Dr Chee – a politician, thinker, writer, singer and now an aspiring restaurateur

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It seems the way to a voter’s heart is through their stomach – at least when chatting with Dr Chee at his new Orange & Teal express outlet in Marina Square. With his wife May in the background, Chee released his line of Panitas, a cross between Panini and Pita bread.

Chee went on to explain that Panita means your boyfriend in Spanish, an apt name for his dish, especially when he’s showing off his charm at his new outlet. He describes his dishes as comfort food and said his avocado with smoked salmon on pita bread must be tried.

When asked if Chee had a favorite, he said roast pork was his thing. There are too many delicious things to mention in this piece, but it is certainly a treat on an otherwise busy Thursday afternoon from one of the most enduring and iconic opposition politicians here.

delicious panita

Port of call for opposition politics

Chee’s first outlet in Rochester Mall is a port of call for anyone actively involved in politics in Singapore. It is a meeting place for like-minded political figures to discuss politics, have a conversation, and push the boundaries of political thought in Singapore.

An expansion of its franchise to Marina Square means Singapore has another place where we can meet and discuss all things politics without fear of being overheard by our big brothers at ISD.

For a while I was engrossed in the idea of ​​Orange & Teal becoming the next Takagi Ramen with franchises all over Singapore and also available on food delivery apps. When asked if he would go the route, Chee said it will take time to grow his brand and that he is, for now, focusing on the two outlets.

I’ve known Chee for a while now and in 2012 I helped him with the book review Democraticly Speaking – a must read for anyone who wants to understand post-LKY politics in Singapore. So I’m completely impressed with his ability to wear different hats and multi-task.

If I remember correctly, in an email exchange with Chee in 2006, he said he could meet in a private place away from the public eye to discuss politics. It was a period when opposition figures were shunned and meetings were held in secret.

What I find very interesting is the normalization of opposition politics in Singapore. Chee’s participation in the last general election was commendable and he became a household name in politics.

If there was a chilling effect because of the way opposition figures were treated in the past, that fear is no longer there. The fact that Chee was able to start a restaurant and expand it into the very heart of the city showed that people’s attitudes towards opposition figures have changed.

A fluid operator

At this point Chee started bringing out the desserts and at my age I was afraid to consume the sugary smoothies he served to the three young reporters from Mothership. They discussed how mango with shrimp is a great combination. Maybe we’ll see it on its menu at some point, but what I found most fascinating was its ability to switch topics with ease.

I was really getting quite curious now and asked Chee if he would ever consider participating in Iron Chef or Master Chef. Interestingly, Chee said he didn’t mind appearing as a guest judge on the show…

Latte before it’s turned into a mocha

Chee offered me a latte with a chocolate marshmallow stick on the side and dipping it in the coffee made a really rich mocha, leaving me with a sweet aftertaste as I headed to my next date. of the day.

Orange & Teal offers fine dining at affordable prices and if you’re lucky you’ll get the 1000 watt Chee smile with it. What are you guys waiting for? Grab a Panita with Bobochacha smoothie today at Marina Square #02-230A

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