As Michelin Guide gourmets increasingly turn their tastebuds toward Asia and its everyday cuisine, their restaurant guide for Singapore turns up a big surprise
Chinatown, Singapore, is home to what is likely the world’s most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant. Stall 126 (informatively named Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle) was once just one of many street-food stalls in Chinatown, but now it stands out from the rest – thanks to the long line of waiting customers. Most of them are tourists as opposed to regular customers these days.
Owner Chan Hon Meng hails from Malaysia and learned his trade from a chef in Hong Kong. He works 17 hours and cooks 180 chickens every day, 30 more than he did before his sudden rise to fame. Around lunchtime, people will wait as long as two hours for his excellent Cantonese-style chicken with noodles (costing just two Singapore dollars – roughly 1.25 euros).
At first, Chan Hon Meng thought the French gourmet award was a strange joke. Why would the folks from the Michelin Guide suddenly be interested in plain cooking? But he was prompt to react, opening a larger, air-conditioned restaurant close by with seats for 80 people. It’s impossible to miss due to the long line outside.