Ok ... "oh singapura, singapura, pretty island, set in the sea" ... we landed on your shores to the smell of forest fires and a haze that could almost rival the murk of downtown Beijing, a once green land starting to curl at the edges in the dry heat, your once verdant coat patched up with brown ... did someone mention climate change? No? Aiyoh, no such thing lah!
2 months without rain and counting (well until the day we left when the heavens decided to open the floodgates and acknowledge their neglect) and it felt like an Australian summer. At times it got so bad we had to brave the stillness of the heat and eschew ventilation for the sake of our olfactory senses.
Still we soldiered on and pounded the streets going from meal to meal in a panicked fever, desperately anxious at the thought that we would run out of time and miss out on the hundreds of things we wanted to do and achieve. And eat!
Our first proper food sojourn took us into Little India where we had a childhood favourite of mine, Appum with Brown sugar and grated coconut. Soft and yeasty and crispy round the edges, this lovely bread from the Asian subcontinent is not easy to find, and there are a variety of ways to eat this, but the sweet version steadfastly remains the only way I like it.
Finishing it off with our first (and as it turns out, the best) glass of Teh Halia (Ginger Tea), we rounded off brunch with a plate of Wadai served with the regular chutney suspects, versions of which you find in Australia that absolutely pale in comparison.
It was a promising start to 10 days of culinary and physical exhaustion - more of which to come.