Cover Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain at Malaysia Tatler Ball 2013

This Valentine's Day, we chat with loving couple Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain about their love for food.

0- Ai San and Shen at Tatler Ball 2013.jpg - Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain at Malaysia Tatler Ball 2013

Mention 'affectionate couples' and we'd definitely think of Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain, who beautifully tied the knot last year in Shangri-la Hotel KL. It has since been a year since their nuptials and life has been wonderful for Ai San and Shen Wain as they will be expecting their first born next month.

While the couple are due to be new parents in a mere few weeks, they sat down with us to talk about romantic dinner dates and the best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur. We also tested their knowledge of each other's favourite foods. Keep reading to see what these two Valentine sweethearts had to say.

1- Ai San and Shen.jpg - Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain at the Tiffany & Co and Celest Thoi eventYour love milestones all happened on a full moon: from first meeting, proposal, down to the wedding reception. Where did the proposal happened?
SW: I proposed at home with a nice homecook meal, so it wasn’t too romantic. Our first date on the other hand was more romantic. I took her to Senja Izakaya, a Japanese Tokyo ramen place.
AS: Yeah, it was Japanese food. He loves his ramen, but it wasn’t all that romantic at all (laughs), but we did go to Marini’s on 57 for drinks, which is slightly better.

So you are not one who does the typical romantic French dining for a first date?
SW: I think romance is when the food is good and ambience is conducive to get to know someone. It should be more lively and I think French restaurants are a little uptight. You have to rather very formal, whereas Japanese restaurants are more relaxed.
AS: Yeah, so we got to know each other better.

Where is the most romantic and memorable place that he has brought you to?
SW: I think it was Langkawi Island. I brought her to this Thai restaurant in the hotel we stayed, which is quite romantic.
AS: It was at The Datai Langkawi. They have great food there especially The Pavilion for Thai cuisine and Gulai House for Malay cuisine. It was very romantic and the food is just fantastic! Both are elevated in the forest where you are surrounded by nature.

Ai San, do you know what food that Shen Wain loves best?
AS: Noodles.
SW: Yeah, I like anything soupy and MSG-free. I just love hearty and delicious food.

Shen Wain, what about her favourite food?
SW: Nothing Chinese (laughs). To her, Chinese cuisine is so staple. She loves Tatto for the pizzas.
AS: Yes! He knows my weakness is my pizzas. I always tell him that I’m Italian in my past life (giggles).

You’re almost due for birth now; did you have any sudden cravings during this time?
AS: No. Nothing.
SW: Well, it’s more of what she doesn’t eat rather than what she craves.
AS: But there’s nothing. Anything and everything goes for me. It was a good period and quite easy on him.
SW: Yeah, it is a rather clean pregnancy.

Where would you bring your friends to for great Malaysian food?
AS: I would say you have to go to Malacca, but in Kuala Lumpur, probably head down to Jalan Alor.
SW: Jalan Alor is for the Wong Ah Wah chicken wings but nothing much else. I would bring them to Kuchai Lama for Fish Head Mee Hoon and Klang for Bak Kut Teh.

Between the two of you, who is the one that cooks in the relationship?
SW: Both of us do but she is more refined in cooking and I just put whatever tastes good into one pot and cook it. Hers is more by the textbook and mine is by feeling and taste.

2- Ai San and Shen wedding.jpg - Lim Ai San and Tan Shen Wain at their wedding reception

Is there any signature dish you would love the other to cook for you?
AS: Well, he cooked me this type of rice flour cake on our first date and I am still waiting for my next one. He makes really good ‘pan mee’ too.
SW: She makes amazing breakfast. It’s a very good and hearty one every time.

Where would you go for this coming Valentine’s Day?
SW: Probably Segambut Dalam (laughs).
AS: (Laughs) We’re not too romantic in that way. We do appreciate the great food in Sage and Lafite but we prefer more local and hearty food.
SW: It’s not that it isn’t good. If I were to pick a nicer place for Valentine’s Day, it would have to be Tatto.
AS: Yes! Both of us definitely recommend Tatto.

What is the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?
AS: Scorpion in Beijing, China and it is delicious I would definitely eat it again. I think that would be my pregnancy craving.
SW: Fried curry powdered maggots from Selfridges, London. To me, it’s just like eating KFC.

After confinement, what would the first thing you would love to eat?
After the confinement, I want all the spicy food that I can get. I love my Italian food but I always say that I’m so glad that I’m Malaysian because you get so much flavour and spices in one dish and it’s just amazing.

Shen Wain, will you be joining Ai San on her confinement period for the food?
AS: No, he’ll probably be going out to eat his own food.
SW: I don’t know but we’ll see how it goes.


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