The Place If you have been following the Michelin Singapore Guide (read the complete list here), one of the most striking names on the inaugural 2016 list other than Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle is Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle located in Chinatown Food Complex. The good news is that Chef Chan of the famous Soya Sauce Chicken stall has teamed up with Hersing Culinary to open Hawker Chan along Smith Street few months’ ago, extending its Michelin glory to a modern and air-conditioned environment. If track record is anything, Hersing Culinary is the same group behind the other Michelin-affiliated dining concepts such as Tim Ho Wan, Kam’s Roast and Tsuta.
*Update: Hawker Chan has opened its second restaurant concept at 18 Tai Seng last month.
We only managed to find time to visit the spacious restaurant outlet recently, since it officially opened last November to a big frenzy. The queues are intermittent from our observation, made up of a proportionate mix of curious tourists and locals. This is afterall one of the cheapest price you pay for a Michelin brand dining experience. Do note that it is the hawker stall in Chinatown Food Complex which obtained its One Michelin Star, not the Smith Street restaurant which naturally markets and leverage on the Michelin brand name.
The Food If you can only try one dish, go straight for the dish which earned Chef Chan his Michelin Star – the Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle. Prices at the Smith Street restaurant is naturally more expensive that the original hawker centre stall (from S$2.50), starting from S$4.50. You can customise add-ons to your noddles such as extra Char Siew or Pork Belly, as well as selecting your preferred part of the chicken meat. We appreciate the self-ordering kiosk which made it fuss-free, or you can also opt to order over the counter.
Back to the dish, we had both the Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle (S$4.50) and Char Siew Noodle (S$4.80) with addition of Roasted Pork (S$2). The noodle itself is delicious, which had a nice chewy texture. The sauce could have been more generous though. As for the chicken, it wasn’t particularly different from other stalls we have tried.
Comparatively, we enjoyed the Char Siew more than the chicken. It had a good mix of lean and fatty meat which gave its tender texture.
Rants It is a self service restaurant concept, almost like a fast food eatery. During peak hours, you will need to secure a table first before ordering as the staff will not direct you to a table and take your orders.
Will I Return Again? Is this the best Soya Sauce Chicken in Singapore? It was good, but it wasn’t mind blowing or life changing. Does it deserve the Michelin Star? We are not quite sure about it. Regardless, it is an above average plate of noodles which we will be more inclined to return if not for the inflated hype and buzz.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 2/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
78 Smith Street
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm
Closed on Wednesday
Ranted by The Ranter