Celebs, start your eateries!

Celebs like TV host Pornsak and actress-entrepreneur Irene Ang are going beyond entertaining the masses - they're feeding them too.

Food makes him happy

It's impossible not to get attention with a cheeky name like Porn's.

And that's exactly what Thai-Chinese celebrity Pornsak Prajakwit wants in the food and beverage industry.

It has been barely two years since his foray into the food business and already, he has four restaurants to his name, with a fifth slated to open at upcoming The Star Vista mall in Buona Vista later this year.

The charismatic TV host is a live wire, The New Paper on Sunday finds, when we meet him at his fourth and newest branch, opened in January at Junction 10.

He welcomes the team to Porn's with a warm "sawadee kap" (hello in Thai), bowing slightly with his palms pressed together.

The name that he shares with his restaurant means "blessings" in Thai, he says. It's a joint venture between Pornsak, 30, and former MediaCorp producer Foo Tuan How, 32.

"I love to eat," Pornsak gushes. "The thing is...food can bring happiness to people."

He laughs before continuing: "Hopefully, it makes me money as well."

Having no experience in business, he invested an initial $100,000 in the first outlet. Mr Foo set aside a similar sum, according to previous reports.

It turned out to be a poor estimate, and he had to fork out another $80,000, Pornsak tells TNPS. It took them six months to break even.

At the beginning, it was a hands-on experience for him.

The young boss doesn't just man the till - he also serves customers, clears dishes and wipes tables.

Once, the cleaner bailed out on them and he had to stay past midnight to help the staff. That night, he even had to wash the toilet.

Despite having to juggle showbiz and his food business, Pornsak makes it a point to drop by all four outlets daily whenever he's in town.

"It's important that I do, so my staff members know I care (equally) for each branch," he says.

He can usually be found at his restaurants during the off-peak hours of 3pm to 6pm. (Fans: take note!)

Authenticity is a must for the foodie.

Ingredients are imported from Thailand twice a week, and the head chefs at all four outlets are Thai.

Pornsak reveals that he scored a coup with his first chef who used to cook exclusively for Hollywood's golden couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

These days, he relies on his 50 staff members to run the ship, with Mr Foo at the helm.

He says cheerily: "We're like a family."

Porn's
Juction 10
1 Woodlands Road, #01-32
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily

HOW DOES IT FARE?

Thai cuisine isn't for the faint-hearted.

Exotic spices and fiery red chilli padis tantalise the taste buds. Spice-loving Singaporeans may find themselves in paradise at Porn's.

The larb gai ($8.50) - a dish of minced chicken fried with lime leaf, dried chilli and fish sauce - is tongue-searingly hot.

Try the tom saap ($12.90), or a spicy soup served with either beef or chicken chunks. The soup, served in a hot pot, is sour. It's strangely addictive and leaves you craving for more.

For calorie-counting ladies, the yum woon sen ($12.90) is a diet-friendly option. The glass noodles are topped with squid, prawns, minced chicken and assorted vegetables.

Wash down your meal with a refreshing drink of nam takai ($4.50). The lemongrass drink is light and fragrant - just the thing to top off a satisfying meal.

The Junction 10 outlet doesn't serve pork. Its poultry dishes are also halal.

For more information, visit www.porns.com.sg.

Verdict: 4/5

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