In 12 Dishes: How to eat like you live there
By Leanne Kitchen and Antony Suvalko (Red Pork Press, $24.95)
Sure, you could spend 14 hours down an internet rabbit hole chasing Shanghai's best beggar chicken or figuring out whether Singapore's black carrot cake contains carrot, but why bother when these lovely little travel guides have it all in one, non-Wi-Fi dependent place? The series currently spans four food meccas - Singapore, Penang, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City - with a Bangkok version due for release later this year. Detailed explanations of a dozen must-have dishes come with recommended restaurant lists and extra picture spreads that explain the likes of Vietnam's green vege, hawker stall fare in Malaysia and the curious appeal of the durian anywhere. A backpack (or designer handbag) must for anyone who has ever ordered roast "goose" and wondered why they were served tofu.