“I am very excited. Never knew hawker food can go global,” Chan Hon Meng, the stall’s Malaysian-born owner, told Reuters.
Michelin Star’s are usually reserved for restaurant’s in which the appetizer course alone might easily run $50. Not so for Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle where every meal on the menu can be had for under $5.
“I asked them, ‘Are you joking? Why would Michelin come to my stall?’”
Chan Hon Meng grew up in a small village outside of Ipoh, Malaysia. He’s the son of working-class parents who reared pigs and ducks, and grew their own crops. Today he is a “hawker,” the chef-owner of Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, a small food stall at the Chinatown Complex in Singapore. Following the inaugural release of the Michelin Guide Singapore, he is now world famous for serving the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. Chef Hon Meng sells 180 chickens over the course of a day’s 17 hour shift.
“My dream is to have more cuisine from Singapore and more of the undiscovered local hawker talent,” said Chef Hon Meng. “I dream that our food can be enjoyed on an international stage.”
Pretty inspirational stuff, and a good reminder to always put your heart into what you love and are passionate about, you never now who’s watching.