Korean guitar whiz Sungha Jung can't get enough of cafe culture
Celebrity Chow with Korean guitar whizz Sungha Jung
The cafe culture has caught on big time in Seoul, said South Korean acoustic guitar maestro and YouTube sensation Sungha Jung.
The 18-year-old, who was in town last Saturday for his solo concert, told M over coffee at The Deli at Grand Park City Hall that it is "very common" for him and his peers to hang out at cafes.
"There are many coffee house chains in Seoul," said Jung, best known for his cover of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movie theme song.
"Korean teenagers love going to cafes to chit-chat, study and revise for their exams. I go to Starbucks quite often.
"If you visit Seoul, I recommend a trip to the Hongdae, Cheongdam and Hapjeong areas. They have nice little cafes serving artisanal coffee."
Last month, Jung, who boasts more than three million subscribers on his YouTube channel, posted a cover of Kit Chan's 1998 National Day Parade anthem Home.
"I know Singapore is celebrating her 50th birthday this year, so I wanted to play something meaningful for my Singaporean fans," he said with a grin.
"I chose Home as it has a beautiful melody line. I really like the song."
You ordered The Deli's signature dish, Hainanese Chicken Rice Ba Zang (dumplings), with a slice of chocolate raspberry cake on the side. This is an interesting mix of savoury and sweet flavours.
Whenever I'm in Singapore, my schedule is so tight that I never had time to try many local dishes.
This is the first time I'm trying both Hainanese chicken rice and dumplings. It is definitely very different from Korean dumplings, which are closer to gyozas. This is very good.
I love cakes, patbingsu (Korean ice shavings with red bean paste) and ice cream, especially ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I can eat a whole bowl of ice cream all by myself.
Thankfully, I do not put on weight easily.
Do you need your coffee fix every day?
I'm not a hardcore coffee drinker, but I like a good Americano and caramel macchiato.
What are your favourite types of cuisine?
Korean food is No. 1 for me. I love Korean barbecue and spicy stews.
Recently, I started living alone and I've been cooking spicy stews and fried rice for myself.
My next favourite would be Japanese food. I love sushi, especially those with salmon.
Whenever my team and I are on the road, we make it a point to try sushi from the different cities we go to.
You're young and already living alone. Is cooking tough for you?
Nah, it's very fun!
My mum taught me a few simple dishes before I moved out.
Any memorable overseas food encounters?
When I was touring in Japan a couple of years back, my Japanese friend took me to a Japanese eatery where I tried okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) and takoyaki (ball-shaped snacks grilled with octopus slices). They were delicious.