K-pop fans in S'pore fork out thousands of dollars -- on meals for their idols

31 December 2013 / 2 years 9 months ago

When South Korean actor-singer Lee Seung Gi was in town in September, he feasted on a meal prepared by celebrity chef Sam Leong's restaurant Forest.

The lavish lunch comprised dishes such as crispy duck confit with yam, boiled pork slices with kimchi, as well as chef Leong's signature dish of milky chicken broth with morel mushrooms and wild bamboo piths.

And who paid for the meal? His fans.

In fact, these avid fans had deliberately ordered enough food from the restaurant to feed not just Lee, but 35 other people, including his entourage and other crew members.

The $1,500 bill was paid for by his international fan base that includes his Singapore fan club, as well as those based in South Korea, the United States and Japan. The meals also included $300 worth of food from Korean restaurant Bibigo.

This practice of catering for idols sounds extravagant, but it is a regular affair among fans of Korean pop culture.

Commonly known as "food support", the practice originated with music and drama fans in South Korea in the 1990s, but it has since caught on with fans here and become a common sight, especially in the last two years.

Concert organiser Running Into The Sun, which has brought in major K-pop acts including Super Junior and Girls' Generation, says that for most of the K-pop concerts they have organised in Singapore, they have gotten requests from fans to contribute food. But not every type of food is allowed for their events.

A spokesman for Running Into The Sun says: "We usually accept items such as snacks, pastries and cakes, but not hot food, to ensure that food doesn't go bad."

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