SINGAPORE - It was only when I arrived at Mexican restaurant Comida Mexicana that I realised it was located where my late aunt's laundry shop was.
My late grandparents lived above the laundromat and, as a child, I had a tiny room next door. The entire row of shophouses was my playground.
My parents always made sure we didn't know we were poor, so we had a black-and-white TV for entertainment.
Growing up, watching TV was an escape and I lived many fantasies through the shows.
I don't remember which show triggered this, but I remember always wanting to visit Mexico.
Where: 404, East Coast Road
Open: Tuesdays to Sundays, 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm
Which made it such a surreal experience eating Mexican food at my childhood home.
I never made that trip to Mexico, so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the food.
From tasting food at Mexican restaurants around the world (especially in Los Angeles), I have come to expect the cuisine to be punchy, with strong hints of tomatoes, spices and herbs, with lots of beans and rice.
In other words, a meal that whets my appetite.
And while I am not crazy about some of the food I tasted here, there are enough dishes for me to make a return visit, even if it is just for nostalgia sake.
One of my favourites is the Enrollados ($18).
It is almost all cheese, with chicken, jalapeno and tomatoes in a wheat tortilla. The enchilada gravy adds to the punch.
Another winner features one of the most used fruits in Mexican cuisine.
The Mash Avocado Sopes ($20) has many textures and flavours. I am especially in love with the refried beans. It looks like a one-bite item but don't attempt the impossible.
Pictures of the Mexican Yucatan Chicken ($28) have been making its round on the Internet.
It is a photogenic dish, but that is where the appeal ends.
The chicken skewers are coated in achiote (which gives it the bright orange colour), garlic, orange juice and lemon juice glaze.
My problem is the overwhelming orange scent. It feels like there is nothing but oranges in the marinade.
While the orange is too much with the Yucatan Chicken, it feels appropriate in the Carnitas ($32).
It smells like potpourri when the pulled pork dish arrives, but that blast of orange works here. The spicy salsa roja balances it out.
Also, the orange here is mostly for aromatic purposes. You can squeeze the orange over it if you want.