My first Michelin meal for 2021. They are the cheapest Michelin 1 Star meal in the world. Hawker Chan sells soy sauce chicken rice, and becomes very good at it.
These days, Liao Fan Hawker Chan are part of a much bigger group of restaurants since they worked with Hersing Culinary to launch their franchising and expansion. And since Hawker Chan got his star (and expanded his “empire”), I have not eaten at his flagship at Chinatown, only at their Toa Payoh restaurant. And then Covid struck, they were not spared the closure and lockdown.
And now with Phase 3 of the Circuit Breaker, they have come roaring back. I just happened to be around the vicinity, so I went to queue for takeaways.
The Chinatown hawker centre has pretty much returned to its usual hustle and bustle since Phase 2, and with Phase 3 all the seatings are available. The queue meandered around the block, and with social distancing, it seemed to be even longer. Because of their popularity they have limited their offerings to set menu as shown in the placard.
Chef Chan uses a Hong Kong recipe that he was taught 35 years ago. He marinates his chicken in soy sauce, roasts it, chops it, cooks the rice with chicken fat and then he serves it. Do note everything is while stock last. If they are sold out, you have to go their restaurants which will sell the same things at a premium.
They are also famous for the BBQ pork ribs, but in case our American friends think that this is like their Texan BBQ ribs, these ribs are not roasted until the meat become fork tender. And the marinade used is like char siew.
I bought $10 portions of their char siew, roast pork belly and BBQ ribs, and whole chicken at $16. There’s enough meat to feed 8 people, so it worked out to around $5 per person – definitely the cheapest 1 Star Michelin meal around the world.
I have always enjoyed the soy chicken, it has remained tender and moist, with excellent marinade and perfect braising. The roast pork belly and BBQ ribs were a bit of a disappointment. Char siew was really good even though it was not fatty char siew, it was still soft and succulent.
Overall, do not expect the usual 1 Star Michelin food prep and presentation. What you get is a sincere serving of an excellent chicken rice. Is it worth the trip? Well, very subjective, but they do keep the standard of the food and somewhat the price in this store to get keep the star for 4 consecutive years.
Liao Fan Hawker Chan (Chinatown)
335 Smith Street #02-126 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335
Date Visited : Jan 2021
Michelin Singapore Guide – 2016-2019 1 Star, 2020 (no publication)