Celebrity chow with One FM DJ Joshua Simon

ONE FM 91.3 radio jock Joshua Simon has a birthday resolution.

The local DJ-musician, who will turn 25 in June, told M over lunch last Thursday at Collin's Grille Bento at King George's Avenue: "My goal is to be in the best shape I've ever been.

"I want to be more muscular. I want to fit into clothes I want to wear. I want to feel good in my skin."

With a laugh, he added: "It's a quarter-life crisis."

Simon, who declined to reveal his weight ("Numbers scare me and I don't wanna count"), admitted that he grew up with weight-related "self-esteem issues".

"I've decided to finally get rid of that, once and for all," he said.

He counts R&B diva Janet Jackson as his idol, as she famously battled the bulge in the public eye.

"To me, she's a sex symbol. Yet she shows she's human too, with her yo-yo-ing weight.

"I've been practising yoga once a week and I'm at the gym three times a week. I also jog on alternate days. I'm going to push myself hard. I've cut down on carbs and red meat too."

Before he went "full throttle" with his exercise regimen, working out was never a big part of his life.

Simon, whose dad is Indian and mum is Chinese, hosts The ONE FM Reality Check with fellow DJ Jillian Lim from 8pm to midnight on weeknights.

"Doing music is my No. 1 love and I'm very thankful that my full-time job revolves around music," he said.

"ONE FM introduces listeners to (older) music that's more intricate and carefully put together. The pop tunes of today, in comparison, are simpler and mostly software-based."

Chicken Karaage (Photo: TNP)

We're having Half Roasted Chicken, Escargot Au Gratin and Chicken Karaage, among other dishes. Do you eat at Collin's Grille Bento often?

All the time. Collin's has a stall at the kopitiam opposite our radio station, so it's convenient to pop over for a meal. I always order the Half Roasted Chicken.

I'm trying to get into shape, so protein is important. I consume a lot of chicken breast.

I had escargot for the first time recently. In the past, I was fearful of eating it, as I couldn't imagine myself eating snails. But once I tried it, I never looked back. It's amazing!

Anyway, today is my cheat day. (Laughs)

Putting aside your birthday resolution, would you call yourself a foodie?

Yes, of course. My friends and I like going on little food trails where we visit different hawker centres in Ghim Moh, Newton, Jurong West and Adam Road - all in one day.

We order one dish from every famous hawker stall. Like one big plate of char siew or one big plate of hor fun, and we all share. It's like sampling the best of Singapore food.

I am also big on cafes. I'm always at Tiong Bahru.

Hawker fare, though it is delicious, isn't designed with nutrition in mind. So I try to balance that out with cafe food, where more thought is put into the nutritional aspects. You have scrambled eggs, which is protein, avocado on toast, which is healthy fat.

Duck Confit (Photo: TNP)

Any favourite restaurants?

I'm a big fan of sashimi and sushi, so Wasabi Tei at Far East Plaza is one of my favourites.

It's a very small eatery, you have to sit by the bar for your meal. It serves the thickest cuts of sashimi you can find.

I also like Little Diner at Sixth Avenue.

There, you can find the best macaroni and cheese in Singapore; it's got truffle, it's creamy and crispy. They also have huge burgers and hand-cut fries.

Just down the road is The Living Cafe, which has really good organic food like pizzas and raspberry cakes. All guilt-free. These two restaurants are like heaven and hell, right next to each other. (Laughs)

Do you cook? Any signature dishes?

I'm the designated cook in my family. My mum rarely cooks.

I like introducing my parents to Western dishes like foie gras, macaroni and cheese.

Our family has always been culturally diverse. We have Indian food for Chinese New Year. There will be curry on the table and right beside it, ngoh hiang (five spice pork rolls).

The weird thing is, I can cook a lot of things except fry an egg. I can cook for you a complicated dish like beef filet mignon but I just cannot fry an egg.

Escargot Au Gratin (Photo: TNP)

Last October, you did a fantastic acoustic cover of US singer Kelis' best-known song Milkshake. The music video featured guest cameos by many local celebrities including Adrian Pang, Benjamin Kheng and Shigga Shay. Are you a big fan of milkshakes?

Of course! Are you kidding me?

A milkshake is such a delicious beverage and it's comfort food without being too oily. It's sexy and fun too.

Having a milkshake is almost akin to rebelling against the healthy smoothies of today. These days, everyone is juicing, so it's empowering to say, "I'm having a milkshake".


This article was first published on May 6, 2015.
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