Mock Singapore Sling for Food ‘n Flix and Cook the Books

Welcome to the February/March edition of Cook the Books along with Food ‘n Flix February feature film.   It’s a tag team this month.  Claudia of Honey from Rock is hosting Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan for Cook the Books (for February/March).   I’m hosting the film adaptation for the February Food ‘n Flix feature.   

“There is nothing in the world that good food cannot fix” —Wye Mun (474)

I’m glad I watched the film before I read the book.  There’s a surplus of aunties and cousins and I’m not sure I could have kept them all straight without some visual references from the movie.

The last third of the book was probably my favorite as Kwan focused on Rachel and Astrid.   I’m also glad Kwan did not wrap up the Rachel and Nick story with a tidy bow.   Obviously, there’s more to come with their relationship in China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

Although I was intrigued by some of the characters (mainly Astrid), I found the footnotes to be the most hilarious parts of the novel.   I will pick up the other two books in the trilogy (mentioned above) just because I want to see how things work out.

Like I said, ironically enough, I liked Rachel and Astrid the best.  But, if Rachel is such a hotshot economist, she must not specialize in Asian markets or else she would have heard of the majority of the families in the novel (including the Taiwanese plastic Chus).    I felt like the portrayal of Astrid was more sympathetic in the film than the novel but I still liked her.

Nick annoyed the hell out of me (in the book and the film).    Is he so naive (or does he think Rachel is such a simpleton) that he does not have to prepare her for his family and their lifestyle?  (Maybe he is the simpleton.)

Eleanor, Nick’s mother, is indeed a hao chee bye (pardon my Hokkien).  Her character redeems herself in the film adaptation.   Not so in the novel.  Truly, a nasty woman.

There’s lots of food in the novel and for a definitive list, please check out Book Menu’s post.   There was quite a bit of food in the film as well like homemade dumplings and crazy rich ornate culinary offerings.  I am imagining that there will be at least one satay recipe posted for this round and perhaps some authentic Malaysian food.   I went the easy route and focused on the final scene of the book—Rachel, Kerry, Nick and Peik Lin enjoying Singapore Slings in the clouds.

To repent for my snarkiness above about Nick’s mother,  I decided to do something totally different for EE, a mocktail.

Singapore Sling Mocktail

Based on PG-13 Singapore Sling.   I added the bitters, added orange juice instead of mango, used sparkling water, and switched up the garnishes.


  • ¾ c. pomegranate juice
  • ½ c. orange juice
  • ½ c. pineapple juice
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8–12 oz. sparkling water
  •  orange wedge, cherry for garnish


  1. Combine juices in a pitcher filled with ice and stir until cold.
  2. Divide among four highball glasses filled with crushed ice and add 2–3 oz. club soda to each. Garnish with fruit.

Yield:  4

As for the film, there were times as I watched Crazy Rich Asians that I felt like I was in Wonderland.  No doubt Rachel felt like Alice as she tried to wrap her head around just how rich her boyfriend’s family and friends were.   Crazy rich?  Absolutely.

There was a lot of food in the film from the NYC scenes for diner coffee and dessert and homemade Tupperware meals to the ostentatiosness of the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Asia.  Here’s what I spied:

  • Coffee and dessert (cupcakes?) at the diner NYC
  • Pork buns in the East Village
  • Tea sweets at Bible study
  • “Economics professor with lactose intolerance.”
  • Homemade Tupperware meals
  • First class and Champagne
  • Street food:  Satay on open grills, spidery crustacean things, crepes, lobster, breads, naan, street food, beers, shaved ice with condensed milk, noodles, teas
  • Astrid and husband have wine
  • Lunch at college friends’ home:  Lobster (almost a mad hatter feel), carved melons, noodles, chicken nuggets
  • Kitchen with too many things to track:  neon colored sweets.  carved melons, lots of greens
  • Herbal tea to send to the hotel
  • Best beer on Rawa Island.  (Nick and Colin, his best friend, escape from the bachelor party.)
  • Dumpling scene
  • Food at outdoor street cafe with friend
  • Sandwich and cappuccinos during the fashion show
  • Wedding:  champagne, wine, cake (another rabbit hole scene)
  • Colin’s twin sisters bringing in rice and ?? for Rachel.
  • Ginseng tea from mom.
  • Bread fruit and other huge melons in the shopping market before mom enters mah jhong parlor.

This post will suffice for both the Cook the Books and Food ‘n Flix rounds…at least for now.  I may get energetic and make satays for another specific Cook the Books before March is over.   We shall see….


If you want a tradition Singapore Sling, click here.   If you want some more Crazy Rich Asian food inspiration (perhaps for your own FnF last minute post, check these out:

Dumplings, Kaya Toast, and Chili Crab: Inside the Food of Crazy Rich Asians

Behind the food in Crazy Rich Asians

The Dumpling Table in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is Where Two Worlds Collide

I’m also linking up (at the last minute) with Foodies Read!


Novel Reads (at Simona’s briciole) is up and running (from February 26 to March 26).   I’m joining up.  Check it out.  (Simona is a co-host at Cook the Books Club.)


14 comments to Mock Singapore Sling for Food ‘n Flix and Cook the Books

  • Thanks for the review of the movie and the book. I honestly didn’t know there was a book and I haven’t seen the movie. From your list it does seem to be very food and drink centric. I love the item “A kitchen with too many things to track”. 🙂 Good choice on the Singapore Sling. Looks like it would go down very easy, almost too easy. 🙂

  • Mae

    For some reason I have only read “China Rich Girlfriend” — but I would like to see the movie. I didn’t realize it was so foodie. I’m fascinated by your list of articles about the food & food styling — I just have to read them!

    best… mae at

  • Great minds Debra, the footnotes were also my favorite part of the novel.

  • I so wanted to make that drink to, did not have the stuff at home. I need to read the trilogy now.

  • I also enjoyed the book footnotes a lot. There was one moment where I felt a bit of compassion for Eleanor, when she explains how she pushed Nick towards his grandmother, and in doing so sacrificed her time with him. One can object to her choice, of course, but in her mind she was doing this for him. I was also puzzled by Nick’s behavior. He obviously had a strange childhood, but certainly should have known better than to think all would be well for Rachel in his environment. That’s a lovely drink you made for Aunt Elle and I want to think she would crack a tiny thank-you smile (we can’t expect too much from her, can we?) Thank you so much for contributing to Novel Food 🙂

  • I’ve been looking for non-alcoholic fruity drinks so this will be perfect!

  • Thanks Debra for your movie addition to the festivities! The beauty of your drink is that it can go either way, with a slight addition.