Singapore has a plethora of restaurants in all price ranges, this is somewhat of a food lovers heaven. The country currently has one 3-star Michelin place, quite a few 2-star places, and many 1-stars. Here is the complete list.
It stirred some controversy not too long ago when two hawker stalls made it on to the list of the 1-star places! Many raised their eyebrows, wondering if a hawker stall even should be considered a proper restaurant. But if they got awarded my Michelin, it must mean that the food is delicious right? I decided to try one of them: Liao fan hong kong soya sauce chicken rice & noodle. It’s the worlds cheapest Michelin meal, with a plate of chicken rice landing around 2-3 $.
I have some experience with one star places before. So I was naturally very curious – have the Michelin testers become sloppy and watered down the quality of the award, or is the hawker stall really able to produce food of the likes of Cafe China in New York, which still today is my life’s best restaurant experience? I must admit that I was skeptical.
I arrived on a weekend around noon. The place was crowded, and looked to be a bit more renovated than the usual street food stalls. There was a line going up to the counter, with the menu propped up on posts here and there. I knew what I was having: the chicken rice.
I ordered, and a very stressed auntie at the counter assisted me without any smile or welcoming service minded gestures. I got a ticket and when my number was up I could collect my food at the counter – almost like McDonald’s style of eating.
I didn’t have to wait long. When I got my food, I found a free seat and dove right into my meal. I’d had chicken rice before at the NTU campus, and while this meal was quite good, I didn’t find it that much better from what I’ve previously tried. The meat was tender and the soy sauce was nice. But mind blowing? Hardly.
You get what you pay for, I guess. The place has totally non-existent service. Looking forward to eat in peace in a nice environment? Don’t go here. The place was very noisy, packed, and reminded me more of a McDonald’s than a real restaurant. But then again, it IS a hawker stall so don’t expect too much. Is it worthy of one Michelin star? While being a quite good meal for a cheap price, I don’t think it comes anywhere close to the previous one star places I’ve tried. Not by a long shot. For somebody who is after the novelty of trying the worlds cheapest Michelin meal, I could recommend it. But don’t go here if you are expecting the kind of service, eating environment, and level of food that normally comes with a 1 star joint.