What Every Singaporean Should Bring to Melbourne

This list was compiled based on my experience as an international student from Singapore living in Melbourne, Australia. While I definitely had a lot of fun being ‘Aussie’, there’s plenty of things that became my creature comforts whenever I miss home.

If you’re a Singaporean going to be based in Melbourne for studies or for work, or just can’t survive a few days without these Singaporean things, then here’s your handy list:

Milo

Milo

Photo Credit: Phalinn Ooi via Flickr.

Because… milo!

And also, even though Milo actually originates from Australia (who knew, right?), the Australian recipe isn’t very sweet. The Singapore / Malaysian version is much maltier, and definitely tastes like home. Especially on a cold Winter night.

Instant Noodles

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Australia actually has plenty of common instant noodles like two-minute noodles and maggi mee. But there are some instant noodles that you just can’t get here. This one’s my personal favourite, and I suffered for the first 6 months I was here because I didn’t realize how much I would miss it. After that I made sure to get them every time I was back in Singapore. Totally worth the luggage space man.

Iced Gem Biscuits

iced gem biscuits

I never knew these biscuits actually had a name! Most of the time, I’d call them “the colourful biscuits”, and nobody else would have any idea of what I was referring to until I show them a picture.

But these are really awesome childhood sweets, with super sweet icing on top and crunchy biscuits underneath. Not only that, they add an extra touch of nostalgia.

Even my niece eats them! Like auntie, like niece. Or… maybe it’s the other way round.

Haw Flakes

Haw Flakes

Okay, so technically these are available in most Asian Grocery Stores. But they’re considerably more expensive, and if you go through a whole lot of them at one go like me, you might want to pack these in. They’re tiny anyway!

Local skincare

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My Beauty Diary Black Pearl masks, Za Total Hydration Cleanser and Moisturizer and Bio-Essence Sleeping Beauty Mask.

Even though Australia definitely has their own skincare, they’re more of ang moh brands like Neutrogena and Estee Lauder that are a lot more suitable for Caucasian skin. When I was younger, I didn’t bother too much about Asian and Caucasian brands because I thought that all skin is skin, and I should worry about skincare that’s suitable for oily skin versus combination skin.

But the truth is, many Asian brands have formulas that are better catered to Asian skin, which is why I much prefer brands like Za and Bio-Essence. And My Beauty Diary masks are the best, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! (hardcore MBD fan)

And please don’t buy overpriced skincare and cosmetics from Chinatown! They’re not even the best items available from those brands.

Rice Cooker

rice cooker

Nope, just joking.

Please DO NOT assume that Australians don’t eat rice and bring a rice cooker over. I lugged one over, one that uses a Singapore 3-pin plug, only to find the exact replica selling in Harvey Norman. Not only that, I needed to get a travel adaptor specifically for that rice cooker, otherwise I can’t cook rice.

Has anyone tried cooking things other than rice in the rice cooker? I’ve tried making mac and cheese, which turns out pretty good. Might try some other recipes if I have time!

What’s your must-have comfort items to bring anywhere?

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