Hawker Chan, the Singaporean food stall known for serving budget-friendly Michelin-starred meals, failed to secure an accolade in this year’s Michelin Guide Singapore. The news came as a surprise last September 1, 2021, during the livestreamed Star Revelation event.
Hawker Chan was a product of Singapore-based chef Chan Hong Meng. The first branch opened in Singapore’s Chinatown Complex in 2009, with the name Liao Fan Soya Sauce Chicken & Noodle. The name was later shortened to Hawker Chan after branching out worldwide.
Hawker Chan was awarded one Michelin star in 2016 for its groundbreaking soy sauce chicken and rice. The dish was priced 3 Singapore dollars, making it the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. Despite its Michelin Star status, Hawker Chan still maintained its humble origin as a hawker stall. It currently has 5 outlets in Singapore.
As the demand for his soy sauce chicken rice increased, Chan partnered with Hersing Culinary and opened 14 different concept restaurants in Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines, occasionally appearing in other countries as pop-up stalls.
Hawker Chan has maintained its Michelin star every year since 2016, save for 2020 when Michelin Guide Singapore was cancelled due to COVID19. After losing its accolade this year, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle becomes the only Michelin-starred hawker stall in Singapore.
The criteria for awarding Michelin stars is as follows: one star is for dishes that have quality ingredients and unique flavors, two stars are for dishes that reflect the chef’s mastery and personality, and three stars are for dishes that are destined to become “classics” and “art forms.” It also takes into account the dish’s value for money and the consistency of flavors between visits.