Street Food Stall Selling Meals for Less Than $2, Gets A Michelin Star

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Chan Hon Meng poses in front of his street-food stall, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall in Singapore. (PC: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A street food hawker in Singapore created history by being the owner of the first street food stall to be awarded the coveted Michelin star.

It was a random phone call which completely changed the life of Chan Hon Meng, a street food hawker from Singapore. The call was from the Michelin restaurant guide informing him of the award.

Completely taken aback, Meng’s first response was, ‘Are you joking? Why would Michelin come to my stall?’

Recalling the incident, Meng expressed further disbelief. ‘I’ve never heard of Michelin inspectors visiting a street stall, can even a hawker be nominated?’

Street Food Stall Selling Meals for Less Than $2, Gets A Michelin Star
Meng working behind the counter in his street-food stall, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall in Singapore. PC: theguardian

Eventually, as the feeling sank in, Chan grew “very excited”. In a statement to Reuters, Chan reveals that he “Never knew hawker food can go global.”

However, despite his new-found fame and prestige, Chan has no intention of increasing the price.

“In fact, my suppliers have increased prices four times in the last seven years and I’ve not changed my prices at all. I will continue trying to absorb the price increases until I really can’t do it,” Chan states in an interview with TodayOnline, a Singapore-based newspaper.

Street Food Stall Selling Meals for Less Than $2, Gets A Michelin Star
Chan at the Michelin award ceremony 2016 where he was awarded one star. PC: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The affordability, and now-famous dishes in his menu are really kind of a big deal. Where else would you get a Michelin-starred meal, a plate of soya sauce chicken and rice pegged at a price of just $2 Singapore dollars (Aug 2016 price)?

Customers are fascinated all the more for this precise reason and that explains the sudden surge in customers to Chan’s famous restaurant. To keep up with the increased demand, Chan now works 17 hours a day, selling 180 chickens and still goes out of stock by early evening.

With this international accolade of his, Chan hopes that the youth would be encouraged to enter the street-food business, which for now is mostly being run by elderly chefs and is suffering due to lack of successors.

Chan’s story is truly incredible and almost like the modern day Cinderella. Catch his complete story by Michelin Guide Singapore in this video below!

Chan’s story reminds me of this quote which says that one should keep doing good work, irrespective of the size of their audience. If you loved his story, don’t forget to share it with others! 🙂

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Aparna Ghildiyal
I’m a true blue gypsy at heart. YES is my buzzword. Planning a travel adventure? You can always count me in. Treat me to good food, and you can be my friend forever. Fashion has been my guilty pleasure ever since I was a little girl who loved poring over the sparkling jewels and opulent gowns of Disney princesses. Keeping fit and showing love to my body is what keeps me feeling good. I LOVE those looooong discussions and stimulating experiences concerning spirituality, religion, and things beyond – the explorer in me is forever fascinated by these. A neuroscientist-turned-writer-turned-online marketer, my little 5-year-old career has seen me wearing multiple hats. In my world, there are no rules chiefly because I ain’t got no motivation to make or break ‘em.

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