Celebrity Chow with Korean-American YouTube star David Choi

We were at Dempsey Hill, one of Singapore's most popular dating spots.

The man I am having lunch with, 29-year-old Korean-American singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation David Choi, has immortalised the laid-back area in his song.

The tender acoustic ditty, Dempsey Hill, was penned after a memorable, romantic night out.

"I came here with a girl. We had dinner, and I just went home and was inspired to write a song about it," said a grinning Choi.

"Dempsey Hill is quiet and there are lots of great restaurants and cafes.

"And you can take a walk around the area too."

Choi, who has visited Singapore "probably 10 times", turned coy when asked how that particular date went.

"Well, I wrote a song," he muttered.

"It's all in your lyrics?" I tried to fish for an answer, to which he simply nodded.

His lyrics - "Oh the weather's pretty nice/ This moment couldn't feel more right/ I wish I had one more night" - certainly painted a wonderful memory.

The Los Angeles-based bachelor ("I'm single and ready to mingle") was in town last Thursday to promote his fourth studio effort, Stories of You's and Me.

The album, which includes Dempsey Hill, is now out on iTunes.

As we savoured the spread of seafood and meat at Long Beach @ Dempsey, Choi, who has more than 995,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, said that longtime fans will sense a "more mature side" of him on Stories of You's and Me.

"I'm older now, I can't be writing about first loves or crushes," he said.

Steamed Clam

Photo: TNP

We are having chilli crab, deep-fried baby squid, bamboo clams with minced garlic and dongpo pork today. Did you and your date come here for dinner?

Not at this restaurant. We went to a few places at Dempsey Hill, but I can't remember their names.

I ate at Long Beach @ Dempsey once with the team from my record label and the chilli crab was fantastic. I've tried chilli crab at other places, but I think the crab here wins hands down.

What other Singapore dishes do you like?

Hainanese chicken rice is one of my favourites. I love the seafood in Singapore, especially when it's fresh. I like all foods, to be honest. Well, except for durian. I can't do durian.

Baby Squid

Photo: TNP

Have you eaten at hawker centres?

Yes, I love Singapore's hawker centres. I've been to Newton Food Centre.

Those are the places with the best food. I just wished they had air-conditioning. I don't know, maybe it's the combination of humidity and heat that makes the food taste good.

I would assume that if I had hawker food in a place like, right here, it would be very different.

Chilli Crab

Photo: TNP

Do you cook? Anything you do really well?

Nah. Last year, I cooked a total of four times.

My cooking's pretty good. But I just don't have the time.

Plus, cooking stresses me out with all the different steps, waiting time and chopping.

When I cook, I usually just throw in a bunch of things and do a stir-fry.

Any restaurants you would recommend to your fans if they were to visit Los Angeles?

You've got to try In-N-Out Burger, it's a staple there.

LA has the best Korean barbecue, even better than what you can find in South Korea. I've tried Korean BBQ a number of times in South Korea. It's good, but LA's is amazing. I'd recommend Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong, which is really popular. My favourite Korean BBQ eatery is Soowon Galbi.

If you like Japanese food, Sushi Gen is really good.


This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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