The physical regimen actor that Maxi Lim was put through for Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen wasn't half as torturous as the strict diet he had to endure.
To achieve the lean, muscular frame of a Naval Diving Unit (NDU) frogman, the 27-year-old had to follow a daily meal plan of fruit, high-fibre red rice and boiled chicken with no seasoning.
"I ate that for more than four months. On rare days, we got two small pieces of M&M's chocolates," he said.
Lim who is signed to JM Artiste Network and marketed by Fly Entertainment, was 75kg before filming and slimmed down to his current 64.5kg.
The latest instalment of director Jack Neo's Ah Boys To Men franchise, which opens here on Feb 19, sees Lim reunite with Joshua Tan, Tosh Zhang and Wang Weiliang as NDU recruits.
At Sunrise Bistro & Bar at Big Splash, Lim tucked into oysters, foie gras, salmon fillet, duck leg confit and caramelised banana on gelato.
"I can't stand that diet," Lim said of his strict diet while filming Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen. "So I binged a number of times. My cheat days were quite kua zhang (Mandarin for exaggerated) - I'd order huge pizzas and chicken wings.
"Once, while 'cheating', I recorded a video of myself eating and sent it to the rest of the Ah Boys. They got angry."
Are these your favourite dishes on the table today?
Looking at the menu made me hungry.
Recently, I went on holiday in Bali, where I visited a restaurant that specialises in duck. The duck was very tasty.
But I must say that the duck leg confit here is better.
What are the foods you'll never tire of?
I have a sweet tooth, so I love things like frappuccinos. I also love anything that makes me fat, like instant noodles.
Thai food is at the top of my list. It's spicy, so I perspire a lot eating it, but I really enjoy a good Thai meal.
Dishes I'm fond of are basil pork, basil chicken and pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles). Oh yes, and mango sticky rice - that's the sinful one.
Do you have any favourite local hawker haunts?
For char siew rice, Chinatown has a particular place I always go to. I live in the East, but the char siew rice there is so good I don't mind travelling all the way to town just for it.
I'm also a huge fan of Hokkien mee. There's one stall at Seah Im Food Centre in Telok Blangah which serves the noodles moist, the way I like it. The fried oysters (with it) are very delicious. They are the small sort, which is more to my liking, too.
Where would you go for a nice meal with your family?
Whenever I'm free, I take my parents out for a good tze char meal with seafood dishes.
Jack Neo is an expert when it comes to tze char places, he knows where to find the best tze char in Singapore and he'd recommend us Ah Boys many places.
How about restaurants for a romantic dinner date?
If it's a date, ambience and location are more important than the food itself. For example, a cable car dinner, which I've done before. There is also a lovely rooftop restaurant, Skyloft, at iFly.
Do you eat out with the Ah Boys?
We like to hunt for good bak kut teh together! We went to Founder Bak Kut Teh at Rangoon Road, which was great. There's also one at Arab Street, which serves Malaysian-style bak kut teh.
Do you cook? Any signature dishes?
I took Food And Nutrition at O levels. So long as I have recipes and proper equipment, I should be able to handle it.
I'm quite good at doing pasta. It's easy. Like aglio olio, it's a really simple dish - just pasta, chilli and garlic. But you need the right skills to make it tasty.
Baking is much more difficult than cooking. I remember when I was doing Food And Nutrition, I had a few failed attempts, like pastries that didn't rise and were sunken in the middle.
This article was first published on Feb 4, 2015.
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