Celeb Chow with couple Tay Kewei and Alfred Sim
It's cuteness to the max at Sanrio character-themed Pompompurin Cafe at Orchard Central
Choosing to dine at Sanrio character-themed Pompompurin Cafe at Orchard Central was local singer Tay Kewei's idea.
Not that her husband Alfred Sim, who is an athletics coach and singer, objected. They tied the knot on Jan 4 last year after dating for more than 10 years.
M met up with them over lunch last month and Tay, 32, could barely contain her excitement.
"Obviously Alfred didn't pick this place, I'm the one who's the huge fan," said Tay, who will be holding her first solo concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall on June 17.
"I've been waiting to eat at Pompompurin Cafe ever since it opened in April.
"It reminds me of the Little Twin Stars Cafe in Shibuya which Alfred and I visited when we were in Tokyo. Everything there was blue and pink. Very cute."
Sim, 34, said jokingly: "At least here at Pompompurin Cafe, the dishes are yellow and brown, they look more edible."
Pompompurin's Beef Stroganoff
The dishes you've ordered, such as the Beef Stroganoff and Pancake Tower accompanied by Cookies & Cream Caramel Latte and Marshmallow Latte, look delectable.
Tay: They're really, really cute!
Sim: So much detail has gone into each of the dishes. Look at the beef stroganoff, the rice is moulded into the shape of (golden retriever character) Pompompurin.
Tay: I feel like a little kid again.
Sim: Kewei's not very girly on most days, but when it comes to Sanrio cafes, she just cannot resist them.
Alfred, you're the apprentice coach for the national sprints and hurdles team. Are you very strict about what you eat? And Kewei, are you pressured to follow suit?
Sim: It's the other way around. I like fried chicken, basically anything that's fried. I also love to binge on tidbits. I'm a bad example to my athletes. Kewei's the super health-conscious one - she's into vegetables and Japanese food.
Tay: Alfred can sit at one spot and finish a bag of potato chips by himself.
Sim: Then again, I work out almost every day.
Bagel's Special Pancake Tower
Who is the better cook between the both of you?
Tay: I don't cook. Sadly, I don't have the passion.
Sim: Yes you do. In the past 11 years we've been together, you've cooked, erm, three dishes. (Laughs.)
Tay: He's much better than me. In the kitchen, I'm the sort who'd need to follow recipes, but he just goes by his intuition.
Sim: Western food, such as steak, is pretty straightforward. It's not difficult. I like whipping up Chinese-style jia chang cai (homecooked meals) too. Kewei's Maggi mee is quite okay, though sometimes it's a bit soggy.
Tay:I hope to develop an interest in cooking. I want to be able to cook for him.
Cookies & Cream Caramel Latte (left) and Marshmallow Latte
Do you still go for date nights? Any favourite dining places?
Tay: Every fourth of the month, we try to have a mini celebration, as it's our monthsary.
Sim: Kewei's big on Japanese cuisine, so we like going to Japanese restaurants with omakase menus.
Tay: We also enjoy al fresco eateries. There are some nice places in the East Coast Park area.
Is there any particular food one of you adores, but the other detests?
Tay: Chicken feet! I don't like it, he does.
Sim: It has a lot of collagen you know. It's good for you.
Tay: Well, I can get my collagen elsewhere. I have no idea how to eat it. You apparently have to chew and spit out the bones.
Sim: Oh, that's the best part of chicken feet, as it's soft and nicely steamed.