Celeb Chow with Greyson Chance
US singer-songwriter Greyson Chance wanted to sneak back to Singapore for black pepper crab
Black pepper crab is Greyson Chance's absolute favourite Singapore delicacy and a must-have every time he is in town.
He was previously here in 2011 and twice in 2012.
The lanky 18-year-old US singer-songwriter, who was the headlining act at A Rooftop Affair - a rooftop concert in myVillage mall in Serangoon Gardens - earlier this month, met up with M for lunch at Long Beach King and waxed lyrical about his love for the dish.
"Ah, I remember this taste, everything about it is so good. It's so fresh and the flavour is amazing," Chance said, as he feasted on the seafood restaurant's black pepper crustacean.
"I remember the first time I tried it, it was either the first or second time I was in Singapore.
"I was doing an Asian promotional tour then, but even when I was in other countries, I kept thinking about black pepper crab. I wanted to sneak back to Singapore to eat it."
Black Pepper Crab. PHOTO: TNP / TAN KEE YUN
Chance, born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, shot to fame in 2010 when, at 12, his performance of Lady Gaga's hit song Paparazzi at a sixth-grade music festival went viral on YouTube.
The teenager didn't mind getting his hands messy as he cracked open his crab shells.
"This is part of the process, you have to dig in and respect the crab," he said.
You prefer Singapore's black pepper crab over chilli crab. Why is that so? Are you enjoying the roast Irish duck we ordered too?
I like the flavour better. I like how it tastes and flows. The spice combined with pepper is really nice. I like chilli crab as well, but its spiciness is on another level.
One of the best duck dishes I've ever tried was in Beijing, but this one here is great too.
What are some other local foods you love?
You guys have amazing nasi goreng. I had some yesterday and it was really good.
Everything in Singapore tastes wonderful, from sushi to fish.
The best part about Singapore is that it's a massive melting pot, you get food from different cultures. And you can pair them off with a Tiger beer and everything's all right. (Laughs)
Roast Irish Duck. PHOTO: TNP / TAN KEE YUN
Oh, I hate durian. I'm not afraid to say that. I'm going to take a very anti-durian stance. (Laughs) I tried it for the first time in Malaysia two years ago, it's so bad.
People do really love it here. They get into heated discussions about it; there are durian lovers in one camp, and the other camp will be people like me. It's the taste, smell and texture that puts me off. After I eat durian, I just want to take a really long hot shower to wash it out of my system.
You're living by yourself in Los Angeles now. Do you cook?
Yeah, I moved out of my parents' house last August, after I turned 18. I don't cook though. My regular Chinese restaurant in LA gets nervous when I don't order in every night. If I don't order in, they get worried and wonder: "Where is he? Is he alive?" (Laughs)
My dad is from Sicily, so there's a Sicilian pasta that I can make pretty well. It's bolognese pasta with veal. That dish aside, I'm a takeout person. I order Chinese, Mexican, mac and cheese, ramen noodles, Vietnamese. LA has some of the best Vietnamese food.
Any Oklahoma dishes you'd recommend to Singaporeans?
You don't know what's really good, authentic fried chicken until you've tried Oklahoma fried chicken.
If you're ever in Oklahoma, I'd take you to Eischen's Bar, my favourite restaurant in Oklahoma City.
You'd go "Oh my God" and you will be in heaven after eating the fried chicken there.
It's the best thing we have in Oklahoma.
As a kid, I grew up in church and after our Sunday services, we'd go to the parking lot and there would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits and rolls.
Are you the sort who does not put on weight?
I won't lie, I eat a lot and I eat everything. But I run a lot too. I've always been running since I was a kid.
My dad used to be a cross-country runner so I picked that up from him. I have great metabolism too, but I think that will change as I get older.