Tay Ping Hui: 'Eat now, worry later'
Celeb chow with Tay Ping Hui
Despite having an athletic physique from playing sports like basketball, self-confessed foodie Tay Ping Hui does not stick to any strict diet.
Not even now, when he is training for The Celebrity Sports Day as captain of the Red Team, which includes fellow artists like Ian Fang, Rebecca Lim and Shane Pow.
The event will be held at the OCBC Arena on Saturday at 2.30pm and will have 50 celebrities split into two opposing teams and competing in events like basketball, the 100m sprint and tug-of-war.
Proceeds will go towards NTUC Income OrangeAid to assist underprivileged children and youth.
Tickets are available at $9 from www.sportshub.com.sg.
Tay, 45, joked: "My philosophy is to eat now and worry later.
"The Celebrity Sports Day is a fun event, so I don't need to watch my diet super carefully or do very rigorous training," he said.
"I do work out, but I prefer to shoot hoops or do my own body weight training rather than go to the gym.''
The local actor and host took M to his favourite Japanese restaurant, Tatsuya, at Goodwood Park Hotel.
"I've been coming here for around 15 years and never once have I been disappointed with the food," he said. "Everything is so fresh and the food strikes the right balance between rustic and refined.''
Grilled Japanese Sand Fish with Citrus Dressing
Tay tried the omakase menu (where the chef decides), of which his favourites were the sushi platter with otoro (seared tuna belly), seared salmon belly, kanpachi (seared amberjack), seared sweet shrimp, seared scallop with goose liver and the sashimi dish of thinly-sliced snapper topped with sea urchin and caviar.
"The sashimi just melts in your mouth. It's so good you don't need any additional sauce and the taste is so clean and fresh.
"And the sushi is seared beautifully, with the toppings like the goose liver melting onto the sushi to give that extra-rich flavour."
Sea Whelk, Baby Octopus with Seasonal Spring Vegetables
Why do you have a soft spot for Japanese cuisine?
I love how everything tastes so clean and you can finish a meal without feeling like it's very heavy.
Japanese chefs also take pride in the flavours, textures and presentation, and it's a joy to watch them at work.
Ordering from the full-course omakase menu can be pricey. At Tatsuya, it costs $300 to $350 per head, excluding drinks. But I prefer the omakase menu as you get the freshest ingredients and the best of everything that's in season.
Snapper Sashimi with Sea Urchin and Caviar
What's your favourite local food?
Whenever I come back from a Western country, the first thing I always crave is carrot cake. It must be black, with chilli. My favourite is Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway at Zion Road.
Who is the better cook, you or your wife?
I'm going to say me, but it's going to be disputed (laughs). I cook more day-to-day dishes like pasta vongole, omelette, codfish and eggplant. She cooks more for special gatherings, when she makes things like potato salad.
What restaurant you would recommend for a romantic date?
Well, Tatsuya is a good place because the food is excellent and the ambience is very cosy. CUT by Wolfgang Puck has one of the best filet mignon steaks you can get in Singapore. But I think the most romantic spot is actually the one you set up in your own living room, with home-cooked food and a candle.
What do you dislike eating?
I'm very adventurous with my food, and will even eat insects. The one thing I hate is bad food. I get angry when I have to pay for bad food. If I'm paying $30 for a steak, it has to be good.