It’s win-win!

I mean, how could you not cancel Chinese New Year?

And the great thing is that even if you cancel it, there’ll be another one next year.

The annoying relatives will probably still be there too.

As co-chair of the Covid-19 task force, you know what to do.

I await your announcement at the next virtual press conference, which will be soon, I hope.

We all want the pandemic to be over as quickly as possible.

We don’t want it to end with tears in Parliament again, do you?

- Published in The New Paper, 25 January 2021


Hands n legs up to support it. Drastic times need drastic measure.....well said, fully support it. Strictly no home visiting.

Thanks u. Have a blessed day


There’s no need to resort to extreme measures such as canceling Chinese New Year. We are not in a circuit breaker phase. We are in Phase 3, get it? As long as most of us are going to stick to the rule of 8 per household per day, we will get by CNY without your silly suggestion.

That rule of 8 has nothing to do with ox-spicious year either. Your reasons are too personal and crap. You don’t like to meet relatives and give out red packets? That’s your problem. Just stay at home.

No one is going to meet up in the MRT stations for a gathering except you, thank you very much. And there’s no need to mention about that lgbt issue; its irrelevant.

Write better next time.

You are either stupid or poor in English. You can’t cancel tradition and culture. You can ask to cancel official celebration of Chinese tradition . That will have to apply to all the other cultures.

Sent from my iPhone

I thoroughly enjoyed your letter to Lawrence Wong today.

It is witty, humorous and very naughty laced with sarcasm.

Not everyone has such a keen sense of humour and a sharp mind.

And many people can't grasp the joke. Cheers mate.


You talked rubbish

Since when you become a philosopher.

Chinese New Year is an important day for all Chinese people in the world. Unless you have forgotten your. It's no point mocking the minister. If you think you are so fantastical clever go and teach the USA how to control the virus.

No use to so boisterous and sarcastic.

Your page are not humorous.

Thank you

Wanted to really give you a piece of my mind in your writing till I noticed it was filed under humour...

Next time don't like that ok?


UPDATE: Cancel Chinese New Year? Readers write in: ‘Cancel your own Chinese’