The New Paper
Dec 02, 2015
Teh Choy Wan has the perfect reason to indulge in food these days. Now five months along with her first child - a boy - she is happy to be in the "honeymoon phase" of her pregnancy, with no more morning sickness.
"I don't really have midnight cravings that force my husband to find me food in the middle of the night, but I do have a fondness for chocolate. I like to have a little bit every day," the 34-year-old told M at cafe-restaurant bar Symmetry in Jalan Kubor.
Twin sister Teh May Wan, who has two daughters aged six and four, added enthusiastically: "I've been telling her that this is the best time for her to eat. When you're pregnant, you have a wonderful excuse to eat whatever you like and put on weight."
The Norwegian-Chinese former MTV VJs, best known as May and Choy, have Chinese-Indonesian husbands and are Australian citizens and Singapore permanent residents now.
The twins continue to host part-time. Choy is a full-time public relations professional who occasionally hosts AXN Asia's eBuzz entertainment programme, while May does private hosting gigs and manages her bakery business Seraphina's Cakes, which has been operational for two years.
"We make it a point to meet for meals every week, even though we can get very busy. We are huge foodies," said May.
They visit Symmetry every month. Said Choy: "The Western food here is really good and they specialise in fusion dishes. We especially love their crispy baby squid with black pepper aioli - it's super addictive!"
The sisters also ordered the Saikyo Miso Cod with Mentaiko Carbonara and Potato Fries with Truffle Oil Emulsion.
"We like the creaminess of the carbonara, and the girls love to share the truffle fries with us when they're here," said May, who brought along younger daughter Siena for this interview.
When did you both learn to cook and bake?
May: We've loved cooking since we were young. When we were nine, we would rush home from school to watch Nona, a cooking show on (Malaysian channel) TV3. When we moved to Australia at the age of 13, we started helping our mother in the kitchen more. We would cut garlic, peel bean sprouts and cook basic dishes like stir-fried vegetables and beef.
Choy: In college, when we were about 17, we experimented with more complicated recipes like roast meats. Our stepdad would complain because we'd always make a mess of the kitchen!
May: We both started to bake around 2007. Then three years ago, I learned to make rose butter cream tea cakes for my mother-in-law's 60th birthday. I got a bit obsessive and went online to watch baking videos and practise how to make cakes. Eventually I started Seraphina's Cakes because of my passion. On a good day, I can get orders for six or seven cakes: There was one day where I made $1,000 in revenue. If only that happened every week...
Choy: She's officially the family baker now; she makes all our birthday cakes. She made my wedding cake too.
May, do your customers often recognise you?
May: Yes, some of them do. One time I delivered a cake to a customer, and she didn't say much and wasn't very friendly. Later, she texted me to say she was just star-struck as she hadn't expected to see me.
Who is the better cook?
Choy: We're both about the same. May is definitely more of a perfectionist and is very particular about how she likes things done in the kitchen. Even when I bake in my own house, she'll say, "You're doing it wrong", and I'll tell her, "May, get out of my face" (laughs).
May: We have different styles. I think Choy is more experimental and refined in her cooking, and my food is more rustic and home-cooked.
Do you have similar tastes in food?
Choy: Generally, we do. May has a higher tolerance for spicy food. She also hates bananas but I love them.
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