When Singapore hawker stand Hong Kong Soya Chicken Rice & Noodle earned a Michelin star in 2016, a nod that the dining guide typically reserves for high-end establishments, the F&B world took notice. It was (and still is) the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world.
Owned by Chef Chan Hon Meng, the original stall in Singapore’s Chinatown has come a long way since then — there are now branches in cities across the globe, such as Melbourne, London, and Jakarta. Now, it is set to open its first outpost in Manila this Thursday under its dine-in restaurant brand, Hawker Chan.
The brand already has its local Facebook page set up, and it looks like Filipinos will be able to sample most of the stall’s bestsellers, including Cantonese-style soya chicken, roasted pork, and char siu.
The soya chicken is its most popular menu item. Our colleagues over at Coconuts Singapore tell us that it’s legit, all the way — savory with just the right about of sweetness, each tender cut of meat blanketed in a sliver of flavor-packed skin that umami bombs you with each bite. It can be paired with either rice or noodles, although the chicken rice is the best-selling and most classic combo.
While Hawker Chan delivers more of a traditional dine-in experience and is thus considered a tad more upscale than the hawker stall that started it all, it’s always been known for its affordability. That price point will remain similar for Filipino diners. According to restaurant app Booky, some meals will be priced as low as PHP100 (US$1.87).
This deviates from a pattern that some other foreign brands fall into, jazzing up their branding (and thus, pricing) when launching international locations — we’re looking at you, Halal Guys.
Hawker Chan’s original location in Singapore regularly sees long queues comprised of both locals and visitors — will it be the same for its outlet in Manila? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.
G/F Entertainment Hall
SM Mall of Asia Complex