Patricia Mok feasts on 10 CNY lo hei - and counting
For local comedienne Patricia Mok, lo hei, the messy, raucous tossing of yusheng, is a must-have every Chinese New Year.
When M caught up with the gregarious 43-year-old over lunch on Monday at steamboat restaurant COCA's newest outlet at Kallang Leisure Park, she said that this would be her 10th lo hei this festive season.
"When I meet up with my friends, or when we have dinner at home, we try to have lo hei as much as possible," said the Fly Entertainment artiste.
"It's for good luck and good fortune, plus we don't eat it any other time of the year, only during Chinese New Year.
"I certainly don't mind having lo hei every day for 15 days straight! This year, I started my lo hei feasting one week before Chinese New Year."
Local audiences can catch Mok in the new Chapman To and Mark Lee movie King Of Mahjong, which is showing in cinemas here.
In the ensemble comedy, she plays an incorrigible, luckless mahjong fanatic.
"One of the main reasons I did this movie was the opportunity to act opposite (Hong Kong funnyman) Chapman To," she said.
"He's a great actor and one of my favourite Hong Kong comedians."
We're having lo hei, roast pork and pork cheeks, and the seafood steamboat set with collagen chicken soup. What did you have for your reunion dinner this year?
It's a family tradition to have a steamboat reunion dinner. We usually eat at home, I don't like eating out.
Duties are automatically 'delegated' to everyone. My sister is in charge of the Korean barbecue, so she will buy the marinated meat, my parents will buy the prawns, fish and vegetables, and I will handle the other preparations.
Did you indulge in CNY goodies like pineapple tarts and cookies?
Sadly, I don't usually get to eat such yummy stuff. Most of the time, it's because of work and these CNY goodies are very heaty.
If you spot me enjoying tarts and cookies, that probably means I have no jobs in the two weeks of CNY. (Laughs)
Well, this year, I did 'cheat' a little. I bought pineapple tarts from Glory Food Products. I ended up finishing one-third of the tarts in three days!
Do you enjoy visiting during CNY? Do your relatives badger you with tiresome questions such as "When are you going to find a boyfriend?"
Nah, my relatives know me so well. They know I don't have a boyfriend, so they won't ask me such questions.
On the first day of CNY, we will go to my uncle's house for dinner. He is a fantastic cook and we look forward to his chicken rice and fried bee hoon. The dinner is a great occasion for us cousins to catch up too, as we seldom have time to meet.
Are you a good cook?
I have my legendary clam dish. I don't cook it often though, usually, I take special requests. I've cooked it for (celebrity hairstylist) David Gan, and (actors) Fann Wong and Christopher Lee.
This CNY, I also fried my own keropok (prawn crackers).
Any favourite hawker haunts in Singapore?
There is the famous "Andy Lau Prawn Noodle" at Newton Food Centre. I don't know how that stall's nickname came about, but my friends and I always call the guy manning it "Andy Lau". (Laughs) He doesn't look like (Hong Kong actor) Andy Lau, but he's pretty good-looking.
There's also a mee hoon kueh (hand-pulled noodles) stall at Holland Village Market and Food Centre- it's the only place in Singapore that I would go and eat alone.
The foodcourt at Orchard Towers has an Indian Muslim stall that serves very good mee rebus.
You are a huge fan of K-pop boy band BigBang, especially member G-Dragon. If you had the opportunity to host him for a meal in Singapore, where would you take him?
I'd ask him what he wants to eat. I know he loves sushi and sashimi. He has expensive taste. If he wants Japanese food, we can go to a Japanese restaurant.
If he likes steamboat, we can come to COCA! I'd ask the managers here for a private room, then he won't be disturbed. (Smiles)