Sensational Singapore

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in featured | 10 comments

Sensational Singapore


I have only travelled OS only a few of times; South America 25 years ago, Thailand 17 years ago, and New Zealand 5 years ago.  So, to say that I was a little excited to be heading off to Singapore back in August was a bit of an understatement.  As our departure date approached I was telling myself to settle down and not set my expectations too high to avoid disappointment.  But, Singapore did not disappoint.


We arrived to warm weather which was a welcome change to our Melbourne winter.  There was a celebratory feel in the Singapore air.  It was the weekend of Singapore National Day and there were flags everywhere.


National Day fireworks with the incredible Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the background


We had come for the wedding of an old school friend and his lovely bride whom he had met after moving to Singapore.  Our first stop was their home for a pre-wedding barbeque Aussie/Filipino style.  It was so much fun meeting other guests and hearing how they had come to know the wedding couple.

After a much needed sleep in the following day, we met the groom’s family and friends for our first local food experience…Chilli Crab.  It was spicy and made taste buds sizzle.  It was also messy to eat, but you just had to give in to that and be thankful not to have clean up afterwards.


a bit blurry on the iPhone!

The wedding was beautiful, a real celebration of these two amazing people.  It was such a fun party that went well into the night.



I even got my hands on the chef’s recipe for this delicious ginger and carrot soup from the wedding menu!

I’ll share it with you soon when I do a low FODMAP version…



Our next food adventure was one of the many hawker centres for dinner.  This is fast food Singapore-style.  Chilli crab, Chicken rice, curries galore, seafood, noodles and so much more.  We went with another couple and tried lots of different dishes, ordering far more than the four of us could eat.  I was in my element.



One of my favourite experiences in Singapore was a visit to the Art Science museum.  There was an exhibition called “Essential Eames ” displaying the life-works of Charles and Ray Eames.  I have long loved much of their furniture designs but it was fascinating to see how they also designed architecture, medical splints for soldiers,toys, maths and physics displays, and made countless movies for education.


How cool is the architecture here – that lotus shaped building is the Art Science Museum with the Marina Bay Sands in the backgroud.



I love this quote from Charles Eames which was the foundation of their design concepts.



Another Singapore highlight was a visit to this cafe.



Food for Thought is about bringing people together in great community spaces where they can enjoy a quality meal for a reasonable price and support some good causes.  There are three Food for Thought eateries in Singapore and this is their pop-up venue inside a shipping container.  The menu is all about burgers. I have one word…YUM.


Slow-roasted Rosemary Lamb on the left, Slow-roasted Pulled Pork on the right.


Now, you might be wondering about all this food I ate in Singapore.  There was undoubtedly garlic in that chilli crab, and yes, I’m sure there was wheat in that burger bun (even though is is called “potatosesame bun” on the menu).  I have to say I surprised myself and most days felt fine.  I did have a couple of days of my body telling me it needed a break from the FODMAP loading and I sported a puffed-up balloon tummy that, while uncomfortable and not too becoming in swimwear, I consider not too bad after 9 days of eating away from home.

This has got me thinking quite a lot about my diet, asking myself what I really need to stay well, and wondering how my digestive system has and can change over time.  In the synopsis for the Monash University Public lecture in October (if you haven’t heard about it please do take some time to read about it), Dr. Peter Gibson states

“FODMAPs have potentially beneficial effects for our bowel and body alike, and the longer term effects of restricting FODMAPs is currently under scrutiny.
Our current recommendation is that those who have had a very good response to the low FODMAP diet de-restrict their diet gradually to find what level of FODMAP intake they can tolerate. In fact, many do not need the strict diet in the longer term, but can remain well with few symptoms with only some restriction (such as avoiding onions, consuming only small quantities of wheat-flour-based products).”

How does that sit with you?  I have to say that those words are music to my ears; there are just so many foods I want to eat, at least occasionally.  I am really looking forward to this lecture to hear more about the latest research findings and recommendations relating to IBS and the low FODMAP diet.   If you can’t get to the lecture, it is likely that it will be available to view on You Tube afterwards.

Wow, this post is lengthy but I hope you have enjoyed some of our pics.  Looking at them again makes me long for more travel.  I think I have caught the travel bug, or probably just brought it back to life…


Please note:

If you would like to know more about reintroducing foods into your diet,

please do seek advice from a FODMAP educated dietitian or medical practitioner.


  1. What a great article, Nat! I’m so glad you had fun at the wedding and enjoyed your stay in Singapore! Must come back soon! :)

    P.S. You need to give me the recipe for the ginger carrot soup. :)


  2. Natalie that’s me exactly!
    I went to Adelaide for a conference last week and was very nervous; however I found that I was pretty fine, as long as onions stay out of the picture; I enjoyed a small Danish pastry and no effects to speak of. Hooray!
    Cheers to that, Judy

  3. A lovely article Natalie, so pleasurable to read. I am off to Malaysia and Singapore next month, after reading what you had to say, I am now really looking forward to it!
    For one year, I avoided all the foods that may or could have caused a flare-up. I started to introduce them into my diet, including onions without any problems whatsoever. The only thing I will not dare to eat are blackberries, just seeing them in the supermarket, sitting sweetly in their punnets scares me!
    Keep up the great blogs.

  4. Sounds and looks like you had a trip of a lifetime Natalie.

    I will be interested to know more about the information coming out on de-restricting our FODMAP’s. I’m one who continues to be bothered in a pretty big way when I stray from the low-FODMAP diet. Also portion sizes are critical to consuming the safe foods for me. YUK! I wish I could stray more and not suffer the consequences. Please update us when there is more info to share.

  5. Hi Natalie, thanks for your blog, as we are thinking of travelling next year. I too find that I can tolerate small amounts for a short time. Just need to avoid onion and garlic as they are my main ones.

    • me too! Unfortunate for travel in SE Asia, as it seems everything has onion and garlic and it all tastes (and smells) so good!

  6. All Los wonderful!

    Unfortunately I cannot eat any FODMAPs unless I want dire consequences and a worsening of my CFS/ME and associated conditions. Any tips for eating in Singapore? I’d love to go someday as a good friend lives there but am nervous about finding food to eat.

  7. Natalie, Thank you for such a timely article. My husband and I are travelling to Singapore for a few days in October en route to Australia (my first visit). I have been worrying about food and your experience has spurred me on to try some new things. I am hoping that as the FODMAP diet started in Australia I will find friendly foods when we are there. Our supermarkets in the UK do stock quite a variety of gluten or lactose free products but fodmap friendly is not so easy without cooking from scratch. We were in Holland recently and gluten free bread or any changes to a menu were no problem even in a lovely Michelin Star Restaurant (an anniversary treat!). Thank you for your messages and recipes, you are my favourite website for ideas.

  8. Wonderful article Nat. I have definitely tailored my low FODMAP diet to suit my tolerances, especially when travelling! I know I can get away with one small wrap, slice of bread, or pastry in a 24 hour period and I will be ok. Same with very small amounts of beans or brassicas. Unfortnately I have what seems to be zero tolerance for onions and garlic which made my recent month in Thailand a bit uncomfortable! But as long as I kept those flavourful dishes to once a day it was bearable.

  9. Sounds like a lovely trip! I’m going to check out the link to that lecture. I’ve been on the low FODMAP diet for almost a year, and am just getting to a place of going for fairly long periods without symptoms. I have to cook everything from scratch, and even then I think there are some foods causing problems that aren’t on the list. I think if I travel I’ll have to get a hotel room with a kitchen and just keep cooking…

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