Atmosphere? Food is more important, says Huang Jinglun
Celebrity Chow with Taiwan-based local singer-host Huang Jinglun
If all men were like Huang Jinglun, we are pretty sure many chi-chi restaurants would be out of business in no time.
The Taiwan-based local singer-host does not care one bit about romantic ambience when he is out on dates.
Huang, 31, scored his showbiz break in 2008 after coming in sixth in reality TV singing contest One Million Star III.
M met Huang at Cafe Melba, a bistro located within Goodman Arts Centre.
"Food is more important to me," he told M, while savouring a sumptuous spread of eggs benedict, roasted scallops, beef rendang and crayfish linguini.
"To me, an ideal dinner date would be over hotpot, where we can eat and chat to our heart's content.
"In Taiwan, there are so many different price ranges of hotpot offerings, from roadside stalls to classier ones at air-conditioned cafes."
The bachelor added: "Another option would be to go for a barbecue meal. We'd probably stink after that, but (it's) tasty and enjoyable."
He is back in Singapore to play the male lead in Toy Factory's new Mandarin musical, Innamorati, which runs from tomorrow to Aug 3 at the Drama Centre Theatre.
The presenter on Taiwan's variety TV show circuitsaid that preparations for his debut musical did not run smoothly.
"I fell sick during the third week of rehearsals and almost lost my voice," he said. "It was quite bad for a while as I couldn't hit the high notes. My low register sounded awful, too.
"Thankfully, I've recovered."
Would you say you are a foodie? Having been based in Taiwan for so long, what are some of your favourite Taiwanese delicacies?
I'm a glutton! There are so many Taiwanese foods I love, like salted crispy chicken, fried sotong, fried sausages and fried crispy chicken skin.
I would love to bring chicken skin into Singapore, as its marination is unique. The seasoning and chilli powder used are special too, with hints of plum flavour.
Another dish would be stinky tofu. Initially, I couldn't get used to it, but slowly, I grew to like the fried version.
But I still can't take the steamed, braised and ma la (Chinese for numbing and spicy) versions, as the fermented smell is overpowering.
You live alone in Taiwan. Do you cook?
My passion is solely eating. I'm lazy, and since the 7-Eleven convenience store is so near my house, I (used to) rely heavily on microwave meals.
These days, I try not to eat microwave stuff so much as it's unhealthy. Sometimes, I cook instant mee goreng.
Which cities in Taiwan boast the best food?
I would highly recommend Yilan and Hualien. Both cities are near the coast, are peaceful and you can find great food.
Hualien's Ziqiang Night Markethas lots of delights, such as Bomber Pie (spring onion pancake) and Coffin Board (deep-fried toast stuffed with creamy seafood ingredients).
Do you miss any Singapore food when you're in Taiwan? Any favourite restaurants in Singapore?
I definitely miss Hainanese chicken rice. There are places where you can find it in Taiwan, but it's not authentic at all, as the taste is tweaked to suit Taiwanese tastes. I also miss soy sauce chicken at Chiew Kee Noodle House, situated along Upper Cross Street.
The stall has been there for nearly 60 years. I've been eating there since I was a kid.
While hosting infotainment programme Are You Hokkien?, I've discovered good local Hokkien restaurants like the Putien chain, Xing Hua at Jalan Besar and Beng Hiang at Amoy Street.