Celeb Chow with Natalie Ong
She charmed the judges on reality television music competition The X Factor Australia last year with her powerhouse vocals, but Season 8's Top 12 finalist Natalie Ong is laid-back when it comes to food.
The 16-year-old Singaporean - who shuttles between Melbourne, where she is based, and Singapore - told The New Paper: "I love eating home-cooked meals by my dad. He cooks all kinds of food, such as broccoli and salmon and Chinese ABC soup."
TNP sat down with Natalie at casual Italian and American restaurant Platypus Kitchen at Bugis Junction.
She ordered the Salmon & Ikura Signature Gourmet Bowl, Organic Quinoa Ribeye Bowl, Boston Lobster Conchiglie, Fresh Mantou 'Doughnuts', Seasalt Butterscotch Cheesecake and a non-alcoholic Strawberry Dust beverage.
Natalie, who last month performed at the Uncharted concert, which was part of the Singapore Street Festival, said the cheesecake was her favourite.
"The crust of the cheesecake is thicker and more buttery than the ones I usually eat. It also comes with popcorn and ice cream. I love it," she said.
She also enjoyed the salmon and ikura bowl, which she said was healthy yet flavourful.
"I do not usually like sashimi, but the texture of the salmon, which was cooked sous-vide, was just nice," she said.
Natalie, who released her debut single Get Gold last month, is looking forward to her acting debut next month in Army Daze 2, the sequel to the popular theatre production. She plays the love interest of the recruits.
She will also be singing on Women Of Wings, a talk show directed by Jeffrey Tan, in October.
What do you avoid eating when preparing for a gig?
Fried food, because I might get a sore throat.
I love eating fries, but during the The X Factor Australia, I tried avoiding them a few days before each round.
My mum and grandma also prepared ginseng and honey to soothe my throat.
What are your favourite eating places in Singapore?
I like to eat the mee pok at one of the stalls in Tiong Bahru. It is also my dad's and younger brother's favourite eating place.
I love my grandma's curry chicken, because she uses fresh milk instead of coconut milk, which makes the dish so much healthier.
Is there anything you would not touch?
I do not like to eat anything that is wiggly or slimy, like squid, octopus and lady's finger.
I also avoid prawns and egg white.
As a personality, are you particular about your figure?
I think that as long as I look healthy and good, it is all good.
I do not count my calories. But when I am in Melbourne, I hit the gym with my parents.
I usually do suspension training, carry weights or do cardio, because it helps build vocal stamina.