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Friday, September 17, 2021

Singapore’s famed hawker stall loses its only Michelin star

Chef Chan Hon Meng had received acclaim for his delicious soya chicken and rice meal. He owned one of the two such Singapore-based hawker stalls which received Michelin stars in July 2016

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
September 6, 2021 6:20:14 pm
world's cheapest Michelin-starred meal, Michelin-starred meal in Singapore, hawker stall in Singapore, chef Chan Hon Meng, Hawker Chan, indian express newsChef Meng used to serve his famous 3 Singapore dollar-dish (INR 163) out of a food stall in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. (Photo: Instagram/@liaofanhawkerchan)

Unfortunately for food lovers, a famous Singaporean hawker stall, which rose to fame for offering the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world, has lost its only Michelin star.

According to an Insider report, chef Chan Hon Meng had received worldwide acclaim for his delicious and simple soya chicken and rice meal. He owned one of the two such Singapore-based hawker stalls which received Michelin stars in July 2016. But now, it has been learnt that the stall remains absent from the food bible’s 2021 guide.

Per the report, chef Meng, who is originally from Malaysia, used to serve his famous 3 Singapore dollar-dish (INR 163) out of a food stall in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre.

Michelin’s 2021 food guide of Singapore, however, now no longer mentions Chef Meng or ‘Hawker Chan’, his restaurant which he started three months after his original food stall received a single Michelin star.

Hawker Chan was previously known as ‘Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles’. After the Michelin fame, it expanded, growing into a franchise restaurant with locations in Thailand, the Philippines, and more, a CNN report states.

In response to a request for comment that CNN placed, a representative of Hawker Chan said, “Chef Chan Hon Meng has prepared his famous soya sauce chicken rice since 2009 with his secret recipe and cooking method, which has not changed since the beginning of Hawker Chan in 2009. He has always believed that his food should be freshly prepared daily and cooking should not be done in (a) central kitchen.

“We do hope to understand why the Michelin Guide has left us out of the list this year. However, we also understand that everyone has their own opinion when it comes to food choices. We will continue to serve delicious and affordable meals as that is our vision and mission.

“We are thankful to our all Hawker Chan customers who have been supporting us since it was founded 12 years ago, and we will do our best to earn the star again for the upcoming year.”

While the exact reason why Hawker Chan is no longer Michelin-starred remains unknown, the Insider report states the decision could be based on how Meng’s menu stacked up against five criteria which, according to the Michelin guide website, include “quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits”.

Singaporean food expert KF Seetoh told CNN that “Michelin correctly stuck to their guns and protected the dignity of the stars”.

“On a bigger note, and with due respect, Michelin should stick to their core strength and power the restaurants as the restaurants need help now,” Seetoh was quoted as saying.

The Insider report states that Hawker Chan is still found on the Michelin website, having retained a ‘Michelin Bib Gourmand’ status, which was created by Michelin as a new category in 1997. It recognises a “simpler style of cooking” which can be replicated at home.

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