Singapore is a fantastic place to visit. This ultra-modern city has a mix of cultures that can’t be found in many places in the World. Chinese, Indian, Malaysian… everything blends in the city-state melting pot. This also applies, of course, to the food! Eating in Singapore means enjoying the cousin of all kind of countries, with its own unique local specialities. But, did you know Singapore is also the city with the cheapest Michelin Star Restaurants in the World?
The city can also be very expensive. It has been rated as the more expensive one in the World more than once. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a delicious meal for cheap! While it’s true a high-end restaurant in Singapore will leave a sizeable hole in your wallet, there are alternatives. Locals usually eat in the famous hawkers, the street food stalls that are all over, inside Hawker Centers. These places usually serve a very limited, if not only one, type of food, usually a family recipe. Are they any good? Well, imagine someone cooking exactly the same thing over and over for decades, constantly perfecting the recipe, always in constant competition with the others around. Sounds good enough? And also very cheap! With most of them offering delicious food for less than 4$.
The Michelin Guide, famously for rating the quality of restaurants all over the World, ignored street food for a long time. However, recently they have been pushing for expanding their reviews beyond traditional restaurants. This new open-minded policy led to the Michelin Star given to the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Chicken Rice & Noodles stall in Chinatown. This place was already famous for the quality of the food. His owner, Chan Hon Meng, started cooking when he was a child and perfected his recipe through the years. Of course, the star meant hundreds of new costumers! He made an agreement with Hersing Culinary, and opened a restaurant in Smith Street called Liao Fan Hawker Chan.
The restaurant is still in Chinatown, but not in the Hawker Center anymore, it’s now on Smith Street. Since it took me a while to find it, I will leave a link to its location on Google maps. Here the first thing you will find is a really long queue. The place is still, of course, extremely popular, so get ready to wait. It is, however, very fast serving food, so it’s not as bad as it looks! You will usually get your food in between 10 and 30 minutes. Once you get it, prepare to enjoy yourself! No matter the choice you will be right, but I personally loved the Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles. The chicken was moist, tender and well marinated in a delicious sauce. The noodles were tasty and delicious mixed with the soy sauce. It was so good I couldn’t help but to come back another day! And of course, all this for less than 4$!
Although probably the most famous, Liao Fan Hawker Chan is not the only one that got a Michelin Star. The Tai Hwa Pork Noodle Stall in Hill Street was also awarded one. This one is not as centric, and it’s harder to reach. It’s also not as well advertised, so you will have to either ask locals or, even better, just click here and save yourself from the struggle I went through to find it! This place is, in a way, more authentic. It is still a tiny stall in a Hawker Center, and the owner still prepares every single dish. It also receives way fewer tourists. You won’t see as many Australians, Americans and Europeans here. However, that means that the queues are even worst! I had to wait for more than an hour to get my food, but I least I got to talk with some locals!
Once I finally got my food, it was delicious as expected! And very different compared to the Soy Sauce Chicken. It had a very strong pork taste, very meaty, and served with incredibly good noodles. There was all kind of different textures and flavours to taste. It might look small at a first glance but it was enough for me. I sadly couldn’t go back to have another one because it was my last meal in the city, but I would go there next time! This was slighly mor expensive, but still under 6$.
If you ever go to Singapore don’t forget to go to the first street food places awarded with a Michelin Star! You will get delicious food and save some money too. And if you have already been there, did you like it? Do you think the award is deserved or do you think there are better Hawkers in the city? I would love to know about it!