I enjoyed this book more for the insight into the Singaporean culture than the descriptions of the food, even though those descriptions were richly detailed. Food has such a strong emotional pull in families of any culture and can bring out so many memories, good and bad. The stories of Tan's family and their lives in Singapore were what bound the work like the 5 spice blend present in many of the recipes. It was heartwarming to see how Tan's quest to learn how to make the foods that filled her memories of childhood and her culture brought together her entire family even though there were some difficult estrangements.The author included many of the recipes in the back of the book for those brave souls who feel up to the challenge, I am not among that group as I have far too many books to read to have time for cooking- It's much less mess to read about cooking than to actually do it. ;) My hat is off to Ms. Tan for her great efforts and accomplishment in learning the complex skills required for these deceptively simple dishes and executing them in her tiny New York kitchen.