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Celebrities Who Used to Wait Tables

Celebrities Who Used to Wait Tables


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Everyone had to start somewhere, and these celebrities started in the hospitality industry

Getty Images Entertainment/Thinkstock

No Doubt's Gwen Stefani once worked at a Dairy Queen.

It may be clichéd to say that all struggling actors and actresses have to pay their dues as servers before making it big, but the stereotype is born of truth: plenty of waiters and waitresses are hoping for their big break, and some of the world’s biggest celebrities once made a living waiting tables, tending bar, or serving fast food.

Celebrities Who Used to Wait Tables (Slideshow)

Working in a bar or restaurant is a good move for actors and actresses for one main reason: It’s not a nine-to-five job. Because the hours are so varied, and because it’s relatively easy to find someone to cover your shift if necessary, there’s still plenty of time to go on auditions. Most of the work is also at night, which means that days are usually left open. Another advantage? When you’ve been on your feet for five hours, haven’t eaten anything, and need to smile and be friendly, no matter what, some acting skills could certainly come in handy.

Some celebrities go on to open their own restaurants later in life as a second career, and while some of those fail miserably, it’s clear that there’s something about the hospitality industry that attracts the same type of go-getters that long for a life in the spotlight. Some performers are actually failed restaurateurs: Before making it big, Harry Belafonte and two friends ran a burger joint in Greenwich Village called The Sage that only lasted for eight months before going belly-up.

Read on to learn about 10 actors and actresses who started out working in bars and restaurants. And if you’re looking for a big break yourself, take heart: everybody had to start somewhere.


Once upon a time, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani earned her paycheck by working at an Orange County Dairy Queen.


Before making it big, Paltrow worked as a waitress, and she told The Independent that her nightly tips averaged about $11.


How Paula Deen Lost Weight and Regained Her Health

As one of the best-known personalities in the world of cooking, Paula Deen is an inspiration when it comes to making mouthwatering meals. And now, after Deen and her family lost a collective 200 pounds, she&aposs a major inspiration in the world of fitness too!

The loveable 66-year-old Food Network star shed 40 pounds from her frame (trading in her size 16/18 pants for a size 12), while husband Michael has lost more than 100 pounds, oldest son Jamie got rid of an excess 45 pounds, and youngest son Bobby said goodbye to more than 30 pounds.

Deen is hoping to inspire others with her new diet mission her cookbook The New Testament (out fall 2013) will include go-to healthy recipes and tips on eating right. Plus, her son Bobby is making her proud with his cookbook, From Mama&aposs Table to Mine, featuring meals under 350 calories (it even hit No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list).

To find out exactly how Paula and family managed such an amazing slim-down, we went one-on-one with the queen of Southern cooking herself.

SHAPE: First off, congrats on your weight loss! Tell us how you came to the decision to lose weight along with your family?

Paula Deen (PD): Years ago, when I overcame my agoraphobia, I woke up one day and made the decision to change my life. It wasn&apost an easy decision, but I knew the time was right. My family all lost their weight in different ways there is no one right way. For me, my doctors told me that fighting my diabetes would be easier with less weight, so it was a natural decision. I realized, like we all do, that you have to listen to your doctor.

SHAPE: How much total weight have you lost and how long did it take to lose it?

PD: Over this past year, I&aposve lost around 40 pounds and I really feel great.

SHAPE: How did you change your diet to achieve this? Tell us about the types of foods you ate.

PD: I really changed the landscape of my plate-I filled it with more greens and less starches. In the South, there&aposs a perception that we&aposre all about fried food, when in reality, we&aposre about fresh food. My table is always filled with great vegetables, and I really have been eating more of them-more veggies and more salads-and loving it.

SHAPE: Did you change anything with your workouts? Give us the scoop on your exercise routine.

PD: I made a conscious effort to work out on my treadmill and when I can&apost do that, I really try to walk 30 minutes a day. It is a great time for me to be with my husband Michael or my friends or just have some quiet alone time.

SHAPE: How about the rest of your family-how much weight did they lose, and what was their strategy?

PD: My husband Michael has always had a wonderful appetite and he put himself on a shake/meal program that helped him lose more 100 pounds! Jamie lost over 40 pounds, and over the years, Bobby has put himself on a fitness and food routine that has helped him lose more than 30 pounds. No one in the family did the same thing, which is a great example that there is no ‘one&apos way, but if we can do it, you can do it.

SHAPE: Did any of you need to sacrifice anything you really loved?

PD: I gave up sweet tea, which I had loved for years, realizing that I was drinking so much sugar each day. I began to enjoy flavored teas-peach, lemon, passion fruit, and I even discovered a mint julep flavor-that had less sugar or was sugar free. These really hit the spot.

SHAPE: How do you all feel after the weight loss? Would you say you reached your fitness goals?

PD: I have never felt better. Of course I will go up and down a few pounds each month, but overall I feel so good. I keep working on my health and wellness so I don&apost feel like I can ever &aposreach&apos my goals-I just have to keep &aposliving&apos them.

SHAPE: What advice would you give to anyone looking to get healthier, or to someone who has tried different diets-maybe even crash diets-in the past but didn&apost have luck?

PD: Honey, there is a reason that they&aposre called 𠆌rash diets&apos because anything that is an extreme is too hard to maintain on a regular basis. It is much easier to go steady and slow and make small changes-at least for me, all these small changes have added up.


Stassi Schroeder

After small appearances on the reality series The Amazing Race and Queen Bees, Stassi Schroeder began waiting tables at Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant SUR while pursuing an acting and modeling career. However, Schroeder found herself drawn back into the world of reality TV when Bravo launched The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin-off Vanderpump Rules in 2013. The show follows the lives of the staff at SUR, who are never short on drama.

While Schroeder has found steady fame on Vanderpump Rules, which is still going strong after five seasons, the reality star is only worth $300,000, despite side jobs as a fashion blogger and podcast host. By comparison, Vanderpump is worth a whopping $75 million and makes more than Stassi Schroeder's entire net worth in just one season, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Then again, Vanderpump is more of a mentor than a boss to her young staff, so hopefully she can teach them the secrets to her success.


Lighten Up With Randy Jackson's Low-Fat Sweet Potato Pie and Chicken Etouffee

In his new book, Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on your Best Health Ever, in bookstores Dec. 2, Jackson shares the healthy and delicious recipes that he developed with celebrity chef Jeff Parker.

This Thanksgiving, don't deny yourself sweet potato pie because that will set you up for a binge. Instead, try Jackson's recipes.

Low Fat Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Finely chop the pecans in a food processor. Add graham crackers and Grape-Nuts. With the machine running, slowly add the orange juice until the mixture begins to come together (add 1 additional tablespoon orange juice if needed).

Press crumbs evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until dry. Set aside to cool.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Stir together pie filling ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Pour into crust and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted 1-inch off-center comes away clean. Cool for 2 hours before slicing.

Per serving: 244 calories 5 g fat (17% calories from fat) 5 g protein 46 g carbohydrate 2 g dietary fiber.

"I used to be a huge crawfish etouffee guy," Jackson says of this rich New Orleans classic, but years in Los Angeles as well as efforts to keep his weight down have limited his access to the crawfish version, but not his enthusiasm for its zesty flavor. Now the Dawg keeps it real, but also low cal and low fat. Here's how:

Continued

2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun spice blend

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

3/4 cup finely chopped celery

2 cups fat-free chicken broth

Toast flour in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Watch flour carefully so that it doesn't burn. Frequently shake pan and stir until the flour turns a dark nut color about 10 to 15 minutes. Sift flour into a bowl set aside.

Combine Cajun and poultry seasoning and toss with chicken until evenly coated. Add oil and butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add chicken and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add vegetables to pan and sweat until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables a little at a time, stirring between additions. Once flour has been added, slowly stir in broth until well combined. Return chicken to pan and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If sauce becomes too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen. If sodium is not an issue, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over cooked white or brown rice.

Per serving: 303 calories 5 g fat (15.9% calories from fat) 47 g protein 18 g carbohydrate 3 g dietary fiber 104 mg cholesterol 383 mg sodium.

Sources

Jackson, R. Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on your Best Health Ever, Hudson Street Press, Dec. 2, 2008.


1 of 9

Anne Hathaway

To build strength. While Anne Hathaway didn't necessarily need to lose any weight, the svelte star recently shared why she gave up veganism to embrace a paleo-style diet. "I just didn&rsquot feel good or healthy&mdashnot strong," she said of being vegan. When she started filming Interstellar, she realized that to pull off her stunts in a 40-pound space suit she needed to toughen up&mdashand quick. After adding fish and meat back into her diet, her energy levels soared and now she's flaunting her tighter, more toned figure in Harper's Bazaar.


That's right: the trilling, dreamy Princess Giselle worked at Hooters after high school. ". It was a great job out of high school and I was a hostess at first, and then I waited tables for a while, and it was great," she told Entertainment Tonight . "It was a great way for me to earn money for college."

"I used to scrape shrimp into the garbage can and then load up the dishwasher," he has said on stage. "I never got a raise, I never got a promotion. They kept me in the back because I had really f----- up teeth."

Word to the wise: if Chris Rock blesses your restaurant, put him front and center.


30 Things You Didn&rsquot Know About Meghan Markle

A comprehensive list of everything you need to know about the future Duchess.

With mere weeks to go before the royal wedding, Meghan Markle is at the peak of popularity, with the whole world charting her every move in eager anticipation of her May 19 nuptials. Despite being the most-Googled actress of 2016, Markle fans still have questions about exactly where the American actress came from and her trajectory from California to Kensington Palace. Ahead, a deep dive into the Duchess-to-be's past with 30 fun facts you probably don't know&mdashbut want to&mdashabout the future Mrs. Prince Harry.

Markle grew up attending an all-girls school with a Catholic affiliation. &ldquoI went to an all-girls Catholic school for like six years during the time when kids actually had handwriting class,&rdquo Markle explained, alluding to her early love of cursive.
The charmingly self-deprecating actress also revealed that her Catholic school days were not at all glamorous. &ldquoJust picture me with my curly hair and a gap in my teeth and my little school uniform with Keds on,&rdquo the royal-to-be recalled .

It's now a pretty well-known fact that Markle's real first name isn't Meghan. Harry's fiancé was actually born Rachel Meghan Markle. But you have to admit, 'Meghan Markle' has a great ring to it.

&ldquoMy dad was a lighting director and director of photography for Married. with Children," the actress revealed to Esquire. "Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of Married. with Children, which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up," she said, explaining that she was sometimes asked to hide her eyes when scenes got a little too risqué. "There were a lot of times my dad would say, 'Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes.'"

Growing up on a TV set was the perfect learning environment for a young actress. &ldquoI will always find my light. No question," Markle said. "And if I don't, I'll know, because my dad will be the first person to call me and say like, 'You need to have him bring another 2K in,' and 'Why aren't you using this sort of lighting gel?' The crew guys know that it's where I grew up.&rdquo

Strangely enough, back in October of last year, the Daily Mail reported a genealogy find claiming that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are very distantly related. Though the full family tree shows that the couple's link dates fifteen generations back in time, we'll probably choose to forget this little fact.

Markle was an early advocate for women's rights. At the tender age of 11, Markle was outraged by a commercial that outwardly suggested only women do dishes, so the budding feminist wrote a letter to Procter and Gamble asking them to amend the advertising language. The company agreed. Watch an interview she gave about that experience here.

A self-proclaimed "theater nerd," Markle told Marie Claire that she was always interested in both performance and politics, and was compelled to double-major in college. "I knew I wanted to do acting, but I hated the idea of being this cliché&mdasha girl from L.A. who decides to be an actress," she explained. "I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely and double-majoring in theater and international relations.&rdquo

Markle discussed her career trajectory in an interview with Marie Claire , including her gig at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina right after college and planning for a future in politics. &ldquoBy my junior year I had finished most of my credits, and so I applied for an internship at the U.S. Embassy, so I ended up working in the embassy in Buenos Aires for a few months," she said. "It was their economic devaluation and our Secretary of the Treasury at the time, Paul O'Neill, was there, so I'm 20 years old, in Buenos Aires, in a motorcade, doing that whole thing. I thought for sure I would still have a career in politics.&rdquo

Before landing a lead role on Suits, Markle worked multiple on-camera gigs to stay afloat. &ldquoI would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet,&rdquo said Markle of her time as a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal. &ldquoDefinitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing.&rdquo

To make a tough time even tougher, Markle revealed that she never even held the show's lucky case. "I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick my number so I could go and sit down,&rdquo she explained.

&ldquoI've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well," Markle toldEsquire of her incredibly neat penmanship. &ldquoI'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive.&rdquo And her handwriting actually turned into a little side hustle when the amateur calligraphist was asked to hand-design wedding invitations for celebrities. "What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding,&rdquo Markle revealed.

As with most believable characters, Markle felt a close connection to her Suits alter-ego, Rachel. &ldquoRachel and I very similar: ambitious, driven, and always trying to take the bull by its horns,&rdquo she explained to Marie Claire. Markle also citied her counterpart's sometimes-harsh self-criticism, revealing that she is always her own worst critic. &ldquoAnd again, maybe that's where I'm similar to Rachel, in that I'm harder on myself than anyone else might be,&rdquo the actress said.

A clear fashion devotee, Markle's sartorial chops were recognized long before she hit the royal stage. According to Markle fan site, Meghan's Mirror, Canadian retailer Reitmans signed then-actress Markle as their brand ambassador in the fall of 2015 in an attempt to re-energize the label. In 2016, the Reitmans brand launched a capsule collection of dresses co-designed by Markle.

Markle told Marie Claire that Rachel, her Suits alter-ego, was created to be a foodie thanks to Markle's own food-obsession. "I love to cook," the actress explained . "My character is a foodie because they know that I'm a foodie. I'm always on the quest to find amazing new restaurants and new recipes." Markle even claims she was into fine dining and experimental cuisine before it became trendy. "I'm a California girl, right? I grew up with that farm-to-table dining before it was sweeping the nation," she said. "I do think there's some value to really throwing yourself into food and embracing where it comes from.&rdquo

Along with her love of food, the royal-to-be claims to be a pro in the kitchen. "I can whip up a great snack on a whim with almost nothing,&rdquo she told Esquire. &ldquoI pride myself in figuring out how to elevate a dish with a little preserved lemon, or then a sprinkle of Maldon salt." And it seems as though the future Duchess has already showed off her amateur chef chops at Kensington Palace, where she's baked little treats for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

We know Markle has a BFF and personal stylist in Jessica Mulroney, but even when she's being dressed by Mulroney or others for Suits, she insisted on styling her own jewelry. &ldquoAll the jewelry that I wear on the show is my own personal jewelry and family heirlooms, like my grandma's charm bracelet and my signet ring,&rdquo she told Marie Claire.

Though it's since been removed from the inter-webs, Markle used to run a lifestyle blog called The Tig, which she filled with a mix of food, travel, fashion, and beauty content, Markle told Allure that the blog title was born out of her discovery of the difference between red and white wine. "It's named after a wine called Tignanello," she said in a 2017 interview when the blog still existed. "I had a sip of it six years ago, and it was my first aha moment. You spend years going, 'Oh, I'll just have red or white. I don't really know what the difference is.' But then one day you take a sip of something and you're like, I get it. So the Tig became this personal idea of getting it&mdashfashion, travel, beauty, all of it."

Back in early November, even before the royal engagement announcement, E! News reported that Markle's nose was one of mounting interest in the world of Hollywood plastic surgery. "Patients started to coming to see me about six months ago requesting Meghan Markle's nose," board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg, MD, told E! "As things between her and Prince Harry started to heat up, attention definitely followed. Today, she is probably one of the top&mdashif not the No. 1&mdashrequest I get. Up until recently, the Kardashians were probably the most popular celebrity cosmetic requests."

According to Markle's 2013 interview with Esquire, when the cameras stop rolling on their Toronto-based set, the whole Suits cast kicked it like normal friends. &ldquoOff-camera, there we are just playing Apples to Apples and drinking Scotch into the wee hours of the night,&rdquo the American actress told the publication. Sounds like a pretty fun set.

Even before the bride-to-be began traveling the world with Prince Harry, she was an excitement-seeking globe-trotter in her own right. "I love to travel," she told Marie Claire in 2013. "My most recent trips in the past year and a half have been biking through Vietnam, camper-vanning through New Zealand, and touring the whole coast of Croatia and the islands there. I always want off the beaten path, Anthony Bourdain-inspired travel.&rdquo

A travel hack courtesy of the royal-to-be, Markle says she always keeps tea tree oil in her carry-on &ldquoThe one thing that I cannot live without when I'm traveling is a small container of tea tree oil," she told Allure. "It's not the most glamorous thing, but if you get a cut, a mosquito bite, a small breakout, no matter what it is, it's my little cure-all. It's inexpensive, it's small enough to carry on, and I bring it with me all the time."


Before Glee made her a star, Rivera was waiting tables at the Hooters in Valencia, California.

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Yakiniku Like Opens To Long Queues — But Is It Worth The Wait?

From the land of capsule hotels, one-person karaoke booths and solo-only bars comes Yakiniku Like: a quick-service grilled meat restaurant made with the lone diner in mind. The concept is a hit and it has grown into a giant with 30 outlets spread across Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia since its opening the first store in Tokyo in August 2018. Today, it officially opened its 31 st outlet in Singapore. The chain is the product of Dining Innovation Group, which has 11 brands and 260 restaurants world-wide under its wing. This includes Sumire Yakitori House, Kintan Buffet and shabu-shabu restaurant Shaburi, which were brought to Singapore since the group’s foray into the local market in 2013. The restaurant’s representative says that they wish to focus on this first Yakiniku Like outlet in Singapore and have no plans for opening any other outlets within the next year.

The outlet sits near Tokyu Hands at basement 1 of Paya Lebar Quarter mall. Unlike most concepts designed for solo consumers — which tend to be dimly lit perhaps for privacy, and a little eerily quiet (with the exception of karaoke booths, of course) — Yakiniku Like is positively pumping. The signage at the entrance screams its cheery motto: “Tasty! Quick! Value!” in neon lights, and the 42-seater is lit bright as day. The space is decked out in honey-hued wood finishing and accented with white subway tiles and grey wallpaper. It’s so decidedly hip and happy that it’s not possible to feel like you are in the MTV of Radiohead’s Creep walking in by yourself.

The 16 solo dining seats are positioned in two rows of eight on both sides of an island right smack in the middle of the restaurant. Sorry, no slinking into a corner here. The tables at the periphery (pictured) are all for parties of two or more. Yup, if solo-pride is a thing, Yakiniku Like will be the biggest champion of it. Each seat comes with its own niche purpose-built for slotting your tray of food in, a drawer filled with utensils and wet wipes and your personal grill. But sorry, the condiment racks mounted on a partition in the middle of the island are to be shared with the diner beside you.

You get to steal glances at other solo diners through the gaps in the partition (see above). Awkward or exciting? Depends on how cute your neighbour is. But note that this also means that the person on the opposite side of the counter can also see you.

To order, scan the QR code behind the menu placed at your seat. This brings you to an ordering page and once your selection is made and sent through, the food is supposed to arrive at your table in three minutes. We say “supposed to”, because our three orders came in five minutes during the media preview. But that’s still faster than at some fast food joints, lah.

Yakiniku Like offers eight set meals, starting from $7.80 for a 100g pork-and-chicken set and goes up to $29.80 for a 200g wagyu steak set. Each comes with miso soup, rice and your choice of kimchi or salad. There are also value for money sets with beef short plate slivers, which comes with the option of 100g, 200g and 300g of meat ($8.80, $12.80 and $16.80 respectively). If you are feeling particularly carnivorous, individual portions of the different meats can also be ordered via the a la carte menu, ranging from $2.90 for 50g of karubi to $27.80 for 200g of wagyu steak. You can also decide whether you want a small, medium or large portion of rice (150g, 200g and 300g respectively) to go with your set meal. And good news for those of you who love short-grain rice: the price is the same regardless of the amount of rice you order. No refills here, though.

Once you’ve placed your order, turn your personal grill on through the control buttons at your table. The controls are pretty idiot-proof, so you shouldn’t have to ask for help, or look like a complete loser trying to operate it. We turned the heat up to maximum (level 5) and it took about three minutes for it to heat up — which means it should be ready when your food arrives. However, note that the area that gets heated up is slightly smaller than the grilling space: the heating elements end short of the length of the grill, and a metal plate covers the other end of the rods. This means that slivers placed on the left and right ends of the grill will cook a lot slower than those in the middle. Our recommendation is to let the grill heat up at the highest level for about five minutes, then turn it down to level 3, so that the slivers placed around the grill can cook more evenly. Or you can limit yourself to cooking just two to three slivers of meat at a time in the centre of the grill.

Yakiniku Like claims to be Singapore’s first restaurant to offer individual electric smokeless grills. This is made possible by a system that draws the smoke downwards through suction. The grills used here are made in Taiwan, same as Yakiniku Like outlets in Taiwan. The ones used in the Japanese and Indonesian outlets are made by the same manufacturer, but in their Japanese facilities. We were slightly sceptical about the efficacy of this smoke-less system but boy does it work. For once, we didn’t feel the need to wash our hair out three times after a meal of grilled meats. And our clothes actually smell as fresh as if we had come out from a salad bar. So yes, you can safely have a meal here all by yourself at lunch break and not return to the office with people making snarky remarks like, “Wah, ownself go and eat barbecue ah?”.

With the exception of the Australian Wagyu, the beef served here is all from US. (And from atas supplier Indoguna, if you really must know.) The meats are not pre-marinated but given a drizzle of the signature Like Original BBQ Sauce — a sweetish soy-based blend — just before serving, so you don’t really have to season the meats any further. If you must, there are four different sauces, and for the Singapore outlet only: chilli sauce (the syrupy type that you get at fast-food stores), and sliced chilli padi. However, we found all the sauces a bit too sweet, which masked the umami of the meats. What we recommend: throw on some salt during grilling to draw out more of the meaty flavours, and finishing your meats with a crack of pepper. Trust us on this: our photographer who used to cook at Meat Smith restaurant concurs.

This set features slivers of US beef short plate, pork jowl (also from the US) and little chunks of chicken thigh (from Brazil). It’s a pretty good portion of meats for the price, and unless you are so atas that you only eat never-frozen meats, the selection is decent in terms of both flavour and mouthfeel: fresh, flavourful and moist. The only issue we had was the little nuggets of chicken thigh were slightly more troublesome to cook thoroughly, unlike the slivers, which only require flipping once.

A set meal comprising beef tongue, skirt steak and beef short plate. While almost every set on the menu featured the popular karubi (beef short plate), it was the skirt steak (pictured) that won us over. Compared to the paper-thin karubi slices, this boasted a much better bite and a more robust flavour. The beef tongue — also sliced super thin — were also a treat with its springy texture and a flavour that wasn’t too gamey.

Ok this isn’t quite Mortons quality, but it's still a tasty steak with a good degree of marbling that made it tender, moist, yet not so fatty that you cannot taste its beefiness. At $17.80 for 120g, it’s almost as cheap as buying a slab of Aussie wagyu from the supermarket to cook at home. Except here, the 1-cm-thick steaks are served to you nicely cut into strips, and you don’t even have to clean up (and spray air freshener all over the house after cooking). Move over, Astons.


These 5 Celebrities Are Obsessed With The Ketogenic Diet

The low-carb eating plan has plenty of famous followers.

Lately, one diet has been stealing the spotlight, earning (mostly) rave reviews from A-listers and everyday folks alike: the keto diet.

Essentially a very high-fat, low-carb eating plan, the ketogenic diet forces your body to burn fat rather than carbs for energy, says Victoria Lindsay, R.D., a registered dietitian based in Washington, D.C. High-protein and high-fat foods (think: protein, full-fat dairy, eggs, avocado, oils, and low-carb veggies) dominate the keto diet's menu, while any high-carb foods are no-nos. Most keto diets involve consuming less than 50 grams of carbs a day (that's about what you'll find in two bananas).

Obviously, the keto diet is not for the faint of heart, but when it comes to getting and staying in awesome shape, well, the Hollywood set doesn't typically shy away from hard work. Here are five celebrities who love the trendy plan:

This badass beauty has been following the ketogenic diet since before it was cool, and recently sang its praises on Live With Kelly and Ryan, in Entertainment Weekly, and even on Instagram. &ldquoFor years, I have been following the keto or ketogenic diet,&rdquo Halle writes on Insta, talking about the importance of nutrition in managing her diabetes. (A little-known fact about the Oscar-winning actress: She&rsquos had type 2 diabetes since she was 19 years old.) Research shows that a very low-carb diet can help people manage type 2 diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels.

Halle emphasizes that, to her, keto isn't a "diet" per se: "I hate the word 'diet' so while you&rsquoll see the word diet, just know I encourage you to think of it as a lifestyle change." She also credits the keto diet as "largely responsible for slowing down my aging process," and helping her lose her "baby belly," control her appetite, and boost her energy and mental performance. The 51-year-old mother also says it&rsquos helped improve her physical endurance and skin.

Vanessa gained 20 pounds for her role in the 2013 movie Gimme Shelter. To lose the weight, she stuck to a low-carb, high-fat diet. On the Rachael Ray Show, she opened up about what a typical day of eating looks like for her. For breakfast, Vanessa enjoys eggs, bacon, half an avocado, and coffee. Lunch is usually salad with chicken, more avocado, tons of greens, and maybe some nuts or fruit. Dinner often involves grilled salmon or steak with a salad or sautéed veggies for dinner. and maybe more avocado? Yeah, she loves avocado: "I eat a whole avocado a day," she says.

&ldquoI think that we&rsquove been brainwashed to think that fat is bad, but really, it&rsquos what going to make you feel fuller longer," she says. Experts agree: Because it takes a long time to digest, fat can promote satiety and help curb cravings, Lindsay explains.

The actress credits a strict, low-carb diet (along with long walks) for helping her stay svelte after three kids. "I cut out all bread and those sort of carbohydrates," she tells E! Online. "No crackers, no pretzels, no chips."

"I don't have any cheat days," she says. "It's like giving up smoking. I gave up smoking cold turkey. I'm one of those people, when I'm committed, there's no stopping me. So, I did it and after about a week, it repulses me. Like, there's bread over there and never again would I put that in my body."

On her website, Kourtney writes about her low-carb &ldquodetox&rdquo plan. A typical day features a green smoothie with avocado for breakfast, then lean proteins and veggies (such as greens, cauliflower rice, or broccoli) for lunch and dinner.

Although she doesn&rsquot explicitly state she&rsquos on the keto diet, her gluten-free, sugar-free style of eating definitely qualifies. She even explains that this plan helps her keep her &ldquobody in a state of ketosis, which occurs when the glycogen in your liver is depleted and the body burns fatty acids for energy." Yep, that's keto, alright.

The Victoria&rsquos Secret model is also on the no- (or rather, low-) carb plan. In an interview with New York Magazine&rsquos The Cut, she says she stays away from all starchy foods: &ldquoDefinitely zero carbs for sure,&rdquo she says. Adriana even pushed aside carrots that were served with her lunch, the writer reports.

This may be taking the "low-carb" approach too far, notes Lindsay. "Of all the carbs to skip on, passing on the vegetables isn&rsquot doing your body any favors," she says. Maybe she just doesn't like carrots? But if you like 'em, eat 'em! They're good for you, even on a keto plan.


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