International K-pop star Xander, or Alexander Lee Eusebio, made a special guest appearance at tvN’s Wok The World Cooking Competition earlier this month on 5 January. Held at The Bay Restaurant located inside Adventure Cove Water Park at Resorts World Sentosa, our time with Xander was as fun as the location sounds!
What is almost-Singaporean K-pop idol Xander’s favourite Singaporean food? His favourite hangout in Singapore? What can he cook? Check out our full FOODIE Q&A with the man himself plus a special highlights clip (bonus FOODIE reactions) down below!
The FOODIE Q&A with XANDER
1. Would you like to be a contestant on Wok The World if there’s a chance to?
X: First of all, I don’t think they would want me to be a contestant… (laughs)
But for me, if I have to cook, I’ll definitely try kimchi fried rice. Because kimchi fried rice is very simple, but everyone has their own recipe, so I think I’ll create my own fried rice.
2. What’s your best dish?
X: I think my best dish will be steak. Black pepper steak. The thing is my cooking is very practical and simple, because I live alone, so if my friends visit me, I will make small finger food as it’s easier to handle, less dishes to wash and clean up.
3. How do your friends rate your cooking?
X: They liked it! Well steak cannot go wrong lah. Like meat I think it’s okay, and kimchi fried rice. It could be my own pride, I don’t want to give people bad food.
4. So how much do you rate your own cooking, out of 10?
X: Out of 10 ah? (laughs) Uh… 9? Or 8? Not bad?
On Food Preferences
5. What Singaporean food do you like?
X: Surprisingly I like Pepper Crab and Salted Egg Crab more than Chilli Crab. And I’ll also look for laksa, chicken rice.
6. So you like spicy food?
X: I like spicy food… But surprisingly I like Mala (麻辣 – spicy hot pot). Because a lot of Koreans like spicy tteokbokki, I cannot do that, it’s too spicy and painful, you know. I prefer mala.
7. When you eat Mala, which level do you go for?
X: Usually I will go from low to medium, too ma I’ll get 麻痹了 (numb).
8: Is there any dish you’d like to learn to make?
X: I would say Bakuteh (pork rib soup)? Because I don’t know how to make the herbs… Is it hard to learn?
(After explaining the process) Maybe not… Chicken rice! I want to learn to use the chicken essence to make the rice, that’ll be interesting. ‘Cause when we work out we always eat chicken, chicken breast and all these, I think I need to learn how to make chicken yummy.
The Adventurous Foodie
9: Anything food you would like to try but you have not had the chance to?
X: I’ve tried most of the things leh (in Singapore)… Ah! Lo Hei (Prosperity Toss)? Is that right? I haven’t tried that yet. I heard it’s like a Chinese New Year thing right? And everybody does this (raising motion) with the chopsticks. I wanna do that.
10: Any exotic food you’d like to try?
X: I haven’t tried scorpion… fried… I wanna try, people say it’s nice?
11: How about frog leg porridge? Or beondegi?
X: Oh yeah I like that actually. Frog leg is like chicken and fish in-between.
I have a love-hate relationship with beondegi (silkworm pupae). I won’t go like “Woah! Beondegi!” The smell of it is terrible but I think it’s okay to eat? I won’t go looking for it, but if I have to, I could eat it.
12: Would you actually be interested to try durian hotpot?
X: I’ve heard about durian hot pot, I don’t understand it actually so I really wanna try, but anything durian, yeah~ It’s a yes for me.
13: Do you prefer eating in or eating out?
X: As I am single, I’m living alone, I prefer eating outside. Sometimes I will cook but the problem is it’s so hard to gauge the portions when you live alone, and if you cook enough you have to eat the same dish for 3 days… I prefer eating outside.
14: Do you eat to live or live to eat?
X: I live to eat. (laughs) Definitely live to eat. I love food.
15: Do you save the best for the last?
X: I usually take the best first. I cannot save because sometimes if you save it for the end it will disappear, somebody takes it, you know. But I like to have the best first.
16: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?
X: I don’t know, durian maybe? (in Singlish mode) Wah, so hot ah, wah so smelly ah, too heaty ah~
Bakuteh not bad leh, right? I guess you can take out the meat and eat afterwards, and you can have soup when you want it… Maybe bakuteh. I might change, I’m so not loyal when it comes to food, I’m so not faithful. (laughs)
Going local liao~
17: If you had a free day in Singapore, how will you spend it?
X: ION Mall, Takashimaya… Actually I want to go to the Botanical Gardens, I haven’t been there yet and I want to try to go to these places. And actually now a lot of people are exploring Crazy Rich Asians movie spots, although most of the spots are in Malaysia… (laughs) but those Singapore spots, I would also want to visit too.
18: Do you have a favourite hangout spot in Singapore?
X: Not really, but I often go to Haji Lane, ’cause it’s like a hip place.
Every time I come here, chicken rice, I’ll find. Hawker centre. I like food, so I am not the kind of person who will go shopping, I rather spend my money for food, cos it stays in me forever, just kidding. (laughs)
What’s in for Xander in 2019?
19: Any New Year resolutions?
X: Last year I learnt a lot about relationships and work, it’s been 10 years since I started, so this year, I want to try something different.
Honestly I feel that every year there’s a surprise, let’s say two years ago and last year I was in the Philippines for a drama; I never thought about going to the Philippines, and then suddenly Wok The World in Singapore here, so I’m looking forward to it – but I want to try something new and challenging. I want to work somewhere I haven’t tried, like Singapore, Hong Kong and more.
20: Would you consider a new hobby for the new year?
X: I really think if I should consider doing YouTube? Personally I’m interested in editing, but it’s horrible, I’m sure you guys know editing is very tiring, but me myself as a media student, I wish I could learn how to use Premiere Pro, and keep myself young (laugh) by editing videos.
21: Since it’s the new year, do you have anything you want to say to your fans out there?
One thing I really want to say is it’s been 10 years since I debuted, so thank you very much for those who have been supporting me, and I hope that from now on I could do something even better, that can make them happy.
Wok The World feat. Xander Highlights
+ BONUS Foodie Expressions by Xander
Check out more photos on our Facebook page here.
Wok The World is the third original production by CJ E&M HK this year, in partnership with Viu. You can catch the 6-episode series on Viu, which also features K-pop heartthrobs like Xander, Nichkhun of 2PM and JinJin of Astro.