S'pore sweetheart Julie Tan admits to having a big appetite -- but here's how she stays fit and fab

By Rachel Chan
The New Paper
June 15, 2017

When it comes to food, Julie Tan does not hold back, making it hard to believe that the bubbly local actress, who was The New Paper New Face 2009 first runner-up, still manages to maintain her figure.

The 24-year-old, who is 1.7m tall, told The New Paper: "I eat everything, and not in small portions.

"You have to respect the food. What my mum taught me is that I have limited space in my tummy. If the food is good, eat it. Do not waste the space on bad food because it is going to make me unhappy for the rest of the day."

We joined Tan last week for a late lunch at authentic Japanese restaurant Sumire Yakitori House at Bugis Junction.

She ordered the Aburi Bara Chirashi, Aburi Salmon Mentai Mayo Roll, Asparagus Bacon, Mune Mentai Mayo, Momo with Sauce and Homemade Tofu Cheese Pudding with Yuzu.

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Tan, whose two favourite cuisines are Japanese and Italian, said: "I love the asparagus and the Mune Mentai Mayo is juicy. You do not usually get that with chicken breast."

Even though Tan is leaving Mediacorp this month, she is still very much on the radar.

She is currently starring in Channel 8 drama The Lead as an actress who undergoes plastic surgery after being bullied over her looks. It airs on weekdays at 9pm.

She will appear opposite Benjamin Kheng in local movie Wonder Boy, which is directed by Dick Lee.It opens on Aug 3.

Tan will be one of the pre-show hosts for this year's National Day Parade.

She said: "I am excited about it, and I never thought there would be a day I would be hosting a national event, and it is a great honour.

"I've already gone for a few training sessions, and there are so many things to be done, but it is so fun.

"We will be doing the pre-parade and introducing the Singapore Armed Forces' parachute team, the Red Lions. I have never hosted live, so it is going to be interesting."

How do you stay slim despite such a big appetite?

Actually, I have fats, especially on my arms.

I do not diet at all. I go trekking, hiking and swimming sometimes, but I am not a runner because it is so boring. I will feel like a hamster!

Is there anything you stay away from?

Once, I ate red onions and I ended up in the hospital for five days. I was puking and having diarrhoea and high fever.

There were a few times I tried to take red onions but I could not. I would take small amounts but I kept burping and there was discomfort in my stomach.

Everyone is buzzing about your new Turkish boyfriend, who occasionally appears on your Instagram page. Do the two of you have similar tastes in food?

Yes we do, and we cook often because cooking is my passion.

I enjoy staying in the kitchen for hours just to think of a menu, recipes and how to improve them. We can spend the whole day there discussing how to marinate meats, which I enjoy.

The two of you recently vacationed in Greece. Did you enjoy the cuisine there?

Yes. I was exposed to different kinds of food when I was young, so I have no preference.

My friends who came along could not get used to the cuisine though, and they missed Asian food, so I made ABC soup for them.

You will realise that, as an Asian, you never forget your (roots), especially food-wise.

What was it like meeting Turkish chef-turned-Internet sensation Nusret Gokce - also known as Salt Bae - during your travels?

My boyfriend and I went to his restaurant, Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Istanbul, and they have the best steaks we have ever eaten.

It was that good. We knew what time to head down to the restaurant, so it would not be too crowded.

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