Food Trips | Budget-Friendly Meals From Hawker Chan, The World's Cheapest Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Hawker Chan @ SM North EDSA
no queue 'coz I went there on a mid-afternoon weekday, don't have the patience to try it on weekends

Hawker Chan, a restaurant from Singapore that offers the cheapest meal awarded with One Michelin Star, has arrived in the Philippines in mid-2018. Its first restaurant is located in SM Mall of Asia at the Ground Floor of the Entertainment Mall. Two other branches were opened since then, one in SM North EDSA in Quezon City and the other one in Glorietta in Makati.

Hawker Chan started from a humble beginning when its founder, Chef-owner Chan Hong Meng, a son of a farmer from Malaysia, flew to Singapore to try his luck. He became an apprentice of a Hong Kong chef and his experience there is what fueled his career as a chef. In 2009,  he opened his own hawker stall in Chinatown, originally named Hong Kong Soya Sauce Noodle (as a tribute to his master from Hong Kong), which later on became Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle. His soya dishes became so popular that it resulted to long customer queues, which in turn attracted the attention of the first Michelin Guide of Singapore. Michelin Guide awarded him one Michelin star in 2016 (and up until 2018, three years in a row; wow, it must really be good!), the first ever hawker stall to receive such rating. Michelin star is a rating system used to grade restaurants on the quality of their food -- one star means "a very good restaurant", two stars for "excellent cooking that is worth a detour" and three stars for "exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey".

It was only late January when I was able to first try their meals, but since then, Hawker Chan has been one of my go-to restaurants at SM North EDSA. On my first try, I ordered their best seller, soya sauce chicken with a spoonful of soya beans which can be paired with either rice or noodles. I chose rice since I haven't had a complete meal that day. To try their other offerings, I ordered extra  pork ribs and char siew (I'm an "ulam" person, don't judge :P). I also ordered their barley with calamansi for my drink.

soya sauce chicken rice (128 Php) + extra char siew and pork ribs (70 Php and 95 Php, respectively)

Here's my take:

Soya sauce chicken is a delight; chicken meat is tender and juicy; it's tasty and flavorful all the way, the flavor permeates through the whole chicken meat, not just the skin and a thin outside part of the chicken. It's a very simple dish, just that slightly sweet and salty soya sauce (which I assume, is part of the marinade) and a spoonful of soya beans but it's so good; no wonder it is their best seller. I also like their char siew (I asked the cashier what char siew is and she said "pork asado") for its sweet and savory taste. Pork ribs, on the other hand, is quite dry though still flavorful; not a fan so I'll took a pass on this one the next time around. Barley with calamansi is good, too, though a bit pricey; almost half the price of soya sauce chicken.

Since the first time, I'm a fan of Hawker Chan. I've been to this restaurant several times since then; tried their char siew noodles, seasonal vegetables, and beef brisket rice, too. Yes, I'm a repeat customer because soya sauce chicken and char siew is love!

What about you dear readers? Have you been to Hawker Chan? Comment your view and share it in the comment box below.
Hawker Chan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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