Singapore turned out to be much more of a food city than I'd imagined. The cultural influences of indigenous Malaysians mingle with foods and cultural forces of Chinese, English and Indian immigrants, making for a remarkably multidimensional stew of flavors and ingredients. Singapore is home to a number of "hawker markets," collections of small vendors offering street food that seems a more authentic reflection of the local culture than one might find in restaurants. In Tiong Bahru, one of Singapore's many hawker communities, I was knocked out by the immense range of foods, many of which I'd never seen. My favorites were otak-otak, a mackerel paste seasoned with chilies and grilled in a banana leaf (pictured: a love-at-first-taste experience), and bee hoon, a mess of noodles, egg and vegetables.