Sunday, 24 July 2016
Michelin Star Meal for USD1.50? A French Revolution in Singapore 😆 JK1555
It's been three days since the announcement on 21 Jul 2016 but I am still over the moon about Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles 香港油雞飯麵 winning a Michelin Star in the inaugural Singapore Michelin Guide 2016.
I have a quirk of rooting for underdogs.
This is such an inspiring story in so many ways.
Mr Chan, the owner of Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice said he had never heard of Michelin until they came and told him about his award. In his three decades as a hawker, Mr Chan just quietly cooks, cuts and serves his soya sauce chicken to the daily thousand customers. Michelin fame is the last thing on his mind.
(The French pronounce Michelin "me shee land". Not "meet chee lynn".)
So, if you are quietly doing your work passionately, and ever wondered if anyone will appreciate what you do, take heart from Mr Chan's example.
Since I am a fan of Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles, I would say the Michelin inspectors are spot on here 😝
Michelin's sources are pretty clued in, in this case.
I mean, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles is pretty much under the radar, in the social media blind spot.
It's not that Mr Chan has never had any media publicity. In 2010, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles 香港油雞飯麵 was featured in the national Mandarin channel.
But, the young are not on this channel.
Most of the stall's customers are middle age and elderly folk.
With the Michelin Star, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice is seeing younger, smartphone togging customers in the snaking queue.
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles is a tiny stall among hundreds located in a grimly, dark, old, free sitting hawker centre in Singapore's Chinatown. No reservations, as Bourdain said. Very unlike the typical exclusive Michelin Star establishment.
The queue is long (longer now after the Michelin Star) and we have to carry our own food on plastic trays back to our table. Yes, it is self service i.e. no service. You are also encouraged to graciously clear your own table after meals. Please do 🙏
The chicken poached in a dark herbal and soya sauce stock is just awesome. The skin and juicy tender flesh are so smooth, you risk it slipping down your throat, if you are not careful. The soft skin absorbed the stock's robust savoury herbal flavours but the flesh still retains some chicken taste and sweetness. So you have layered flavours balanced between savoury and sweet.
You can enjoy this delicious soya sauce chicken for SGD7 for half a bird, or SGD2 for a one pax serving with rice or egg noodles. This is all the more amazing, if your consider that Singapore is the most expensive city in the world to live in. Never mind that the chicken is served on a disposable Styrofoam plate that may fly off when a strong gust blows.
Now everyone can enjoy a Michelin Star meal. In one fell swoop, once aristocratic Michelin Starred food turned democratic with Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (and Tai Hwa Pork Noodles). It's a quiet French Revolution in the culinary world. Whoever plotted this coup d'etat deserves a medal from street hawkers and street food world citoyen.
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" the Michelin Guide finally shows it's French colours.
Congratulations Mr Chan 😆
👉 Click for my blog on Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken
Restaurant name: Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle 香港油雞飯麵
Address: Blk 335, Smith Street #02-166, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335
GPS: 1.282705, 103.842889 / 1°16'57.7"N 103°50'34.4"E
Hours: 10:30am to 7:00pm (Monday to Friday) | 8:30am to 7:00pm (weekend and public holiday) | (Closed on Wednesday)
Date: 23 Jul 2016
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