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« Seared scallops on samphire | Main | Spice-roasted pumpkin seeds »

Aug 16, 2010


Christine Tham

Welcome to Singapore! Hope you settling in. You will find later in life that you cannot bear to leave this island. There are lots of things to offer here, in terms of culture, food, friendships etc.


I spent a few days in Singapore on my way to New Zealand but didn't get a good feel for the place as I was only there a short time.

I did my Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai, I'll have to look up the exact name of it, but there are tons of them.

Good luck settling into your new place!


wow how exciting! Can't wait to see what you get up to and the food you discover


I wish you all the good luck in the world. What an amazing adventure you've embarked upon.


Hey Johanna, what a surprise! SO glad it is beginning to feel like home. Although not entirely until you have a kitchen.

Love seeing your pics, as I haven't been to Singapore since the 70s, when I lived for a month in Raffles Hotel, when it was gloriously shabby, and the most wonderful place to be. Lots of changes since then ;)

I was thinking about you the other day, as I saw Jeanne for the first time in years ...

Hope it all goes really well - the children will settle, you will cook, you will find a babysitter and get those quiet moments you need ... and then you'll be able to explore all that Asian cuisine with your characteristic passion.



Oh I really thought the passionate cook has retired ;o)

Bin schon richtig neugierig auf deine/eure Abenteuer in Singapur.

Liebe Grüsse aus der alten Heimat :)


That's indeed a big change! Best of luck in your new city (there's lots of good eats!).


Well done surviving the first week! I hope you find the perfect home soon and that it soon starts to feel like home. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your adventures.


Wow, that is exciting news. Look forward to hearing about the food there and seeing how you will be inspired by it.

bellini valli

It sounds like an amazing adventure!!!


oh, i am sure it will in due time, joanne - how lovely that you met jeanne, yes, its been a long time, probabyl 3-4 years, right? how is the family? you know i met ilva a few months back and had a wonderful time, too, i love these blogging encounters, i hope i will meet many here as well.
i havent been at the raffles, but my former boss has invited me there the next time he comes over, for a proper singapore sling and bitching about the old days ;-))

wishing you all the best


wow, good luck settling in. I bet the food is amazing there :)


Wooow - what a piece of news! Wishing you all the best with settling down in Singapore!! Really looking forward to your culinary adventures in this exotic (well, for me at least!) country. :)


What a huge change! I can imagine that it is quite a shock, but I'm very excited to hear about your experiences there. I'm glad you're getting used to it already.

Best of luck!


Just saw your question on my blog - I don't know of any good high end Japanese restaurants but this site should give you a start:

I would also recommend the purchase of a Makansutra guide (nothing kinky - makan is Malay for eat) - I was introduced to it on my last visit to Singapore and is a very good way to get started with hawker centres and restaurants.

Jeanne @ CookSister!

Oh, how I miss you, my dear friend!! I was one of the lucky recipients of those spices (already been putting then to good use :)) but I think I was deep in denial that night telling myself you weren't actually leaving permantly, otherwise there would have been a lot more weeping on your doorstep when we said goodbye. Missing the boys & Caro too - and wish I could be with you exploring the markets and restaurants. Promise we will come over in 2011 and can't wait to hear about your adventures in flat-hunting :) BIG HUG!!!

Shirley Eng

We're so thankful that you are enjoying Singapore! Let us know if you need more info, we are on twitter via @visitsingapore

Enjoy our sunny island! :D


welcome to the sunny island of singapore!

i'm a new arrival to your blog, just chanced upon it today - an already a fan! im a singporean, and i cant begin to express how beautiful this place i call home is.

I study in London, but return every summer to singapore. so, feel free to email me with questions/worries you have in singapore! ill try to answer them from a "London perspective" :)
(Hint: all singaporeans are self-professed foodies, and to really experience the truly amazing local food, you gotta ask a local)

here are some links to get your gastronomic journey started!


Best of luck to you. I eagerly await recipes from your (yet to be?) new kitchen.


Oh Johanna! This was a much needed read! I might be facing the same dilemma soon and right now I am closing my eyes hoping it will go away. Glad you to see you are finding ground again! Hugs!


Here's to your new chapter. As an expat with four country moves under my belt, I fully understand the myriad emotions you must be experiencing. And I also fully understand the motto "you are only as happy as your least happy child" in these new situations. It sounds like you are already making the crucial steps to a new community, especially through the school. I envy you and cheer you on. Please keep on posting about your experiences so we can share vicariously.


WOW!Good luck to all of you.I'm sure it'll be the most wonderful adventure!
Lots of love


Wishing you the best of life there, it is place in a wonderful corner of the planet, so soon you will be jetting around and exploring the cuisines.


Liebe Johanna, alles Gute und ich denke oft an Dich! Ich hätte immer gerne einmal eine Zeit im Ausland gelebt (und werde es vielleicht noch einmal tun), denn diese Erfahrungen und Begegnungen sind einfach "priceless"! Wem erzähle ich das! Herzliche Grüße aus Wien und eine feste Urarmung, angelika


Hello Johanna, It was lovely to meet you in London while I was visiting my daughter Xochitl...she had baby Dexter last friday. I was thinking you just last night as I was making dinner, I was using one of your lovely spices you passed out to the lucky recipients, I was using the sal ahumada, love it. I wish you luck and all the best in your new life, your daughter will be fine in Panama. Felicidades en tu nuevo hogar.
Jeri Cota


siagst, es wird ja scho. wär ja auch für uns "zurückgebliebenen" äh, also daheimgebliebenen a weng traurig, wennst uns ned a bissal vamissen tatast
dickes bussal andrea

David Jordan

Hey Johanna,
Next time when you're in London you should come to my restaurant, Gow's - a fantastic fish restaurant in the City.
Loved the scallop recipe and photo and hope you will find my blog equally interesting.


Good luck Johanna! Looking forward to more postings from Singapore.


Welome to Southeast Asia, Johanna! I bet the local food will be a bit of a shock to the system but I hope you get to like it. I also hope you get to visit the rrst of yhe region, particularly Penang. Singapore's fine but the best food is in Malaysia ;) NB if you haven't already tried Hainanese chicken rice have a go - that might be one way to convert the 6yo to Chinese food!



I LOVE Asian food, never grow tired of it, no wonder, as there is sooo
much variety! I cant wait to explore all the restaurants go shopping at
the wet markets, do come cookery classes - it will inspire me no end!

I am sure we will have a most fantastic time in this wonderful corner of
the world - and I look forward to lots of travelling as well!


christine, I know, i will love the food and people have been incredibly friendly and welcoming all around... that makes a new start so much easier!

brilynn, katie, angelica, maya, kaitlin, thanks, I can't wait to get set up and running with the blog again!

joanna, how funny that you bumped into jeanne, i miss her a lot. i haven't been at the raffles, but i believe it is THE place to have a singapore sling ;-)

astrid, wie schon gesagt, I#m not dead yet ;-))

su-lin, i can't wait to explore them all!

kit, kalyn, it'll sure be interesting to see how i make asian food my own, a bit of a fusion sort of style, i guess, but i am going to take some classes as well to learn to cook proper asian meals!

christine, please keep your fingers crossed, seeing two more places this morning and then i want to make a decision fairly soon!

jeanne ;-((((( missing you more... i can't wait for you to come over, every time i see something worth while culinarily i think of you, so already mapping out trips and dinners and lunches and breakfasts and picnics on the islands etc - i hope we can skype soon!

meeta, not sure, it was definitely hard to give up london, support network, my patients, everything - but then, it was the excitement of traveling asia, the food, the climate that egged me on - and i haven't regretted it. it's also such an amazing thing for the kids and hopefully a healthier climate!

Lynda, that's reassuring... and you're so right about the child. luckily, they are really excited about it, especially the 6yr old - loving the school, the new friends, i think he has an adventurous spirit as well, to a certain extent, though the food adventure will have to wait a little...

zabeena, solange, thank you for your wishes, i hope i can confer some of our learnings here via the blog... it was great meeting you!

jerry, i heard, and he's such a cutie, too! i am gutted i can't be there for xochi at the moment, i normally provide a catering service to my friends in the first few weeks after birth to ensure they eat properly (and get some naturopathic advice)... shame i can't do it for xochi!


ja mei, andrea, des pack i sowieso ned, dass wir nach 20 joa no immer so an draht ham - und es daun ned nutzn kennan... oba i besuch di sicha boid!

margaret, definitely, will share what i can - need to get settled first but then there won't be anything stopping me!


Wow what a move - so exciting! Can’t wait to start reading about new food in Singapore, your food is always interesting and really makes me think and/or cook! I’ve been dead quiet like you, doing a massive redesign and refocus on my blog and have moved from Blogspot to Wordpress. I’m now up and blogging again - hope to see you doing so soon too! :) xxx

Kenon T.

What's a journey without some bumps and potholes, only to give you the strength of overcoming them? It's very exciting to see that things are looking good for you and I hope they continue to become better!

Kenon T.

What's a journey without some bumps and potholes, only to give you the strength of overcoming them. It's very exciting to see that things are looking good for you and I hope they continue to become better!

janice kelly

Lucky you. What an adventure. Can't wait to hear all your experiences - not just food but certainly a lot of it. Not just what you create but also what you discover that they create.
Glad you're back and best of luck in your new home.
Janice - Ottawa, Canada


Dear Johanna, I have been reading your post from London with much interest and joy - now I really wish you all the best in Singapore. We have just moved to a new country as well after 10 wonderful years in the UK, so I totally understand the emotional roller-coaster. It sounds like you found a school, but just in case, this one is a really wonderful UWC in Singapore:

Best of luck! Teresa


Hello! Welcome to Singapore. I've been reading your blog since I was in high school (I just graduated from university) and it's been great tracking your journey. I love all the recipes you have and you always make food look so wonderful...

Singapore is a riot if you're here for the first time. I imagine that would be compounded by the fact that you're not going to be leaving anytime soon. The heat, most of all, is so oppressive (everyone is so languid in the afternoon).

But the great thing about Singapore is its food. For better or worse, it still plays host to a great number of cuisines from around the world and acclimatization food-wise should be less of a problem since there will still be a lot of familiar foods around, and most food you're used to will probably still be available (though sometimes at a price).

Local food is daunting to tackle but I assure you you'll learn to love it. Everyone in Singapore has an opinion about food and they're not afraid to voice it. Another reader above has linked you to ieatishootipost, which is really great for local food and it will prove helpful as you try to help your kids get used to this place!

Meanwhile, here are also some others, written by fellow expats living in Singapore:

I see that you have Chubby Hubby on your blog roll so that's a lovely start!

Good luck! I hope you learn to love our food as much as we do. :)


Sorry! Just had to link you to one last blog — she's Singaporean, but her site always has a lovely mix of both local and not-so-local recipes, which I love because there is so much variety;



clarisse, email is on its way.

teresa, thanks for the link, this comes handy for friends of ours. good luck with our journey!

kenon, you're absolutely right... i am already having a good laugh at our teething problems ;-)

janice, thanks so much for your kind words, i am excited about this journey and hope to be sharing more soon!

fahara, the blog journey is still ahead of me... i am struggling to fit it in at the moment! welcome back!

Johanna GGG

good luck with your new life in Singapore - sounds challenging and exciting!

I have a theory of moving to a new place that it is firstly exciting because it is all new, then horrible because it is all different and then the you settle into acceptance mode because this is the life you chose


johanna, you hit the nail on the head, this is exactly how it happened to me in mexico as well as in england... i brace myself for the downward curve, but i am enjoying the ride up immensely ;-)


The really only hard part for me would be leaving friends behind. I think what you are doing is an amazing, exciting adventure! We've done it once and so want to do it again! Looking forward to reading about your adventures. And visiting you one day. Maybe being in-laws ;-)


jamie, you're so right. i had the best support network anyone could ever wish for, i can just hope that i manage to build the same sort of trust and love with people here. definitely come visit, in-laws or not!


What? You don't do things by halves do you. How exciting!


i know, james, i think you gotta live life to the full!
i hope you're well!


Hi Johanna, I used to read your blog very regularly, back in 2004/2005. Imagine my surprise when I saw your comment on ieatishootipost's blog, saying you had just moved to Singapore! A warm welcome to you & your family. Moving is definitely tough, but hope you will find Singapore the lovely island that I know it is! (I am living here too!) I'm leaving you my email in case you need any tips/advice on how to settle in. And yes, pl do get a copy of "There is No Carrot in Carrot Cake". Believe it or not, I wrote the book and it is such a coincidence to be re-connected in this random way! =)

Gourmet Chick

Oooh Johanna I thought things had been a bit quiet here! What an amazing adventure and look forward to reading your Asian inspired recipes.


Welcome to Singapore!!

I chanced on your blog quite a few years ago and have been reading it every now and then.

It's a HUGE surprise you have actually moved to Singapore! The world's really pretty small!

The language/accent that you are not used to is a result of mixing Chinese dialects, Malay, and Indian languages. It's pretty endearing after getting used to.

Nonetheless, I am pretty confident you enjoy the food here. You'll find food after every turn and in every corner. May take you a little more effort to suss out the gems, but they are worth the trouble!

Welcome once again!


I've been there! I read your blog occassionaly and noticed you moved to Singapore. I lived there when I was young and my dad will tell you "She cried all the way, and after 3 years, she cried all the way home!" you will love it! as will your kids!


Hi Johanna, lucky you to be starting a new life in singapore. Good luck with everything.

PS. I've sent you an email.


Scott at Real Epicurean

I was going to comment "lucky you" till I read about the pneumonia and such-like. Still, good to see it's a lot more enjoyable now!


I really sympathise with your feelings; I've moved so many times to rather different cultures (never with kids but also never with an income ;P) and it's hard work but I look forward to future posts - I just came across your blog and I'm really enjoying it!


aha, that's where you are. I know the Orchard Park Suites, terribly well, have stayed there many a time for work. Hope you've found a place by now. Singapore is very close to Australia, hope you come and visit us down here sometime soon. :)


Welcome to Singapore! You'll love it here!

Roslyn Swager

Asian food is simply irresistable! My thumbs are up.


Hallo Johanna ... echt Schade, dass Du nicht mehr in London bist. I was just telling friends on the weekend about the amazing sourdough starter that you sent me a couple of years ago. Has it survived the relocation?!

I have lived in SGP and it does take some getting used to. You will learn to appreciate the clean cold air of Europe! But it truly is a food heaven, and there are great travel opportunities. re sushi, I had some of the best sushi ever in the Ritz Carlton. Once you get off Orchard Road and begin to discover the island it gets better. I remember when I first arrived I used to take refuge in the gardens at Raffles (and indulge in the coffee shop) - it was the only place I could find that was quiet! Also, after a while, it is quite bearable to live without AC - and far healthier.


Hi Johanna!
Glad you're finding your feet OK. Sorry I've didn't get to your departure or drop a line before - RL has been superbuzzy and also holiday-full (Cornwall - gorgeous! and NY - always fun). I was in Singapore for 4 days back in '86 and the only place I went to (other than shopping) was the Bird Park! Remember it as wonderful, though the boiling hot tincan of a local bus on the way wasn't much fun. Hope you and the boys are all settled in now and look forward to hearing more about your culinary adventures and when you get a kitchen. Ciao!

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