SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - When former local actress-host Lina Ng learnt she was going to have crab for her meal, her eyes lit up.
The 43-year-old sat down with The New Paper at the Red House Seafood Restaurant outlet at Clarke Quay for an early dinner last Thursday (July 20).
The self-confessed crab lover ordered the Kuei Fei Crab in Claypot, Signature Creamy Custard Sauce Prawns and Takesumi Chilli Crab Bun from the Asian seafood restaurant.
With the succulent crab bathing in claypot soup, Ng took a sip of the broth, followed by the bee hoon and eventually the crab.
She said: "The soup is very light and, as a Teochew, this suits my taste. I love how I can taste the sweetness of the crab in the broth."
She added: "The bee hoon is very chewy and not soggy even after we left it there for so long. I've tried a lot of crabs and this is really fresh because the meat doesn't stick to the shell."
Ng, whose last major project was in 2004, will be returning to the small screen for the second season of Channel 5 drama Lion Moms, alongside Bernice Liu, Nurul Aini and Vanessa Vanderstraaten.
It is her first English-language series and she is a new addition to the show, playing elitist mother Chae Lian.
Lion Moms 2 premieres on Aug 9 at 9.30pm and will subsequently air between Monday and Thursday at 10pm.
Asked if she is a "lion mum" in real life, the easy-going Ng, who has three sons aged 13, 11 and six, said with a laugh: "I would love to be, but I'm not."
She added: "(But) I'm particular when it comes to disciplining my children. Being boys, they will want to relax and play but I make sure they always have sufficient revision time.
"I want them to learn the right values too. Once, I caned my second child in lower primary when he lied and made someone a scapegoat for his wrongdoing."
She is less strict when it comes to her boys' diet, although she believes in greens. She said: "It's just that they and my husband are all meat eaters so I make sure there is a vegetable dish at the dinner table all the time."
What do you usually cook for your kids?
As a Teochew, the dishes I whip up are usually steamed, braised or stir-fried. I don't like to fry my food unless necessary because it is unhealthy. My children love Chinese soups such as ABC soup and lotus root with pork ribs, so I will cook these for them.
What is your favourite cuisine?
I love Chinese, Japanese and Italian because they help me to de-stress.
But if I had to eat only one dish for the rest of my life, I would choose Teochew porridge. Not only is it light, but there are a lot of options, like salted egg yolk, braised duck and fried fish to choose from.
Is there anything you avoid?
I can't take overly spicy food. I've tried to train myself but I cannot handle it.
The spiciest dish I have ever tasted was mala (hotpot) in Taiwan. My friends had already ordered the lowest level of spiciness, but once I put a piece of an ingredient into my mouth, it became numb immediately... it was just the taste of chilli.
But surprisingly, I can handle the spiciness in the Singapore version.
What are three ingredients you cannot live without?
It would be natural ingredients such as garlic, onion and ginger. For example, I can use onion to cook very sweet chicken stew without even adding seasoning.