In the case of Singapore, the limit was set to $45. Half of those recognized with a Bib Gourmand were hawkers and the other half covered restaurants over a fairly wide range of price points and culinary styles. With local favourites like Maxwell House’s Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice receiving Bib Gourmands, foodies in Singapore assumed that would be the end of it for hawker centres.
In total 29 restaurants received the coveted accolade from the Michelin guide. Local foodies were immensely surprised then when the official list came out last month to see that two of the restaurants on the list were hawker centre stalls, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford Lane and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Chinatown, each receiving one star, putting these chefs in impressive company with the likes of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. With a meal from each of these eateries costing under $5, Singapore is now, ironically, home to the cheapest Michelin-starred meals in the entire world, beating out Hong Kong’s famous dumpling restaurant, Tim Ho Wan.
The excitement in response to the announcement has been higher than the stalls could have expected, with queues stretching on for hours as everyone wants to try the food that the Michelin guide recognized as being better than any other hawker fare they tried; and not to mention, worthy of earning an award usually reserved for fine food that is beautifully plated. For now at least, both stall owners insist that they will not be raising their prices saying that they feel deeply humbled by the award and want to stay true to their customers.
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford Lane: 466 Crawford Ln #01-12, 190465
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle: 335 Smith St, #02-125, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335