Stuff I’d like from Singapore

I was on the phone with my mum this morning, advising her on what to do when she arrives in Rome. She’s never been overseas so far away on her own before. Her trip to Mecca didn’t count, she said, as it was in a tour group!

Anyhow my dad, my mum and my brother will be in Rome in the first two weeks of September. And I just realised that the dates that they will be here coincides within the 30 days of Hari Raya. A Roman Raya!

Anyhow, our topic of discussion tends to always go back to this :

Mum : So! Anything from Singapore that you want us to bring with you?

Me : Well … since you’ve mentioned it. I would like some stuff!

And since my mum reads my blog too, I thought that I’d share with everyone here some of the things that I’d like 🙂

Food stuff :

1. Keropok


Cart hates the smell of them. But I love eating them! Usually, it’s fish paste. But it could be prawn paste or veggie paste or lobster paste, mixed with flour and spices. They are typically fried but you could use the microwave oven to cook them.

These are wonderful to eat when you are feeling peckish, but not hungry enough for a full meal. Personally, I think that they are better than potato crisps. I could buy the keropok sold in the Chinese shops here in Rome, but taste-wise, I prefer Malaysian and Indonesian ones.

2. Lingham Chili Sauce

I love chili sauce. To me, Lingham’s would be the king of chili sauce. Bar none! They are so awesome. They taste just hot enough and yet delicately sweet and makes great dipping sauces for practically everything.

I love it so much that I even made a fake ad for it. You can keep your sriracha. (It’s not even hot) I prefer my Lingham’s.

3. Kaya

Picture taken from

Kaya is a type of egg and coconut jam that you spread on bread. I’m kind of neutral about this but I grew up eating Roti Kahwin and Cart absolutely loves them. He would always ask for them whenever we were in Singapore, be it the green pandan or the yellow nonya style kind.

4. Maggi Mee

Asking for this might seem silly. But I grew up on this, especially the curry flavour and I really like eating it (with an egg added!) and it’s great for those lazy days when you’re not in the mood to cook and want a quick meal.

5. Fresh Pandan leaves, Curry leaves and Lemongrass

A staple in Asian cooking, I can never find these in any of the international markets in Rome.

6. Durian Brand Tea

I love drinking tea. And one of the loveliest tea that I’ve had has to definitely be the Durian Brand Tea. It’s a humble brand which might not be as popular as perhaps Lipton, but for those who’ve ever had it, will attest to it’s robust, flavourful taste and it’s recognizable scent.

Sundries :

1. Biore Aqua Jelly Makeup remover

My Biore cleansing oil is running out and while I like it enough to repurchase, I didn’t see it for sale the last time I was in Singapore. This Aqua Jelly looks interesting. Hopefully it’ll be a good replacement.

2. Axe oil

This is something that people should carry more in their purse. It’s an all in one quick fix! This can help with headaches, nausea and insect bites. It is really invaluable to me when I have blocked nose and flu.

But as it is made mostly out of camphor oil, the smell might be too strong for some.

3. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa

Impressive I could find this pic in an old blog post! Whatever happened to that Chia plushie I used to own? I used to be so crazy about Neopets.

Anyway Nin Jiom Pei is a thick herbal syrup that helps with sore throats and eases coughs. Some might find it a tad sickly sweet. But I find that it really helped a lot during my bad bouts of cough. So far, I haven’t found anything in Italy that helped me as well as this could.

By the way, this is my favourite advertisement for Nim Jiom. I remember singing this all the time!

Random stuff :

1. My Singa Lion and Mr Moo plushie

I love these plushies. The Singa plushie Cart bought for me while we were in Sentosa and Mr Moo aided me a lot during stressful times. I can’t seem to find them when I visited Singapore. I hope they are still around.

2. Seeds

I know I am not the best at gardening. We’ve been trying to grow lime, curry leaves and ginger and while it hasn’t been successful, we’d still like to continue trying and hopefully have fresh usable spices for the future.

3. Bolster pillow

Don’t judge me! I’ve always been hugging the bolster since I was young when going to bed. And since Cart and I have different sleeping times, with this I don’t need to hug him any-more.

I think that’s about it for now. I’ll update when I can think of more.

On the other hand, is there anything that you would like from Italy? This sounds like an interesting future blog topic. Yes? 🙂

16 Replies to “Stuff I’d like from Singapore”

  1. Hi Rinaz,

    Here’s a Singaporean fan who’s been reading your blog since last year!! 🙂

    I’ve always liked reading your blog: I love your Uniquely Singaporean + Life In Rome combination!! Not sure how to put this, but your blog posts are enticing! 🙂 I learn so much about Rome from you (chocolate fairs, the language, and best of all, the FOOD in Rome!) I feel like this blog really connects with me, cos’ I’m Singaporean and can relate to all your SG posts!! The Singlish, the hawker centres, the chili and maggie mee 🙂

    Thank you so much for your blog, it’s a gem 🙂 Take care in Rome and keep posting over here! 🙂 Your updates never fail to bring a smile ^_^


    1. Hi Jadebitbit!

      Oh gosh, thank you for such amazingly kind words! It really left me flabbergasted when I read it, to the point that I was speechless … hahaha! Suffice to say, it made my day 🙂

      I’m really glad that you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy blogging too 🙂

  2. are u still getting those things from etude house? heh. if u use bb cream, i recommend their bb cream! i use the bb cream from their collagen moistfull range and it’s awesome. my skin also improved a lot and i dont have breakouts anymore, thx to the bb cream i think!

    1. Oh gosh, the website is so confounding Daphne! They made it so complicated when it really shouldn’t be … But if you say that their BB Cream is good, I might check it out when I’m back in Singapore 🙂

      I prefer to see it in real life, rather than spending time on their website :p

  3. “is there anything that you would like from Italy?” Like an entire supermarket!!! Hahahaha.. OMG, I miss so many things I could get relatively easily in Sweden, but are ridonculously expensive or impossible to find here in Singapore.

    But greed aside, I have a small request, I’ll msg you offline.. 🙂

  4. Wah Marina… so many orders from Singapore! I also want….. maybe I can help you with some ideas or stuff I usually bring back myself from home: Sambal belacan? Curry pastes? Fried shallots? Instant coffee? Tamarind paste? Rose syrup? Kuih muih from Hari Raya?
    I saw that the asian shop at my place sells the cough syrup. On my last trip back home, I saw many cute and new toiletries from Biore..oh my.. I couldn’t resist them and brought back some.

    1. Wow Sally, what a list! Hahaha!

      Some of the things I could find in the international food shops here. There is a wet market called the Mercato Esquillino in Rome where you could get foodstuff from all over the world and I could find loads of things there, I even found frozen durian … hehehe. Although there are still things that I couldn’t find like fresh pandan leaves.

      I think in Venezia and in Rome, there are imported things which cannot be found. I remember that you couldn’t find things there but I could. I don’t remember what it was though. Hmmm

      What did you get from Biore?! 🙂

      1. I got the Marshmallow facial wash, cleansing oil(smells of fresh green apple), the traditional facial foam wash and the nose strips.

        You’re right! some things I could find here and you could find in Rome. Esp pandan leaves, I have to make do with the essence and brought back home a number of bottles since making asian desserts need a lot of them.
        I don’t recall either what I couldn’t find that time.
        But some things are best eaten in Singapore frozen durians..hmm…
        Before travelling home, usually I prepare my list of stuff to get for future recipes too. So I won’t forget an item which will be very ‘devastating’ if I couldn’t find it neither in the shops here.

        When I travel around Europe, I’m always interested to visit asian shops to see what they offer and maybe could find something I need..hehehe

        1. That’s a good idea of making a list to get stuff. I need to make a list of the places I want to go too. When I got back to Rome after, I quickly regretted forgetting to head to this place and that place … My blogger friends were recommending to go to Halal Swedish cafe, Halal Japanese restaurants … and I … forgot 😐

          And no no no. No frozen durians. I’d rather forgo and wait for a year to eat a real durian before eating frozen durians.

  5. Ahahaha so funny! I think this country needs more Singaporean women blogger, it is soo good for the mood!
    If I were you in the opposite way, Italian expatriate in Singapore, I think that what I would miss the most would be bread and cheeses..and of course the soccer match on weekends 🙂

    1. Freshly baked bread is soooo wonderful! I could just eat it like that!

      I think if I were Italian living overseas, I’d probably ask for coffee, cos we couldn’t find good coffee for our cafetiera while on vacation. And mozzarella, cos it was insanely expensive. Maybe sundried tomatoes and olive oil and good balsamic vinegar?


    Hi Marina, if you ever miss eating kaya in future, try making it with the recipe from the above website, it’s one of my Singaporean friend’s (living in Turin) website of various recipes. I’ve tried that recipe and it works out wonderfully and tastes great! I hope you will be able to find fresh pandan leaves in Rome soon! If”ulu’ Turin has pandan leaves, Rome should also be getting them soon! 😛 Otherwise, yeah, stock up on pandan leaves and store-bought kaya whenever you are back in Singapore or when friends and family visit you! Buon appetito!

      1. We’d really like to try. The ginger that we tried to grow managed to sprout and grow leaves. It unfortunately died in Winter though. But that’s not gonna deter us from trying again 🙂

    1. Woohoo! Thanks for the link Elaine! I just read the post. I don’t have pandan leaves, but I hope the pandan concentrate/flavouring that we have will do!

      Oh gosh, now I’m thinking of breakfast with soft boiled egg with soy sauce, toasted bread with kaya and … milk teaaa

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