Malaysia’s Queen of Comedy Joanne Kam relishes a rib-licking time at Tony Roma’s.

I’m supposed to start my diet today,” Joanne Kam confides conspiratorially when we meet up for lunch at Tony Roma’s flagship restaurant in Mont Kiara. “Now I’ve to put it off… again.”

She gives a look of mock exasperation as Tony Roma’s assistant public relations manager Regene Siah welcomes us.

Kam first hogged the limelight in the 1990s when her audacious and risque stand-up comedy performances packed the Boom Boom Room dance club every night.

The club is no more, but Kam is still very much around. While the big, bold and beautiful comedienne continues to tickle audiences with her wicked humour and saucy jokes, she has also taken on a meatier role off-stage – as a doting mother to adorable five-year-old, Jade Kam Ching Yoke.

According to Kam, she performs two to three shows every week, mainly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“Although I’m working on most weekends, I try and set Sunday aside as family day and spend it with Jade. We either go shopping or invite friends over for a home-cooked meal,” she reveals.

An avid cook, Kam says she enjoys cooking up a storm, especially on festive occasions.

“My friends are big on meat so I’d usually rustle up some pork dishes or we’d have a barbecue. I love watching the Asian Food Channel, especially Jamie Oliver and Robert Rainford. I’ve replicated a few of their recipes, which turned out to be really good! I’m also pretty good at Nyonya dishes,” she says.

When a sampling platter of Onion Loaf, Boneless Buffalo Bites and Potato Skins arrive, Kam reveals why she is big on Tony Roma’s Onion Loaf.

“Years ago when I was a starving artist in Singapore, I would treat myself to dinner at Tony Roma’s once a month. I’d always order and devour one Onion Loaf by myself. It’s so crispy and delicious!”Years on, and no longer a struggling artist, Kam’s zeal for the huge, breaded and deep-fried Spanish onion with BBQ sauce remains as strong as ever. I notice she can hardly stop picking at the appetiser.

Kam gives the tender, juicy BBQ Beef Ribs her stamp of approval. Taking forkfuls of the richly flavoured meat with the signature Original, Carolina Honeys, Blue Ridge Smokies and Tony Roma’s Red Hot barbecue sauces, Kam divulges that she is quite an adventurous eater.

“I’m willing to try new dishes and different cuisines,” says Kam, “but I draw the line at anything that’s too exotic like snakes, insects or cats. Rabbit and crocodile meat are possibly the most unusual stuff I’ve eaten.”

While we share the delectable Shrimp Scampi Pasta and Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom topping between us, Kam manages to cajole little Jade into sampling some crispy Deep-fried Chicken Breast tossed in Tangy-Spicy Sauce and fluffy wedges of baked potato topped with minced beef and melted cheese.

7019DBB799404616A62E976C13B6CEF8Comedienne Joanne Kam enjoyed the Shrimp Scampi Pasta.

The conscientious mother is full of praise for Tony Roma’s main courses which are complemented by generous servings of vegetables like steamed broccoli.

“Nowadays, I try my best to cut down on meat and increase my intake of greens and organic food instead,” she points out.

At this point, Siah proffers the Mojo Chicken with Pineapple Salsa which contains fewer calories.

“The grilled chicken breast is lean and healthy, while the pineapple salsa aids digestion. You can also opt for our healthy salads that can be topped with grilled chicken or beef,” Siah suggests.

Being the busy mother that she is, Kam admits that she often skips breakfast in her haste to rush Jade to kindergarten.

“I make do with a protein bar or a healthy meal replacement shake. Lunch and dinner are mainly eaten with clients or friends; it depends on where we are. Otherwise, you’d find me in Bangsar; either running errands or doing my work in cafés like Delicious or Marmalade.

“My time’s filled with shows and projects like the International Women’s Day show in March and the PJ Laugh Fest in May. The busiest period tends to be around November and December due to the deluge of company dinners,” she says.

It’s not all work and no play for Kam, though.

“Somehow I’d find time for a holiday each year in different places,” she shares.

“A day or two on the beach is fine but after that I’d be looking for interesting things to do. That’s why I like vibrant cities such as Las Vegas, New York, Bali and Bangkok. The shopping’s especially good in Bali and Bangkok; they have a good variety of stuff with nice designs at reasonable prices,” she enthuses.

Well, it’s good to know that our Queen of Comedy has a whale of a time at work and play.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.