David S. Holloway/Courtesy of CNN

The host says it just might be the best food city on Earth.

Charlie Heller
September 28, 2017

Anthony Bourdain is back exploring Parts Unknown with the Singapore-set premiere of season 10 this Sunday, October 1. If you haven't thought much about the Singaporean food scene, you're clearly not Anthony Bourdain, who reveals in a teaser clip that not only is it one of his favorite cities to eat in, but that "if you're looking for pound for pound the most food, best food, and most diverse selection of food maybe anywhere on the planet, you are most definitely talking about Singapore."

After discussing favorite dishes with a 67-year old cab driver named Roger, Bourdain arrives to meet a fellow diner at a densely-packed hawker center filled with an equally huge array of food. We learn in later clip titled "One of Bourdain's favorite cities to eat" that the man he's meeting is his Singaporean street food "godfather" KF Seetoh, who he talks to over a bowl of prawn mee. Seetoh discusses how he strives to keep traditions alive, cautioning that "creativity is not a flavor," and holding up the unnecessary addition of truffle oil as an example of pointless faux-progress. Bourdain agrees.

Part of the struggle, Bourdain says, is that younger generations aren't following in their hawker parents' footsteps, leading to "an aging workforce unable to replenish generations of expertise with new blood." Balancing the upsides and downsides of Singapore like this appears to be a central theme of the episode, like in this clip, where residents wonder whether social progress can keep up with the speed of Singapore's rapid economic growth:

In another, titled "A city powered by human resources," Roger explains how despite having no natural resources and importing all its food from other countries, the country's "human resources" more than make up for it. He even goes so far as to tell Bourdain that Singapore's strict rules help make it "perfect." Contrasting this are images of a police station and street signs banning smoking, eating, flammable goods, and eating durians with fines equivalent to almost $750. Still, Bourdain says, "the mix of people, ethnicities, and religions all living in relatively close quarters" is an "extraordinary success story," and you can tune in October 1 to learn more about just why that is.

For more clips from the upcoming season ten premiere, visit the official Parts Unknown website.