Allan Wu: The first time I ...

Allan Wu: The first time I ...

"The Amazing Race Asia" host reveals where he went on his first date in Singapore and the moment he fell in love

Hunk, actor, and host Allan Wu is Singapore's action hero. He did the Lion City proud when he participated in "Fear Factor" and downed 21 shots of blended fisheyes, beetles, maggots, and worms (ugh!). While he didn't win -- he was the runner-up -- he did go on to bigger and better things, namely as the host of "The Amazing Race Asia" and now "The Amazing Race China Rush."

Having called Singapore home for the last 10 years, Wu tells us about his first times on this island.

... went on a date

Samy's Curry

“I asked this girl out for supper. She suggested Indian food at Samy’s Curry. I wanted to impress her so I wore these thick sweatpants. By the time I was done with that spicy meal in a non-airconditioned environment, my legs were completely soaked … and now I know how sweatpants got their name.”

Where: Samy’s Curry (25 Dempsey Road, tel +65 6472 2080)

Other reasons to visit: Regulars rave about its masala chicken, mysore mutton and fish head curry, but most of all they love the antiquated interior similar to a communal army canteen. The nearby Dempsey Village provides more upmarket wine and dine options.

... found a hideaway

Holland Village

“When I first moved to Singapore, I was still trying to wrap my head around this whole entertainment industry. My first apartment was close to Holland Village, so I spent a lot of time in that area, especially at Breko’s. The relaxed environment was a great place to chill out and eat a sandwich away from the craziness outside.”

Where: Breko’s Café (38 Lorong Mambong, tel +65 6468 4424).

Other reasons to visit: Laidback, slipper-slapping vibes rule Holland Village. It’s a popular spot where folks while away the evening at many sidewalk cafés and restaurants. For a rousing night, go to Wala Wala (31 Lorong Mambong) for an earful of live music.

... got blind drunk

One Fullerton

“On my 30th birthday, my girlfriend (and now wife) at the time, Wong Li Lin, organized an amazing birthday bash for me. We started partying and drinking at Morton’s The Steakhouse at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (5 Raffles Avenue). After that, she rented a boat for 40 friends for a huge surprise. Needless to say, I definitely drank more than my share during the cruise. By the time we arrived at Centro, I was pretty trashed and don’t even recall how I got home.”

Where: One Fullerton (1 Fullerton Road).

Other reasons to visit: The glass-and-steel One Fullerton houses some of the swankiest restaurants in the area such as Forlino (#02-06, tel +65 6877 6995). Centro might be long gone, but hip-hop joint Butter Factory (#02-02/03/04, tel +65 6423 9804) has taken over as the dance floor to be on. If your wallet’s up to a serious beating, there are even swankier (and pricier) restaurants further down the road.

... schooled someone


“Before I became a father, I would spend every weekend running hoops with my friends on these basketball courts. On some days I just couldn’t buy a shot. On other days, I would take my competition to the cleaners and school them pretty bad.”

Where: Basketball courts at NUS Law (off Bukit Timah and Evans Road).

Other reasons to visit: Pick-up basketball games are common at any basketball court. Just turn up, ask, and play. To quell after-game hunger pangs, try Hatched (#01-06 Evans Lodge, 26 Evans Road, tel +65 6735 0012), a bistro dedicated to eggs, or Mr Prata (26 Evans Road) with its many prata variations.

... fell in love

Allan Wu and Wong Li-Lin

“I saw this giant poster from Mediacorp about a Chinese drama, "The Challenge," at Orchard MRT station. On this ad was the lead actress: Wong Li Lin (pictured left). She looked quite ‘nice’ so I hoped to meet her one day. Now, I have the pleasure of meeting her everyday.”

Where: MRT Stations on the North-east and Circle Lines.

Other reasons to visit: Newer MRT stations such as those on the Northeast and Circle Lines incorporate artworks into their structure. Known as the Art in Transit program, it showcases works of art by accomplished artists that are derived from the cultural and historical life of its immediate neighborhood. Just keep your eyes peeled for the art bits.


I am a computer dude and ex-academic (although I won’t say it too loudly) who took time off to tour Asia and write about it. And I’ve not stopped writing since.

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