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What the Heck Does Pop Idol Henry Lau like to Eat?

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We recently caught up with Chinese-Canadian pop idol Henry Lau in Shanghai to chat about his life and art.

Since we’re obsessed with asking serious artists stupid questions, though, we also took a few minutes to grill Henry about a topic that we’re pretty passionate about: food.

Henry played a chef in the 2013 film Final Recipe and participated in Korea’s MasterChef program, making him a prime candidate for a candid discussion about food. From desert island dishes to mom’s home cooking, we got the lowdown on how Henry chows down — and there are a few surprises!

Below is a transcript of our Q&A with Henry, which has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity:

Desert Island Dishes

RADII: So, our first question for you: If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring an infinite supply of only one meal, what would it be and why?

Henry: Do you have to consider your health?

RADII: You are stuck on a desert island, so it doesn’t matter at that point.

Henry: I would say French fries, French fries and potato chips.

RADII: These are your favorite foods?

Henry: Yeah, I eat them all the time. I love them.

First Dates

RADII: If you’re going on a first date and have no idea what the other individual enjoys eating, what kind of food would you take them for? You’re trying to impress this person, so…

Henry: Oh, man. Sorry, I think deeply about this stuff. I’d probably go somewhere where it’s a little more casual.

RADII: So, you wouldn’t be taking them to a super fancy steakhouse?

Henry: I’d bring them to McDonald’s [laughs]. No, like, I would just go to wherever I would usually go. I mean, I wouldn’t want to bring them to any special place because I would hope that that person could come with me to these everyday places all the time.

Hawaiian Pizza? 

RADII: Are you a pineapple-on-pizza guy, or does the idea disgust you?

Henry: No, no pineapple. I also hate anchovies. No anchovies, no pineapple — just plain pizza, like cheese or pepperoni pizza. Cheese crust is okay, but yeah, nothing else.

Canadian Coffee

RADII: Have you tried the Tim Hortons coffee in China, and if you have, how does it hold up compared to back in Canada?

Henry: I haven’t yet. I’ve seen a lot of [Tim Hortons], and I’ve been meaning to go. It’s incredible that the chain is in China, because it reminds you of your childhood. And you know, you don’t see Tim Hortons anywhere else in the world, so when I first saw it in China, I was like, wait, was that my imagination?

Big Mac or Whopper?

RADII: Okay, so now it’s time for the eternal question: Do you prefer the Big Mac or the Whopper? If you had to pick one over the other, which one would you choose and why?

Henry: I don’t eat either; I really don’t. I actually just eat the fries — everything besides the burger. But out of those two, if I had to pick, I’d take the Big Mac — I love the pickles.

Mom’s Cooking

RADII: Here’s a fun one to end on: If you had to pick one dish that your mother or father prepared when you were young that you loved, what would it be? And please, don’t say French fries!

Henry: The guotie [a pan-fried variety of Chinese dumplings]. That was the best.

RADII: Who made it? Your mom or your dad?

Henry: My mom.

Cover image via @henryl89 on Instagram

Matthew Bossons
Matt is RADII's managing editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with a passion for history, untold stories and scuba diving. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Matt has worked as a journalist in China for over half a decade and has had work published in major Chinese media outlets and international publications. He has previously lived in Guangzhou and Beijing.
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