Michelin Hawker List – Does Singapore Need one?

17 Hawker Stalls have made the list of “Bib Gourmand” in the first edition of the Singapore Michelin Guide.  Awarded to establishments that offer high-quality food at a reasonable price (Below $45 for Singapore), many famous hawker stalls in the Singapore Food scene have made the Michelin Hawker list!  And the best news is that 2 hawker stalls – Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford Lane and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Chinatown were awarded a Michelin star each for their culinary pursuits.

In the budget section, 34 restaurants and Hawker Stall have made the list, with Amoy Street Food Centre having the largest cluster of Hawker Stall, with 4 stalls making the Bib Gourmand. Therefore, if you want to maximize your dollar, Amoy Street would be your best Bet!

singapore food paradise

With other Popular Listings of Singapore Food and Hawker fare, do we need another listing?

After all, many locals have remarked that their favorite cuisines are not in the list. There is no prata, nasi lemak, bak chor mee….we demand a reassessment! 🙂 Was the Michelin reviewer a local or a foreigner, as we both have different palates?  Even though food is still food, I would never walk into a Chinese restaurant in certain parts of the world, as the taste is catered for local preferences. After all, the Chinese Cookie was never part of the Oriental diet! 🙂

Despite these normal rumblings from many Singaporeans. I believe that there is great value in the Bib Gourmand for the local food scene! Despite the Michelin Guide being new to the Singapore Hawker fare, there is no other food listing, which has such celebrity status! Everyone knows what the Michelin food guide stands for, and every mention means an increase in traffic, for all the establishments. If you are a hawker or a restaurant, you will want to be in it. Certainly, Hawker fare will not die in Singapore, when there is the celebrity factor attached to it! 🙂

singapore food

The inclusion of Local Street food, is similar to Michelin including Street food in the Hong Kong guide since 2015. I am glad to see that Michelin is becoming more inclusive, and highlighting local  food, that is not just high-brow, but also food, which the normal everyday Singaporean can afford.

For the consumer, I have no complaints!  Food is always very subjective, and when it comes to choosing a personal favorite, everyone is a critic. Some Singaporeans prefer their noodles softer, with more chilli and less vinegar. Others just like it, without chilli, and soaked in soup! The combinations are endless, and the variations are unique to each individual. Haven’t you tried some food raved about by friends, relatives, TripAdvisor or a fellow blogger and found it “so-so”. My point exactly! Subjective! I am still the biggest fan of Kok Kee WanTon mee at Lavender, even though others may find other forms of Wan Ton Mee more appetising. The best thing about the Michelin Guide, is that I have another quality food listing to explore, and more good food to discover!

Talking about food, I am glad that one of my favorite restaurants “Putien”has been awarded 1 star for their culinary delights. Recently, my family and friends brought me to two Putien outlets and their standard differed. Currently, Michelin judges restaurants based on 5 qualities and they are:

Judging Criteria for Michelin Restaurants:

  1. Quality of ingredients
  2. Skills in the preparation and combination of flavors
  3. Level of creativity
  4. Value for Money (Very important for families! 🙂 )
  5. Consistency of Culinary Standards.

We visited the one at Marina Square and the one at Ion Orchard. I found the contrast in food taste quite apparent. I have not been to the restaurant for a while, and I thought that their standards had dropped initially. However, after visiting the Putien at Ion Orchard, I think they the Orchard outlet offered a consistently better taste.  Hmm…One kind of suspects that the better chef has been stationed at the Orchard Branch. Hopefully, the outlets and stalls can keep up with the consistency.

Being a family of 5, I just don’t have the finances to explore a 1 Star Michelin Restaurant regularly. However, a Hawker Food Store, is at the other end of the spectrum. I can afford to eat Tian Tian Chicken Rice everyday and have enough space to add a Carrot cake on the side. We just love to eat, and with another list, there is another tool in my hands, to experience greater family time. It’s like what they say…A Family that eats together, stays together!

If you want to see the full listing of Restaurants highlighted, Check out Michelin Guide Singapore or a pictorial listing of the Michelin Guide here. 

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