You know the food is amazing at a place when the lineup is out the door and around the block. Even if you’re not hungry, the curious foodie in you needs to know what it’s all about and more chances than not, you join the queue. Which is exactly what’ll happen if you find yourself in the food court of the Chinatown Complex in Singapore.
Street food vendor Chan Hon Meng sells some of the most delicious chicken and noodles around, so much so that he was recently awarded a Michelin star. To those who assumed the respected French restaurant guide is elitist, you may want to eat your words. Because Meng’s signature dish, his ‘Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle,’ only costs about $2.50 CAD.
Chef Mang, who reportedly works 17-hour days, was invited to a Michelin dinner in July, but had no idea that he’d be getting a star.
“When I received the invitation, I was uncertain,” he told Michelin Guide Singapore. “I asked, ‘Are you joking? Why would Michelin come to my stall?'”
He joins fellow food stand (a.k.a. hawker stalls in Singapore) Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles, which also earned a Michelin star, making it easily the best food court in the world.
Since Chan won the award, business has been booming. He reportedly sells 180 chickens a day, 30 more than he was cooking up prior to the rating with people waiting hours in line to sample a taste. But because of the demand, Chan is also running out of delectable dishes faster. Yet, customers keep coming back, waiting and hoping for a chance to sample his cheap but yummy grub. Or even just getting a shot of him prepping dish after dish.
Despite the newfound fame, Chan has no intention of raising prices. He says he’ll “continue trying to absorb the price increases” of his suppliers until it no longer makes sense. After all, at just under $2 (CDN), this Michelin-star dish is probably the cheapest you’ll ever find. The flight over might cost you a couple grand, but good food is worth it, right?