My Favorite Food
MARCUS AC by GTMani
Fashion Stylist - Singapore
“My Mom’s Sambal Is The Best In The World!”
Up Close and Personal with MARCUS AC by GTMani Well-known Fashion Stylist, TV Presenter and the New Face of DA Man magazine, Marcus AC, who also has his own Italian restaurant (Ristorante Tagada) and YouTube Channel, shares with us some of his funny, favourite and fabulous food memories. Enjoy!
Do you live to eat or eat to live?
Definitely live to eat! I exercise so that I can eat. The more I exercise, the more I eat.
Do you consider yourself a foodie?
Big time! I eat anything and everything except vegetables! I had a really bad experience when I was in little. My aunt, who was the Head of Department at a nursing school, used to force me to finish my greens. One day, I forced myself so hard that I gobbled down all the vegetables on my plate. Guess what happened next? I threw up!
What is your all time favourite Singapore food?
That has to be Indian Rojak, especially the one at Adam Road! I always make room for Indian Rojak just like people always make room for dessert .
Why Indian Rojak?
Indian Rojak has everything that I enjoy simply because love carbs!
How do you like tour Indian Rojak?
I am not picky about food but I am picky about satisfaction. So, to me the gravy has to be perfect – thick, not watery, the right balance of sweet and spicy, and most importantly, it must be served piping hot. I need to see the bubbles!
Who do you enjoy eating with?
Great food and great company make the experience complete. But it doesn’t really matter. In fact, I enjoy checking out hawker centre fare all by myself. It is an experience between me and my indulgence. You won’t believe this. But I’m a greedy eater. I need to have my meat, eggs, soup, carrot cake, satay and chicken wing, all in the same meal! My chicken rice meal is not complete without duck and char siew.
So, how do you stay in shape!
I work out really hard so that I can really eat! I started exercising 5 years ago. And in the last 2 years, I have gone really intensive just so that I can indulge in my favourite food. I run a lot. On my lazy day I run 5 to 10 km. And normal days, I run on the treadmill for half an hour and carry light to medium weights for an hour. If I’m lazy, I’ll go to the gym once a week but on average, I hit the gym about 3 to 5 times a week.
What’s your most unforgettable childhood food memory?
My grandma’s Vietnamese. My grandfather who hailed from India was posted to Vietnam as a journalist. That’s where he met my grandma when she was only 15. They fell in love, got married and came to Singapore.
And my Vietnamese grandma used to bring all her grandkids to the hawker centre below our block in McPherson and treated all us to Wanton Mee. My grandma loved to eat out. I probably picked up my passion for Hawker food from her.
Any unforgettable dishes that your Vietnamese Grandma made?
Yes! Her chicken cooked in dark soya sauce with cinammon sticks, lots of red chilli and black pepper. A really nice and spicy dish!
Talking about spicy, do you love your sambal (Chilli Condiment)?
Of course, especially love the Malay style sambal!
Where’s the best sambal in all of us Singapore?
No one does Sambal better than my late mother, handmade with shrimp and and ikan bilis (anchovies). My mother was big on hospitality. Our fridge was always stocked with food and ingredients to cook up a meal for anyone and everyone who walked through our front door. The truth is my mom’s the greatest cook.
What was her numero uno dish?
Her number one dish was dalcha. It will be great on the first day and even better on the next day. It went hand in hand, literally, with prata! I love to have rice covered with her dalcha! It was so good you can drink it on it’s own!
Any funny or interesting food memories?
My mom’s rasam’s so good that my Chinese friends used to drink it from the bowl!
But one thing I couldn’t stand was her jelly. My mom’s jelly is so solid that we always used to tell her if we threw her jelly onto the wall, the wall would crack! But she always insisted in making them so thick so that they last a few days after Deepavali.
How about for Christmas?
Turkey for Christmas… roasted turkey and sauce… everything else will be asian version spring roll, ham, very light pasta, hot dog, sausages and nuggets. She made a lot of junk food to cater to the many kids who visited us over Christmas.
Do you cook?
I can cook. But I don’t cook. And I love to cook without a recipe. A dish I made for TV is Grilled Strawberry Chicken! Marinate Chicken wings with egg yolks, cumin powder, salt and pepper and strawberry jam! Grill it till it is done. Try it! You’ll love it!