HK actor Roger Kwok finally gets to eat local food

He comes to Singapore at least once a year, but Hong Kong actor Roger Kwok has not tasted local food in the heartlands... until now.

In Singapore as a special guest on TVB food show Neighbourhood Gourmet Season 3, which showcases some local favourites in six of its episodes, Roger finally got a real taste of Singapore.

He said that he visits the country with his family every year, but they only stay at one place - Universal Studios.

He only just realised that there are many places in Singapore with good food.

"Some of these places have been around for many years. It's just that they have no publicity, so tourists have no idea of their existence. So the main purpose of our visit is for our food show to introduce these local places," he said.

The 50-year-old added that not all the places they go to are expensive.

"A lot of the food places we feature are in heartlands, or what we call public housing in Hong Kong. We found a place where they use really expensive ingredients but yet maintain prices which are affordable for the masses."

He hopes to introduce these places to the people in Hong Kong.

What is the greatest challenge when it comes to filming a food programme?

It's difficult to eat and talk at the same time because the audience is relying on you to explain and describe the experience.

There is also the matter of timing as well as having to coordinate with the other hosts.

Jin Gang and Xiaoyi have to crack funny jokes and yet they must not digress. So there are many different challenges.

What is the Singapore dish that has left the deepest impression on you so far?

I tried a fish head dish yesterday. It was a huge fish head. It didn't seem like fish, but tasted more like pork. Its meat is really dense.

This morning, we tried a chocolate "lou hei" dish. So it's a dessert. I thought that was quite unique.

Can you cook? What is your best dish?

Fried egg!

Frying an egg requires a lot of skill. A lot of people just do it the easy way. You can't do that.

To fry an egg that is really smooth, you can't have your wok too hot. And when you put the oil, the egg must follow immediately. You cannot wait till the oil is too hot, otherwise the egg will be over-cooked.

Does your wife cook for you?

The first dish she cooked for me was unforgettable. Wow, I will remember it forever. Chicken cooked with black bean sauce.

I have never had such bad-tasting food ever. It was really hard to stomach.

It was so salty. The chicken was also over-cooked and really tough, like leathery beef. And it was so black and so salty. There was basically no skill whatsoever.

She said she followed a recipe book, so I threw the book away immediately.

When she asked you how it was, how did you answer?

Of course I said it was good. I finished the whole pot of rice. Because it was so salty, I needed the rice to go with it.

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