Photo: The New Paper

If you have pondered the secret of Ya Hui’s porcelain skin, the answer is in the soup she eats.

The local actress raved about the benefits of her favourite food over lunch at the Paradise Group’s Beauty In The Pot hotpot restaurant at One KM Mall.

“I love Chinese herbal soups, and the soup base here is very rich and full of collagen, which keeps my skin looking fresh and ‘QQ’ (bouncy),” the 29-year-oldtold M.

Ya Hui currently stars as Sergeant Ong Shi Shi in police TV drama C.L.I.F. 4, which airs on weekdays at 9pm on Channel 8.

She will also reprise her role as wonton mee seller Hong Jinzhi in the second season of long-running family drama 118, which debuts on Nov 29 at 7.30pm on Channel 8.

“Sometimes, after filming, we will come to Beauty In The Pot for a meal as it opens late (until 3am on weekends). I’ve brought (fellow actress Chen Liping) here too.”

Ya Hui ordered her usual Twin Flavours Broths consisting of Beauty Collagen Broth and Spicy Nourishing Broth. Her chosen hotpot ingredients were US Kurobuta pork slices, live drunken prawns and fried fish skin.

“I love these soups because the Beauty Collagen Broth boiled with shark cartilage is sweet, thick and pure, and the Spicy Nourishing Broth with Sichuan peppers has kick, but is not overly spicy like at some restaurants.

“The pork and prawns are very tender and fresh, and the fried fish skin is a real treat as it is crispy but lacks that overly oily taste.”

Photo: The New Paper

You play a wonton mee seller in 118. Can you cook that dish in real life?

I actually went to the famous Fei Fei Wan Tan Mee stall in Joo Chiat to learn to make it, and I can flip the noodles very high in the spider sieve. It’s quite easy to cook wonton mee, you just need to wrap the wontons and serve the noodles with fresh barbecued pork slices. The secret is to make it with love and passion.

I wanted to make and serve people wonton mee and donate the proceeds to charity, but I need a food licence to do that. Sometimes my friends joke that I should make wonton mee for them.


Photo: The New Paper

Can you cook other dishes too?

I can cook, but I’m lazy. My mother does most of the cooking at home, and she boils me herbal soups with delicious, healthy things in them such as pork bones, dang gui and goji berries.

For me, soup is comfort food, and it’s really shiok on rainy days. I try to eat healthily, but I also love truffle fries and fried chicken.

What are your favourite eating places in Singapore?

I like places that cook food the traditional way. Nam Hwa Chong Fish Head Steamboat Corner at North Bridge Road still makes its steamboat over a charcoal fire, which I find very good and authentic. I also like Hai Di Lao Hotpot at 313@Somerset.


Photo: The New Paper

What restaurant would you recommend for a first date?

For a first date, I think it would be a good idea to pick a seafood restaurant. That way, you can test to see if the guy will peel the prawns for you and help you scoop up messy dishes like crab.

Is there anything you don’t eat?

I can’t eat Western food too often, as it makes me feel jelak (Malay for cloyingly rich). Chinese food is still my favourite. I don’t understand the fascination with eggs Benedict, because I don’t enjoy the rich Hollandaise sauce at all. Honestly, I would rather eat porridge.

A version of this story was originally published in The New Paper on September 21, 2016.

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