Food Reviews, mitsueki

Diao Yu Dao Cafe Selegie Road Peace Center // A Controversy

I wrote about this cafe/restaurant called Diao Yu Dao a month ago or so in my blog post aptly named:  Of Random Food, Controversies & Whatsnot as seen HERE where I did a VERY short food review on it.

Diao Yu Dai Roasted Duck Rice
Raisin Bread from Diao Yu Dao
And more recently – Laksa from Diao Yu Dao

And I think you might have seen it along Selegie Road at Peace Center.

Credits: Stomp

But anyway, why am I bringing up this old post again?

Well, apparently on the 25th of December, there was a newspaper article in the Straits Times about it:

BARELY two months after opening for business, a cafe at Peace Centre – called Diao Yu Dao – has come to the attention of at least three agencies for its name linked to islands whose ownership is disputed by Japan and China.

The agencies are the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the police.

Diao Yu Dao

Diaoyu is China’s name for the group of islands in the East China Sea. Japan, which controls them, calls them the Senkaku islands.

The Sophia Road cafe, with an adjoining bakery, opened in October and sells Hong Kong fare like bolo bun and roasted meat. On the shop’s signboard are the words Diao Yu Dao, accompanied by a picture of the islands.

Dao is the Chinese word for islands.

Photo Credit: STOMP

The eatery’s walls are adorned with over 30 framed graphics, maps and photographs related to the islands, as well as information about the islands’ history and the dispute over their ownership.

The cafe owners are believed to be a couple, both Chinese Singaporeans. They could not be reached for comment.

Dr Tan Sze Wee, chairman of Asas, which regulates signboards and advertisements, said it will be investigating the cafe for possible infringement of the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice.

Click to read it (65 pages)

A clause in the code states: “Advertisements should not adopt or encourage a confrontational approach to resolving societal conflicts or differences. Advertisements should not exploit or fuel conflicts relating to national problems and controversial policies or issues.

A report in My Paper last month quoted the cafe’s manager as saying that his boss “had no political motivations behind the outlet’s concept and theme”.

The police said a report had been lodged and they are “looking into the matter”. It is understood the issue is related to the cafe’s name.

The Original Onion Restaurant and Bar in Singapore

An Acra spokesman said the cafe was registered under the name Onion Restaurant and Bar Pte Ltd.

Acra has conducted checks on the company for issuing invoices under the name Diao Yu Dao and not complying with a Companies’ Act provision to use invoices with its registered name and registration number.

The company has since made changes to its invoices, Acra added.

While the cafe may have used the name Diao Yu to stand out from others, its quality of food is what customers are more focused on.

Madam Sarah Sim, 34, said she did not even notice the cafe’s decorations.

“I just needed to buy food for my kids,” added the secretary.

Passer-by Selvaraju Robert, 56, who said he was aware of the territorial dispute, found the cafe’s theme “interesting”. But the storekeeper added: “I’m more interested in the food.”

Original Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

And so, the controversy deepens…

Well, to be honest,  I look at the quality of the food and I focus on it instead of other stuff.  Overall, I can say that the bread there is fantastic except for that one off case where I found a fly in mine. Meanwhile, my colleagues rave over the polo bun and egg tartswhich I shall try soon. But with regards to the main, I guess it’s just okay. Nothing special but I find myself ordering the duck rice almost every time I go there.

Wonder why?

Well regardless of what happens to Diao Yu Daowhether they need to have a name change or I don’t know! I just hope that it doesn’t close down because I really dig their bakery! It’s awesome and convenient for me to be able to pop into it and buy a nice (and cheap) breakfast or snack for myself(:

So anyway, what do you think about it? Does the name really matter or does the food?
Just something to think about(:

Till Later,
♥ mitsueki

Author: mitsueki

Hello! I'm mitsueki aka Daphne and I blog at! Follow me on IG for more updates too!

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