Rojak is the perfect representation of her heritage
Celebrity Chow with Rojak actress Carla Dunareanu
It seemed apt that we met Carla Dunareanu over a meal of rojak.
The 27-year-old actress-host, who is starring in the new Channel 5 comedy Rojak, said her family background is also rojak.
The Fly Entertainment artist, born to a Romanian dad and Singaporean mum in Germany, spent several years studying and working in Australia and the Philippines.
She is now based in Singapore.
"Rojak is a perfect representation of my heritage and I think it's really fun to be so 'mixed'," said Dunareanu as she ate the rojak from Soon Heng Rojak, at Toa Payoh HDB Hub's Gourmet Paradise.
"I like to think that I enjoy bits and pieces of every culture."
Rojak (above), one of her favourite local dishes, is a winner because of the dough fritters.
"I could probably have rojak with just that - fritters with sauce and peanut," said Dunareanu, who left the cucumber untouched.
"Cucumber smells and tastes like water. It takes up space in my stomach when it could be filled with other yummy things."
In Rojak, which airs every Wednesday at 9.30pm, Dunareanu plays Stephanie, one of aspiring writer-landlord Patricia's (Kimberly Wang) idiosyncratic tenants.
Besides Soon Heng Rojak's signature, you're having curry chicken rice from RedRing Treasures. Do you eat at food courts often?
Yes, I love local food and I'm always eating at food courts and kopitiams.
This is my first time at Gourmet Paradise. Thank you for introducing me to such a good rojak place.
Chicken curry (below) is another of my favourite dishes. It reminds me of my maternal grandmother as she makes fantastic chicken curry.
My other local favourites are mee hoon kueh and nasi lemak.
A lot of local dishes are spicy. Do you naturally like your food hot or did you have to get accustomed to spicy fare?
When I first moved here from Australia, I had ketchup with everything. Gradually, I trained myself and my palate just got used to it.
Any dishes you'd recommend from Germany, Australia and the Philippines?
If you ever go to Germany, you have to try schnitzel - fried, breaded pork fillet. It's so good.
In Australia, the fish and chips are always incredible because the fish is really fresh. The chips are not your skinny French fries, they are fat and you can taste the potato. They're coated with vinegar and mayonnaise. Totally to die for.
There's awesome food in the Philippines, from adobo (a traditional dish with soya sauce) to chicken sisig (spicy dish) to sinigang (soup or stew).
Last year, you filmed local travelogue MissAdventures alongside actress-host Munah Bagharib, travelling to Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand. Did you try any memorable or exotic food?
One of my forfeits in Chiang Mai involved eating roadside insects. I'm quite game when it comes to food, so when Munah picked the insects for me, I was like "Come on, just give them to me!"
When I popped them into my mouth, they didn't taste like anything. They're fried crispy anyway. The giant cockroach was kind of gross, it had more of a "kick" and one of its legs got stuck in my teeth.
Even before the show, I was pretty adventurous. I've tried deer, kangaroo, crocodile, king cobra, guinea pig and swordfish. Also alpaca in Peru. Of course, if the animal is endangered, I wouldn't have the heart to eat it.