When Hawker Chan got his Michelin star, he would not have imagined how his simple store in the Chinatown market would become an empire that has branches in Taipei, Sydney, Hong Kong, with more opening soon in a city near you.
Liao Fan sells only one thing. That’s Soya Sauce Chicken.
Corrections – they have wanton soup, char siew and roast pork belly as well.
But what everyone comes for is their Soya Sauce Chicken with Noodles. The caramelised sauce that they liberally poured over the tangy egg noodles was what, in my humble opinion, got them their Michelin star in the first place. The chicken was poached to the right wellness, a little red for my American friends, but just right for us.
The char siew was a bit too lean for my liking, but it was not the colouring type you get in a lot of foodcourt noodle stall. The char siew was basked repeatedly with the sweet, savoury sauce. The redness came from marinate and not artificial colouring. The entire combination with the soya sauce chicken made the dish.
No, the piece de resistance was the chili sauce. It added the essential heat and kick to the entire dish. It bound the noodle, the meat and sauce together. But you would not add a whole load of it as it would overpower the balance of the ingredients.
However it’s not the this restaurant that got the star – the one that claimed to fame was the original in the Chinatown market in Smith Street. They had a limited number of servings per day, and Chan still goes to the stall (when he is not on tour selling his Liao Fan franchise) to serve the loyal fans (and to keep his star).
If you can’t stand the queue and still want a taste of the Michelin halo, their branch in Smith Street got a Bib Gourmand mention. Here you eat in aircon comfort but pay triple what you paid. It would not be the cheapest Michelin restaurant in the world. Still, it was constantly filled to the brim by gourmands who decided not queue or tourists that went to the wrong one.
So if you still could not stand that queue, this one in TPY had a reasonable queue. The portions were decent, and you can still get a good meal for $10 (with a drink and a extra char siew).
And for dessert, you have only one choice. You don’t get any dessert in the original stall. So don’t bother.
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (TPY)
450 Lorong 6, #01-10, Hersing Center
Toa Payoh New Town
Date visited : Dec 2017