The following is a review of the Michelin-starred hawker stall Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. Review of the Hawker Chan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken restaurant at 78 Smith Street available here.
[Original Entry] Some surprises in the inaugural Singapore Michelin Guide 2016.
2 local hawker stalls, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles at Crawford Lane and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle are awarded 1 Michelin Star.
The 1st in Michelin history to award the coveted star to hawkers.
At SGD2 (USD1.47) for a plate of Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, this is THE CHEAPEST Michelin Star Meal you can get in the world. (‘Beating’ Hong Kong’s famed Tim Ho Wan)
Even before winning the award, a queue of between 30 to 45 minutes is not uncommon for this corner stall at Level 2 Chinatown Food Complex.
Now the wait can be anticipated from between an hour to two at least, judging from the long line in the heat, waiting for a star to enter the belly.
And you cannot really stop the person in front of you from ordering a FEW chickens.
Chef Chan Hon Meng (now marketed as “Hawker Chan”) used to helm the stall, but he is travelling around the world opening up branches now.
His staff is said to stick to his principles and preparation methods.
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle sells Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle, Roasted Pork Rice, Char Siew Rice, and Char Siew Noodles at unbelievable prices of $2 – $3.
A whole chicken goes for $14. VERY affordable, for one of the most expensive countries in the world.
The moment of truth… The first bite I had was the rice.
WOH, it was purely delicious. How did he do it? Covered in a thin layer of dark savoury sauce and aromatic oil, the rice reeked of authentic Cantonese flavours, tasty on every bite, yet not over in grease level.
The Soya Sauce Chicken lived up to its name, slippery skinned, tender and smooth meat, good enough to have without adding more chilli sauce.
THOUGH I must say the accompanying chilli sauce was also tasty.
The noodles were QQ springy, tossed in a sweetish sauce – I would have personally preferred it to be less sweet. The chilli paste on the side cooked with crisp dried shrimps added a fantastic touch.
These Char Siew slices are probably one of the best you get in Singapore, and can match up to famous restaurants from Hong Kong.
While I won’t use ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ to describe the meat, there was a certain firmness yet still moist and juicy. Nicely caramelised, thin layer of char.
The kopi auntie who came back to our table said, “This stall is the best…” and revealed that Mr Chan is the student of another famous hawker within the hawker centre. ”But tu di (student) does it better.”
”So happy when he appeared on TV yesterday.” Auntie didn’t seem to have an idea how BIG the Michelin was.
There were some criticisms that it was a joke for hawker stalls to enter the Michelin Guide. The inspectors and committee had made their decision, and they probably have a rationale for this.
While Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles is already quite well-known among Singaporeans, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle appeared slightly under the radar comparatively.
But I would rather THIS, than some other establishments that have more fame than taste.
Let us be proud of our local hawkers, and be happy for them. More to come next year.
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle 香港油雞飯麵
Blk 335, Smith Street #02-126, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 8:00pm, or till sold out (Mon – Sun)
Other Related Entries
Liao Fan Michelin Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken (Smith Street)
Singapore Michelin Guide 2016
Michelin Singapore – Restaurant Reviews
Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide 2016 – 34 Eateries That Make The Cut
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Singapore Michelin Guide 2016