The Herald Sun loved the show (and her), and I was surprised to find out that last night was the first of a 40-part series. FORTY parts?! Who would’ve thought? I guessed first-run series would be commissioned at about 20 eps at the most.
I liked the show for its visuals and pacing. The food that was being done by Poh? Not so much. The thing I love best about chiffon cakes is their simplicity; they’re one of my mother’s specialties and we’ve had them in pandan, coffee, orange, and lemon flavours. Poh split her orange chiffon into three and layered it with chantilly cream + crushed hazelnuts + covered the whole thing in chocolate ganache. She turned it into a cafe-style gateaux. I guess this is a twist on the standard chiffon cake, but I couldn’t help thinking it went against what I liked best about them: the incredibly light, aromatic texture.
Next week, she’s fronting the camera with David “Thai Food” Thompson. Looking forward to seeing the roti. I’m always up for watching roti being made, eating roti, smelling roti…actually, all things roti are a general good. I’d also like to see someone making murtabak on Australian TV; it’s heart-attack food at its best.
While watching Poh, I didn’t get the heebies the way I do when I watch Kylie Kwong. I don’t know what it is about Kylie, but I’ve never enjoyed her TV shows. The way she calls on, and performs, her ‘Chinese-ness’ makes me uneasy. Poh always dips into the Malaysian background, but for some reason the way she does it doesn’t bother me. I’ll have to think more about this because my dislike of Kyles was instant and is long-standing. The dislike increased when I saw bits of her China series. She seemed very much the Occidental intruder in the locals’ kitchens, no matter how much (or maybe because?) she was talking up her heritage and ‘homecoming-ness’ so much. There’s one episode I’m thinking of in particular where she went to a Hakka ‘compound’ and wandered into someone’s kitchen, extolling the virtues of the high-density accommodation and history of the home-cooking spaces within…then boots out the guy whose kitchen she commandeers. It just seemed like he was so much background to the real point of the show, which was showing Kyles cooking something Kyles’ way with only minimal reference to the setting in which she was immersed.
I’m immediately skeptical of anyone who does an all-embracing homecoming schtick. I guess I work on the assumption that anyone who doesn’t see a bit of tension/contradiction in their feelings must be emotionally thick. I do understand the strange relief of finding oneself anonymous and part of a crowd when visiting a majority Asian country (or very racially diverse places), but the immediate tapping into one’s ‘homeland’ culture? I just don’t buy it.