5Qs with Flora Tay

Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

By SGN | 25 Mar 2020

Michael and I “pak tor-ing” at our favourite haunt in the Bay Area.

Integrating into a new country is not easy, but Flora Tay found a path through her new passion: artisan baking. Flora moved to the US in 2013 with her husband, Michael Lim, a researcher at a fund management company, and they call Emeryville in the San Francisco East Bay home. Back in Singapore, Flora lived in Eunos Crescent and she still misses her favourite bowl of fishball noodles from the nearby market.


What is your favourite place in the Bay Area?

Pacifica, near the pier. Imagine yourself facing the huge empty expense of the Pacific Ocean. You hear the roar of the mighty ocean as you see whales and dolphins swim and breach, you see scores of birds flying in formation, and in the evening the sun dips into the water. How to not fall in love with this place?

Our favourite way to wind-down – strolling along the boardwalk near our apartment and enjoying the sights, oh yes, and each other’s company.

What is your favourite food in the Bay Area?

There is so much good food in the Bay Area. If I have to name just one, I will choose dim sum. It is challenging to get simple/traditional, good, fresh and decently priced dim sum in Singapore.


What is the most exciting thing that you do?

I bake adorable cakes and cookies! Chiffon cakes that look like flowers, bees, penguins, hungry caterpillars and fruits; pineapple tarts that look like cartoon characters; cookies that look like longevity peaches, turkeys and dogs. And, they are all made without icing, fondant or cream! If I can enjoy yummy pastries without that extra sugar, why not, right? (P.S: My Instagram handle is @talesofpolarbear)

An army of mouse pineapple tarts that I baked for CNY. These tarts were well received by my friends in the Bay Area.

What do you miss most about Singapore?

Family, friends, and FOOD. Which Singaporean does not miss the food from back home? I also miss feeling safe when I go out. Safety is something that I took for granted. In Singapore, I do not have to worry about gun violence, car break-ins, laptops being brazenly snatched from right under my nose. I can walk along the streets or take a cab (and sometimes even fall asleep in the cab) alone in the wee hours and feel totally safe. In the Bay Area, I need to be “street-smart” about my surroundings.


Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

I LOVE hei bee hiam rolls (spicy dried shrimp rolls). My mum had to hide them from me, otherwise, there would be none left for Chinese New Year.

Spending time with my parents in Singapore. #jalanjalan at East Coast Park.

(Photo credit: Flora Tay)

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