Foodie Confidential With Wong Ah Yoke

Katong boy Radio DJ Glenn Ong grows up

DJ Glenn Ong goes back to his old neighbourhood to eat niang tou foo

One FM 91.3 DJ Glenn Ong is keeping busy planning his wedding in December.

Ong, 46, who co-hosts the radio station's morning show on weekdays with The Flying Dutchman, also known as Mark van Cuylenburg, will be marrying Class 95FM DJ Jean Danker, 37, on Dec 16 after a five-year engagement.

It will be held at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa with a guest list of 250. The couple chose the location because they had stayed there when it was the Sentosa Resort & Spa and had good memories of it.

On their long engagement, Ong says: "It was Jean who was not ready. And I didn't mind waiting. I proposed, then it was like, anytime you're ready."

The couple live together in the Oxley area near Orchard Road.

Ong says it was Danker who brought up the subject of marriage about a month ago.


    My mum's chicken rice, which is a healthy version because she removes the skin. The rice is not as oily as that from hawker stalls but it is still tasty.

"She'd just got back from a trip and suddenly said, 'Let's get married.' I had been waiting so long and had not expected it."

Danker also decided on the date, apparently an auspicious day for weddings.

"I was going, 'Dec 16 next year? sure.' And she said, 'No, this year.'"

Who does the cooking at home, you or Jean?

Jean doesn't cook and she finishes work at about 8pm. I can cook only some soups and pasta, but after a while we would get sick of them and don't feel like eating the same thing anymore. Then, I will feel like cooking again and do it three days in a row.

I tried cooking bak kut teh once and got a slow cooker to boil the pork ribs and herbs. But boiling them for half a day was so tedious, we thought we might as well just go to Song Fa if we want to eat bak kut teh.

So where do you usually eat?

We go to Paragon shopping mall almost every evening, rotating among restaurants there such as Akashi, Tambuah Mas, Din Tai Fung, Soup Restaurant and PS Cafe.

I often go for omakase meals at Akashi because the resident chef Kelvin knows what I like. I used to eat there often when I was a lot more health-conscious. It's easier to eat healthily with Japanese food.

At PS Cafe, if I feel like having a pasta, I'd order the Veggie Greens, which is a vegetarian pasta. Or I may have a steak sandwich or turkey cranberry sandwich. The service there is good.

Where do you take Jean on special occasions?

That would be the restaurants at Marina Bay Sands.

We like db Bistro & Oyster Bar for comfort food. It used to be called db Bistro Moderne.

I'd order the Original DB Burger and Jean likes the seafood platter. We like the coq au vin and the oysters there too.

It's important to eat the burger with some sauces so that it doesn't feel too rich. A bit of ketchup and mustard just bring out more of the flavour.

We recently discovered Spago, which is very nice. But I don't feel as comfortable there. It's also more pricey.

Another nice place for special occasions is Sky On 57. I took my mum there for her 70th birthday and the restaurant whipped up a special multi-course meal of French and Asian fusion dishes for her.

There was even a special mee sua with truffles.

What kind of food do you like?

I like to go for all-day breakfast. I go to a place called Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux at the corner of Killiney Road. When I don't feel like having a normal dinner, I'd order a breakfast set of sausage with scrambled eggs and toast.

Is breakfast the most important meal for you?

It did not use to be, but now it is.

In the past, it was just The Flying Dutchman and me in the studio and there were stretches when we could relax.

Now I need more energy for the radio show because we have the executive producer in the studio feeding us with what to do next. So I need the energy to stay really alert because more things are going on.

I eat something light, such as cheese and crackers, at 5.30am before I leave home. Then I may have a banana when I reach the studio.

What are your food memories?

I grew up in Katong, so since young, I have been exposed to good food - the Peranakan food, laksa.

At that time, it wasn't such a big deal. My mum used to take us to Janggut Laksa, which was at a corner coffee shop.

Now there's a dispute over whether that was the real Janggut stall, but the guy we patronised in the 1970s and 1980s had a janggut (beard) and that was the only laksa seller we knew with one. So I believe that was the chap.

Later, we moved to Tampines, but we would go back to Katong for our favourite food. That included the Ampang Niang Tou Fu which was not located where it is now, near the Still Road junction, but closer to where I12 Katong is.

We would go to Katong every weekend and after church, would have either that or tow kua pao.

Do you still go back there to eat?

A lot of those places are no longer there. I go back for Eng's Wanton Mee which is now Eng's Noodle Restaurant in Tanjong Katong Road. I think it is still pretty good.

The good thing is that now you don't have to queue for very long. When the stall was at Dunman hawker centre, there was a long queue every day.

My family members would gather at my grandmother's home in Katong and my uncle would drive over and buy something like 30 packs of noodles for us.

I also go back to the East to eat at Ampang Niang Tou Foo.

If you could choose anyone to have a meal with, who would that be?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. There are so many things I want to tell him about the radio industry and how the bigger radio company is bullying me and my station.

• Follow Wong Ah Yoke on Twitter@STahyoke

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 21, 2016, with the headline 'Katong boy grows up'. Subscribe