The fine dining world of Michelin star restaurants is quite the luxurious one – if you can afford to experience it. Many Michelin star restaurants can be anywhere north of $300, sometimes more depending on how many stars they have been awarded. In fact, many three star Michelin restaurants around the world can even be over $1,000 per person (drinks and tip not included, of course). Unfortunately, that price tag can be a little steep as many don’t have $1,000 to drop on an experience like this. But before you throw the dream of eating at one of these restaurants out the window, what if I told you that you could experience the same prestigious culinary experience for less than your Starbucks coffee you got this morning?
If you want a taste of the luxurious life without emptying your wallet, there is still hope! You can now enjoy a Michelin star meal for only $1.50 – yes, you read that right (1). While you’ll trade in fancy dining to stand outside a food truck, this Michelin star experience is unlike anything that has reached the Michelin list before. After all, it’s only at this food truck in Singapore that you will find the most brilliant, innovative, and authentic street food in the world.
HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles
HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles, properly named after the dish that earned them their first star, is famously known for their Hong Kong style soy sauce chicken noodle priced at approximately $1.50 in US dollars. Not too bad to experience a once in a lifetime meal. In fact, HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles food truck has become the first street food to earn the Michelin seal of approval – a nomination that initially shocked head chef, Chef Chan Hon Meng. Chef Chan Hon Meng has been cooking for over 35 years now, giving him decades of perfecting his food creations. But Michelin rewards weren’t necessarily on his mind or even in his personal goals. In fact, Chef Chan Hon Meng was initially wary when Michelin had first reached out with an invitation.
Are You Joking?
In a recent interview with Chef Chan Hon Meng, he mentioned that at first he was uncertain, even slightly confused. His initial response to Michelin was “Are you joking? Why would Michelin come to my stall?”. He was unsure that his food truck lived up to the high acclimations of the Michelin guide. But much to his cautiousness, the dream still became a reality and now HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles is on the map in the Michelin Singapore guide. Michelin even sent a camera crew for Chef Chan’s award ceremony to film him receiving the reward along with his touching thank you speech. Chef Chan mentioned in the video that now as he has gained Michelin exposure, he hopes that this will bring more attention and appreciation to Singapore’s underrated culinary experiences, but especially to Singapore’s street food scene which Chef Chan mentioned he is beyond honored to represent. After his ceremony, Chef Chan was back in his food truck the next morning at 5:30am for opening.
The Michelin Experience
While sitting in the middle of the busy downtown of Singapore, chowing down on the infamous HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle’s specialty plate might seem like a world away from a dim-lighted fancy dining experience, Chef Chan has more than just a Michelin star in common with the big wigs of fine dining. As with every Michelin restaurant, reservations can take months, and sometimes even up to a year before you are able to enjoy your dining experience. While HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle’s may not take reservations, you will have to wait. While the food truck is set to open at 5:30am every day, lines begin forming outside the food truck long before that (2). Wait time can be up to a few hours, especially during lunch rush when everyone is trying to get their fill on Chef Chan’s Hong Kong style noodle creation. So, if you are planning on experiencing it for yourself, be prepared for a little bit of a wait but trust us when we say it will be well worth it.
Chef Chan also has some words of wisdom he would like to pass along to other chefs, Michelin or non-Michelin. He says that he encourages every chef to put their best effort forward. So much of who you are goes into the food you create, and when that shows, your plate will always be spectacular. He says to always cook as if a Michelin inspector were tasting your food at every moment.
HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle has set the path for more affordable Michelin restaurants to enter the ring. In fact, Michelin has added many affordable options to the list along with HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle including Michelin first Tokyo ramen restaurant, and a Hong Kong restaurant name Tim Ho Wan, which offers their Michelin starred meal, dim sum, for under $1 US dollar. It’s rumored, however, that Tim Ho Wan will be opening an additional outpost in New York City. So, our fingers are crossed that maybe we’ll get lucky enough to someday see HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles in the states as well.