Celebrity Chow with actor-host Allan Wu

Fancy being Allan Wu's date?

Here's a tip: Love your burgers and burritos and you'll stand a chance of catching his eye.

Last Friday, M caught up with the California-born actor-host over lunch at Italian eatery Ricciotti at The Riverwalk.

The 41-year-old is now a bonafide bachelor after his high-profile divorce with former actress Wong Li-Lin. And he's open to dating again.

"She has to have a sense of humour and of course, she needs to be understanding of someone like me, who comes with baggage and children.

"It'll be great if she is fun, adventurous and open-minded about food. She has to enjoy Western cuisine," said Wu with a grin as he tucked into a hearty meal of Choupino soup (mixed seafood), Pizzoto pizza (bacon, eggs, mushrooms) and Al Granchio pasta (crab linguine).

Wu, a father of two - daughter Sage, nine, and son Jonas, seven - announced his split with Wong last June after 10 years of marriage. His children are his absolute top priority, stressed the Fly Entertainment heartthrob.

"If I didn't have kids, I'd definitely be more focused on dating. Well, if the right girl comes along, I'll consider."

Last seen on television in Diva Universal's 2012 cooking programme Hot Guys Who Cook, Wu is excited about his upcoming role in the second season of Channel 5's period police drama Mata Mata. The show premieres on Sept 1.

"I play a lawyer and romantic interest of (actress) Rebecca Lim's character. The two of us, plus (actor) Pierre Png, are locked in a love triangle of sorts. There's even a huge fight scene between Pierre and myself," he said, sounding excited.

You and your family were based in Shanghai for two years. Is there any Chinese food you miss?

I love Chinese food. I adore the sheng jian bao (pan-fried pork dumplings) at Shanghai's Xiao Yang Sheng Jian restaurant.

My ex-wife wasn't a fan, though. She didn't think they were very healthy.

I also love the steamboat at Hai Di Lao Hotpot. The prawns are super-sized and they have different types of seasoning.

Other favourites include cong you bing (scallion pancakes), you tiao (fried dough sticks), soy milk and shao bing (flat bread), which I'd just buy off the roadside stalls.

When I first moved to Shanghai, everyone was telling me, "Oh, you're gonna fall ill eating the food there." I didn't get sick once in my two years there!

Did you try any exotic cuisine in Shanghai?

I've tried raw crab, dog meat, ostrich meat, kangaroo meat and bull testicles. My no-no would be monkey's brain. I've heard that the prepping is inhumane.

In Singapore, where do you like to take your kids for meals?

California Pizza Kitchen at Forum The Shopping Mall. They love it.

Li-Lin might want to create a whole new culinary experience for them, but I'm like, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." If spaghetti bolognese is what they want, I'd just give them a big pot of it.

I've also started introducing them to Mexican food. I took them to Muchachos at Keong Saik Road, which serves very good California-style Mexican fare.

You grew up in California. What would you recommend there?

My favourite pizza in the world is Zachary's Chicago Pizza in Berkeley. Before my kids came along, I'd drive five to six hours to meet my friends there.

Last year, when I took my children back to Los Angeles to visit their grandparents, we tried a similar type of pizza at Hollywood Pies.

They really enjoyed it, so I'm thinking that perhaps, it's time to do the long drive once again, to let them try Zachary's.

Where would you go for a romantic dinner date?

Bacchanalia at Coleman Street - it has a sleek bar. The whole Keong Saik area is quite popular for dates, too. I like Spanish tapas and there's a great tapas bar there called Esquina.

I love my beers and the microbreweries like Brewerkz and RedDot Brewhouse are nice places to hang out at.


This article was first published on July 9, 2014.
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