Steamboat, crabs, roasted pork, Hung Rui Chen sandwiches, and ice cream – these are some of the sumptuous food Singaporean actor Mark Lee has had while in Taipei.
Nothing unusual, since the city is famous for its mouthwatering food. Except that Mark is under quarantine in a hotel there.
The 52-year-old and his wife Catherine are currently in Taipei for the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, where he is nominated for Best Leading Actor in the Singaporean comedy Number 1.
The movie’s director Ong Kuo Sin, and its scriptwriter and actor Jaspers Lai, are also currently quarantining there. Number 1 is a heartwarming dramedy that sees Mark’s character Chow Chee Beng taking up a job as a manager at a drag club after getting retrenched. Chee Beng then becomes a performer and realises he has a knack for it.
Instead of having a dreary and boring experience, Mark seems to be enjoying a ‘foodie holiday’ while restricted to a small room, occasionally receiving food deliveries from his friends.
In his first few days of quarantine, he already had pork collar fried rice, spaghetti with prawns, and a whole box filled with fresh pork slices, clams, and mushrooms for a mini steamboat party with his wife.
Famous Taiwanese celebrity Nono and his family even paid Mark a visit by personally delivering cakes, drinks, fruits, and the Hung Rui Chen sandwiches.
Mark posted a photo of Nono on his Instagram, saying: “Thanks Nono for visiting (me) in prison. One is on level 7 and the other is on level 1, this is quite special.”
But Nono is not Mark’s only celebrity friend to have sent him some food.
Singaporean singer Ang Junyang and his wife, TV host Candyce Toh, also asked their Taiwanese friends to deliver a sumptuous feast to Mark: a bowl of prawn noodles, braised pork rice, soft shell crabs, and Mark’s favourite thinly-sliced roasted pork.
“Maybe you guys are not aware that I often contact Junyang. We often exchange our thoughts about singing,” Mark said of his friendship with the singer in one of his daily vlogs.
Former Mediacorp actress Yvonne Lim, who is currently based in Taipei, also baked Keto bread and sent it to Mark, along with her well wishes.
Mark also received bakwa, two boxes of hairy crabs, and cake from Catherine’s family friend. However, the couple received so much food that they asked the latter to pack some of it separately for Ong, who is staying at the same hotel.
“Because it really is too much, I’m afraid of wastage. If we can’t finish it, it will be a waste,” Mark explained.
His Singapore company King Kong Media Production even sent ice cream to the local actor, who was slightly troubled on where to store it as his room did not have a freezer.
“A big thank-you to our Taiwanese friends, you guys are so good to us. We are very touched. Taiwanese artistes always say Singapore is like their second home. With this quarantine, I can say Taiwan is like my second home,” Mark quipped.
Recognised as the Chinese-language cinema’s Academy Awards, the Golden Horse Awards will take place on Nov 21. Mark is competing for Best Actor against Liu Kuan Ting (for My Missing Valentine), Austin Lin (I WeirDo), Mo Tzu Yi (Dear Tenant), and Gordon Lam (Hand Rolled Cigarette).
Number 1 is also in the running for Best Makeup & Costume Design.