HK TV host threatens to go on strike for durian

Singapore's chicken rice, Hokkien mee and kopi-o siu dai get the spotlight in the new and third season of Hong Kong food show Neighbourhood Gourmet.

Hosted by dynamic duo Jin Gang and XiaoYi, the TVB show has the pair travelling to Singapore, Taiwan and Korea to find the best neighbourhood eats in each of these countries.

They even challenge each other to cook up selected local dishes.

So, what have they been eating in Singapore?

"Wow, plenty! We had Hainanese chicken rice. We had bak kut teh. We had prawn noodles as well. We ate many other things too," XiaoYi said.

"And there was crab bee hoon as well. That was great. As well as black pepper crab," Jin Gang added.

"And we drank lots of that... kopi! Kopi-o siu dai! Kopi-o peng!" XiaoYi said.

The two are in town with guest star Roger Kwok to try the local delicacies, and they will try as many different variations as possible. They will then head back to Hong Kong to find the exact same dish, and rate it for its authenticity. This is something new for their show, Jin Gang said.

He added that XiaoYi threatened to go on a strike if they didn't give her a dose of durian.

He said that they loved the fruit, but were "really full" the night before.

"How can we miss out on Mao Shan Wang durian?" he said.

"Yes, so I said, how can we not have Mao Shan Wang when we are here in Singapore? I must have it!" XiaoYi said.

"Yes, And XiaoYi said, 'If you don't let me have Mao Shan Wang, I will stop filming!' So the crew got scared and quickly got her a box of durian! It was quite a big box. There was quite a lot of durian," Jin Gang said.

"She ate five or six pieces. I only had two. I was really full. She really loves durian."

XiaoYi, who is visiting Singapore for the first time, said that the weather and food here are really good. And that there're lots of handsome men, too.

What are the challenges when it comes to trying to cook Singaporean food?

JG: Let's talk about Hokkien mee, then. I don't know if it's because you guys like to mix the bee hoon with noodles. This is difficult because in Hong Kong, when we do noodles, it is just noodles. It is easier to control the cooking time. But when you mix both, which one cooks first? This is a problem. What if the bee hoon is cooked but the noodles are not?

XY: And the wok is huge as well.

JG: Yes, it is really huge. Maybe because the portions are big. XiaoYi can take a nap in it! She is really short!

XY: Short? No, I am not. I am petite!

JG: So this way of cooking is quite different from our Hong Kong style of cooking.

Are you worried about your figure after eating so much?

XY: I don't really think about that. I will deal with it after I gain the weight.

JG: It's okay for her. After all, she is going for a cute image! She doesn't have to maintain her figure.

XY: That's right! I am not good-looking, I am cute! I am not after a pretty image, I am after the cutesy image. No problem, that's alright.

Neighbourhood Gourmet 3 will have a total of 18 episodes when the show premieres in June.

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