Celebrity Chow with MediaCorp actor Desmond Tan

Celebrity Chow with MediaCorp actor Desmond Tan

It's not hard to see why so many women are infatuated with Desmond Tan.

On our small screens, the 27-year-old MediaCorp actor boasts a strapping frame and bronzed physique that is simply impossible not to fawn over.

When we met at Anthesis - a two-month-old bistro-cum-bakery tucked in a quaint corner of Robertson Quay - for breakfast last Friday morning, his charm proved even more irresistible.

There was the tinge of humour as he placed his order: "I'll have a Truffled Eggs Benny and an iced earl grey."

After a slight pause, he added: "And a beer please."

There was also the honest, straight-talking tone that is so refreshingly different from the media-savvy replies I have grown accustomed to.

When asked if he hopes his future wife has deft culinary skills, the tanned star quipped with a grin: "Yes. Girls who cook are sexy!"

Tan - who is currently playing a tin mine worker-turned opium addict on Channel 8's new historical drama The Journey: A Voyage which airs on weekdays at 9pm- shared with me his claypot rice cravings, how he once "overdosed" on laksa and where he goes on romantic dinner dates with his girlfriend of three years.

I noticed you ordered a truffle-based dish consisting of poached eggs with truffle hollandaise sauce, potatoes with bacon, brioche and grilled sausage. Are you a big fan of truffle?

Yup, kind of. Recently, truffle has become a really popular flavour that you can find in all kinds of food.

What are your favourite dishes?

I used to love laksa a lot until I went on this variety programme hosted by Kym Ng.

We had to eat six to seven bowls of laksa from different hawker stalls in a single day. At the beginning, I was super gungho and finished the whole bowl.

When I reached my third bowl, I was feeling slightly uncomfortable already. Since then, my love for laksa has somewhat diminished.

I also like thin-crust pizzas and Japanese cuisine. Chinese cooking methods tend to involve a lot of spices and sauces, so it's nice to have Japanese food once in a while as it preserves the authentic taste of raw food perfectly.

Do you cook?

I've been cooking since primary school. As a kid, I could prepare simple items like porridge and fried egg.

In secondary school, I took both home economics and design and technology.

I remember quite vividly that for one of our home economic tests, I cooked chicken rice. The Internet was burgeoning then and I went online to search for ingredients and recipes.

During my army days, I had a friend who was extremely into cooking. A bunch of us would go to his house to try out different dishes like lava cake and pasta.

I can also do fried rice pretty well. It involves creativity and I like cooking fried rice in different ways, for example, Thai-flavoured.

Where do you usually take your girlfriend for romantic dinners?

Actually, we are fine with street fare. Most of our meals are at hawker centres. As for restaurants, we don't stick to one place.

Well, there's this modern Japanese restaurant called Dozo at Valley Point, along River Valley Road, which has left a really good impression on me. It's quiet and the food is awesome.

Speaking of street fare, what are your favourite local dishes and stalls?

I love nasi lemak and satay, especially Old Punggol Satay at Alexandra Village Food Centre.

The claypot rice at New Lucky Claypot, located at Commonwealth Crescent, is another favourite of mine. I used to go there very often with my family, but not so much since I started working.

Recently, I had a massive craving for it after church service and headed there. You know the feeling of getting flooded by memories?

When I saw the stall, it instantly brought back happy memories of eating with my family.

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