“Convenience isn’t everything. Singapore, though, has always been noted for the quality and variety of its street food and, not coincidentally, for having a citizenry whose interest in eating borders on the obsessive.”And I can add from long personal experience (I first visited Singapore in 1978, worked there from 1983 to 1993, and have stopped there once every few years since then), that the obsession is acquired by most expats who live there as well.
Before visiting Singapore, Trillin comes up with a list of “must try” dishes: chwee jueh, grilled stingray, roti prata, curry puffs, chili crab (and its cousin, pepper crab), laksa, fish-head curry, carrot cake (which isn’t what you think it is) and char kway teow. A good list. But his host tells him that it’s too limited – there are way too many things he’s left out. And it's not just the variety of food that is appealing, but the variety of restaurants: hawker centers, coffee shops, street vendors.
It’s a fun article, and full of good information about Singapore food, which is the best thing Singapore has going.