For such a tightly wound place—gum chewing carries stiff penalties—Singapore is freakishly casual about eating. Central to the food culture are thousands of street carts, each serving one or two specialties from a roster of hundreds flaunting Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Hokkien Chinese pedigrees. This folkway arose in the days when the city had an overwhelmingly male population, uprooted from their homelands and too busy to cook for themselves. Though most of these carts have been moved indoors, first to open-air hawker centers, then to air-conditioned food courts, the intoxicating habit of wolfing down cart meals persists. This cuisine is collectively known as kiasu makan in Spinglish, the polyglot patois of the metropolis—"meals... More >>>