You might wonder how a girl from Melbourne, who has lived in a few different places, came to end up being a Singapore Foodie? Yeah, me too! I’m not culinarily trained, I just happen to eat out a lot and have learnt to judge the good from the bad based on my personal experiences. I guess its been a gradual process, one that started as a kid and young adult experimenting with cooking (my Mum used to let my sister and I pick a recipe to cook when she was having a dinner party) and continued into adulthood. When I moved to Sydney in 1997 and was a little bit poor, eating out wasn’t an option so much so having people around for dinner was always a good back up plan. When I started travelling farther and wider, my interest in food moved onto restaurants and foods in different countries. I should make it clear that I’m no expert on the finer points of cooking up traditional Char Siew (Chinese Roast Pork) or making a batch of Chilli Crab, but I do know good food when I taste it, whether it hails from Yunan in China or Sevilla in Spain. And in Singapore we’re lucky enough to have a diverse population that has become accustomed to experimentation with foods from all over the world.
My Food Philosophy
I’ve always said there is ‘love’ associated with food, and where it doesn’t exist, you can tell. I doubt you’ll find much love in a Big Mac from McDonald’s, but when you taste a beef rendang that has been cooking for hours in quality ingredients where someone has cared enough to taste as they cooked and add flavours as necessary, you will be able to tell. Sometimes it’s not as easy as looking at the brand name on the sign though, you need a little guidance to point you to the best places. I’ll show you these places and make sure you enjoy the very best that Singapore has to offer.
An Unexpected Beginning
My real journey into the world of food began back in 1986 when my father bought into a delicatessan business in the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds (photo above courtesy of Keks.au). For those unfamiliar with Melbourne, Moonee Ponds is a suburb steeped in Italian tradition, kind of like Little Italy in New York but (back then anyway) not as cool. I worked there throughout high school and uni and learnt the basics of a) speaking Italian b) eating Italian and c) loving everything Italian! I should also point out that there was no trace of Italian in my family’s background so this whole experience was an entry into a previously unknown world. The life changing element was the understanding of Italian food and the ‘love’ that accompanies it. Sharing recipes with the Italian ladies who worked there, discovering foods I’d never seen or heard of before and loving all of it. I still believe that it was this grounding in Italian culture that was the stimulus for all my travels to this day.
Exploring the World of Food
Have you ever travelled somewhere just for the food? Although it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I finally arrived in Italy, food has always featured prominently in my exploration of the world. Whether it was in the USA on my first overseas trip, or my honeymoon to Vietnam, a Eurostar train from London to Paris or a visit to the Highlands of Scotland (Haggis anyone?), the journey has always revolved around food. In advance of any trip I make these days, I will spend the most time before hand researching the best places to eat in whatever part of the world I’m lucky enough to be travelling to. I don’t have a prescription for this, and sometimes I make mistakes, but most often I take notes from people who’ve spent a good deal of time somewhere and I learn from their hard earned experience. And likewise that’s why I’ve decided to use my own experiences in Singapore to show people what the food world is like here.
When we moved to London in 2003 (the picture above was taken after I completed the London marathon in 2008 so excuse the slightly jaded look!) a foundation was made for a life that centred around travel and food (oh, and with quite a full on job in between!). For seven years we lived in places just a stone’s throw from some of the best eateries in the world, at a time when the United Kingdom saw its confidence and quality of restaurants go from strength to strength. And with Europe on our doorstep we made every effort to see as much of it as possible. We embraced the northern hemisphere winters and spent Christmas learning how to cook turkey in Cornwall, or shucking oysters in Brittany, we travelled to Cologne for gluhwein and frites, to Budapest for pickles (who knew pickles could be so good??!!) and Galway for the oyster festival. And my memories are all tied to the food.
In 2011 my food journey brought me to Singapore. I arrived here to set up home with my husband and living in Asia for the first time in Singapore has offered up a whole new culinary world that I have been eagerly discovering since I landed. I’ve slowly grown to love Singapore, and in particular the world of food that is so diverse and fresh. So please join me in this journey, whether you’re a first time visitor or an experienced local, hopefully I can give you some great tips and likewise maybe you’ll point out things that I’ve yet to discover. So please feel free to add your comments to my blog posts, or to contact me directly, as I said, I would love to hear from you!
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Welcome to the world of a Singapore Foodie!