SINGAPORE - Like many of her contemporaries, South Korean singer and actress Yoona's best memories of Singapore revolve around food.
The fans here electrified her with their "welcoming energy", she said through a Korean translator. But "the No. 1 thing about Singapore is still chilli crab", she said with a smile.
"These days I'll go for pepper crab too," she later added, saying that she had the dish the day before.
A member of popular girl group Girls' Generation, the 28-year-old was in Singapore to promote a new collection by South Korean fashion brand H:Connect and spoke to the local media at the brand's store at Bugis Junction on Saturday (July 21).
Like many K-pop media events, the afternoon press conference was tightly controlled. Journalists could ask only pre-approved questions.
The bulk of them centred around her style of dressing and fashion choices. While she dressed according to the occasion, she said that she was a "T-shirt and denim jeans" kind of girl at heart and prefered a "simple" look paired with "vibrant" colours.
Still, she tried to look her best at all times as there were always many people taking photos of her whenever she was out in public, she said.
At a fan meet at the Bugis mall for a few hundred fans after the media conference, she signed autographs and helped three pre-selected fans choose outfits from H:Connect. She also told her fans that she had been filming a reality show with the other members of Girls' Generation that will be aired soon.
It was her first public appearance here as a solo artist. She last performed here with the group at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2013.
Yoona made her debut with Girls' Generation in 2007. Over the years, the group rose to become one of K-pop's most prominent acts. She made her solo singing debut in 2016 with a single, Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway, and an EP, Blossom.
Her acting career started about the same time she joined Girls' Generation. She had taken on roles in Korean television series like fantasy drama Love Rain (2012) and made her feature film debut in action flick Confidential Assignment, released last year (2017).
In 2016, she acted in her first Chinese drama, God Of War, Zhao Yun.
She had picked up a bit of Mandarin from that experience, which she showed off at the press conference.
"The fans here are enthusiastic and full of passion. I am excited to come back in the near future," she said in halting Mandarin.