A great way to get to know local cuisine is to visit a food center, that is, a hawker center. You'll find a vast array of local dishes that are inexpensive and delicious. The crowd situation here is, well, it's basically too crowded during the evening peak times (5 to 9pm), so try to arrive early or just be patient. Alternatively, get the food to go for an impromptu picnic by the benches near the beach. This photo shows the preparation of satay, a very popular local dish of grilled meat on a stick.