Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
All food photos are of REAL food with no photoshop
The suave and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM interviews Caitanya Tan who stars in Mediacorp’s “Tanglin ” TV series at the…
MARRIOTT over scrumptious English Afternoon Tea in the salubrious Lobby Lounge. For those who do not watch the MediaCorp TV series “Tanglin” which is on Channel 5 every Monday to Friday, actress Caitanya Tan plays Captain Goh Yiling in “Tanglin”. Clad in a clingy black dress, charming Caitanya was very frank and disarming when she answered my questions in an exclusive interview with The Travelling Gourmet TM.
Caitanya Tan in her role as Singapore Armed Forces Captain Goh Yiling
The Travelling Gourmet TM: What made you want to be an actress?
Caitanya: I was a pianist first actually. I passed my Grade 8 at 16. Both my brothers and my father are musicians. Then I was a singer…then when I was 22 I moved to Hong Kong to work for Hong Kong Disneyland for 2 years. They had a show called “The Golden Mickey” and I was the compere and host called “Bebe”! As “Bebe” I sang and danced and presented the Disney characters who won the awards in this show to the audience. I also do Travelogs for companies like AirAsia.
The English Afternoon Tea was served by Helen who is always very good at service…I selected sustainable Williamson Kenyan Caravan Tea while Caitanya went for TWG Pink Flamingo which is Green Tea with Hibiscus notes. My piping hot Kenya Caravan Tea was most refreshing with notes of apricots and Acacia Honey. Williamson in the UK has been tea farmers since 1869 and have Tea Farms in the heart of Kenya, East Africa. Truth be told, Marriott’s English Afternoon Tea is really jolly yummie! There are splendid Smoked Salmon Sandwiches, Ham Sandwiches, crunchy Cucumber Sandwiches which I adore, sinfully rich Chocolate Opera Cakes, sweet and sexy Macarons, Fruit Tartlets, mini Chicken and Beef Puff Pastry Pies, Quiche Lorraine with Spinach and lots more, all presented on an impressive 3 tier stand! The Scones with Strawberry jam and Clotted Cream are also delicious. The piece de resistance which I simply must highlight is the “Mocchaccino”. This is a golf ball sized Chocolate praline studded with milk chocolate bits and there is…super-yummielicious liquid “Mocchaccino” inside that explodes on your palate when you bite in to it! You scoff off fine Royal Bone China with Cutipol Portuguese steelware. If you wish they will serve you with more of the “goodies” that you like. The ambience is also very salubrious and soothing.
Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! The classic Opera Cake!
The tempting food had arrived and as Caitanya speaks French I wished her, “Bon appetit!”
Fruit Tartlet with Strawberry and edible Fondant Flower to rob a bank for! Never ever say that asinine phrase “to die for” because when you are dead you cannot taste any food nicht wahr!
In between mouthfuls of yummie food I asked, “Do you have a back-up plan? We should all have a back-up plan…I always have a back-up plan.”
Caitanya laughed, throwing back her long jet black hair and said earnestly, “I have no back-up plan! My father always told me that when you have a back-up plan, you will use that as an excuse not to do what you really want to do! When I went to study Musical Theater at La Salle School of the Arts (BAHons 2010), I had no back-up plan so I put my heart and soul into it. I also went to Los Angeles to study acting in the Margie Haber Studio which is an acting school.”
Incidentally, Margie Haber taught actors like Brad Pitt and Halle Berry who played curvaceous CIA officer “Jinx” in the James Bond movie “Die another Day”.
The Travelling Gourmet: Your name Caitanya is very unusual. What does it mean?
Caitanya explained: It comes from the Sanskrit word “Chaitanya” and means consciousness, spirit and energy.
Oh La La! Very profound indeed!
The Travelling Gourmet: What hobbies do you have?
Caitanya explained animatedly: I love cooking! I make my food from scratch.
She promptly showed me photos on her handphone of her cinnamon rolls, dumplings and cute pancakes which she had made.
Caitanya continued with a grimace: Due to my Acid Reflux, I don’t take yoghurt, cheese, butter, dairy products like milk when I have to sing and perform. I make Bechamel Sauce with Soy Milk. When I am not performing, I love Cheese! I have to take anti-acids sometimes due to the Acid Reflux. I love fruits too.
Taking a sip from my glass of Valle Belbo “Cesare Pavese” Moscato d’Asti Italian wine with honey and floral notes, I asked Caitanya, “How about wines and spirits? What wines do you like?
Caitanya: I don’t drink…except for Tequila when I’m partying which is few and far between!
The Traveling Gourmet: As an actress, you play many different roles like SAF Captain Goh Yiling in “Tanglin”. Is it confusing to be yourself?
Caitanya: I “switch off” to cope with the different roles I play.
The Travelling Gourmet: What life mottos do you have?
Caitanya: I never fail. I either win or I learn.
And on that very positive note I ate a jolly nice Caramel Macaron! Life is like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts! 🙂
English Afternoon Tea from 2pm to 5pm daily
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
320 Orchard Road
History of the French Opera Cake!
Way back in 1955 the renowned French pastry chef Cyriaque Gavillon worked at the legendary Dalloyau Pattisserie in Paris. Dalloyau having been around since 1682 were suppliers to the Royal Court of Versailles. The perfect match was created when Cyriaque, a patisserie genius and artist who created the most amazing cakes & sugar decorations, collaborated with Dalloyau. When inventing the Opera cake His aim was to create a cake which…when you take just ONE bite you would immediately enjoy a taste of the whole cake. Finally Cyriaque came up with a sublimely sophisticated layer cake. His wife told him it reminded her of the Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera House…thus the Opera cake was born!