Like most brides-to-be, Lim Peifen wanted to look her best (read: slimmest) in her wedding photos.
So, one week before she and her fiance scooted off to Seoul to have their pictures taken, the 32-year-old radio deejay who hosts the daily breakfast show on Mando-pop radio station Yes 93.3 FM, began her "clean diet".
"Essentially, I cut down on carbohydrates, sugar and oil," she said over lunch at Korean restaurant Joo Mak, located at the top level of Beauty World Centre.
"I can't do without coffee and tea, so I'd have them without sugar. Also, I ate less. I replaced white rice with brown rice, and white bread with wholemeal bread."
Abstaining from food wasn't as painful a process as one would imagine.
After all, Lim - a nominee in the upcoming Star Awards' Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes category - had already been consistently shedding the pounds since early last year.
"It all started because I felt I was looking a little chubby on TV," said Lim with a laugh. She now weighs a svelte 52kg, having successfully lost 5kg over the past year.
Next month, the bilingual presenter - she recently hosted infotainment programme Secret Singapore on Channel 5 - is tying the knot with her computer engineer beau of 10 years.
"Korean food holds a special place in my heart, because my boyfriend proposed to me in Korea," she said, looking at the sumptuous spread of spicy rice cakes, seafood pancake, bibimbap and soju in front of us.
Where do you and your fiance go for a nice meal?
We love cafe-hopping and trying out different types of coffee, sweets and cakes. The latest one we tried was The Bravery Cafe at Jalan Besar, which was pretty good.
There was a year when we celebrated his birthday at Morton's The Steakhouse at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. The service was lovely and highly personalised. If it's your birthday, they'd print out the menu with your name on it, take a picture and put it in a card, and give you a free dessert!
That said, he's really not the romantic sort, which is fine by me. When it comes to eating, he's fuss-free. He eats practically anything.
We love hawker food and Whampoa Drive Market and Food Centre is one of our favourite haunts. You can find delicious duck rice and porridge, mee siam and fried beehoon there.
Are you particular about the quality of food you'll serve at your wedding banquet?
Yes, to a certain extent, because we all know wedding dinners can get long and boring, so I don't want the food to disappoint my guests.
We're having a traditional Chinese 10-course sit-down dinner. I did think of having a standing buffet, but it won't be the most ideal arrangement for my parents.
We're not having shark's fin soup on our menu, that's for sure!
Do both of you cook? Any dishes you've cooked for your fiance and vice versa?
I picked up my cooking skills from my mum. She's a great cook and I learnt whatever I could by watching her in the kitchen. Lately, we'd discuss recipes.
My fiance likes soups. I'd do savoury soups with scallops, dates and pork ribs. Sometimes I'd whip up Western stuff too, like pasta and baked rice.
As for him, he can do only instant noodles. (Laughs).
Do you and your fiance have memorable overseas food encounters to share?
We had the most bizarre, out-of-this-world meal in Lyon, France. There was one odd dish which was made up of sugar cubes soaked in green alcohol. The smell was simply pungent.
On another trip to Japan, we stayed in a hot spring ryokan (traditional inn) which served nine-course breakfasts. We had abalone sashimi cooked over a hot plate. I remember feeling very sad throughout my meal, as the abalone was still alive and moving while it was being cooked.
This article was published on April 2 in The New Paper.
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