Here's What Hawker Chan Has to Say About Losing Their Michelin Star

They'd been awarded the star yearly since 2016.

(SPOT.ph) News recently broke on September 3 about how Hawker Chan—once home to the "The World's First Hawker Michelin-Starred Meal" and "The Cheapest Michelin-Starred Meal in the World"—lost their Michelin star in the annual guide's 2021 edition. While responses from the food community have been mixed, from being saddened to saying the quality's gone downhill to agreeing that the food was never award-worthy to begin with, it still came as a surprise to many. After all, this was the first time that the eatery, known for its affordable prices, has been excluded from the list since 2016. 

Also read: Hawker Chan Loses Michelin Star

hawker chan
Hawker Chan was once home to the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world.
PHOTO BY Hawker Chan Singapore

Hawker Chan on the Loss of Their Michelin Star

Hawker Chan Singapore says they haven't changed things since they first opened in 2009. "We prepare our food fresh daily, with the same secret recipe and cooking method to prepare our signature Soya Sauce Chicken as what we have been doing since the start of Hawker Chan 12 years ago," a spokesperson for Hawker Chan told AsiaOne. "We do not believe in using a central kitchen to prepare the food."

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Foodee Global Concepts, who handles the Hawker Chan franchise in the Philippines, also shares this statement. "Chef Chan Hin Meng prepared his famous soya chicken since 2009 with his secret recipe and cooking method, which has not changed since the beginning of Hawker Chan cooking journey," they share in an exchange with SPOT.ph. "The brand will continue to serve delicious meals as that is brand's mission and vision."

"The Philippine branch shares the same comment from our Mother brand," says Foodee's Group Head for Marketing and Communications Caitlin Recana.

hawker chan
Hawker Chan Singapore says they still use the same secret recipe and cooking method as they did when they first opened. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason/spot.ph archives
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"We do hope to understand why the Michelin Guide has left us out of the list this year," a Hawker Chan Singapore representative also told CNN Travel. "However, we also understand that everyone has their own opinion when it comes to food choices." Still, they're planning to stick to their goal of serving "delicious and affordable meals," and thank their customers for the support in their 12 years of operations. "We will do our best to earn the star again for the upcoming year."

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Also read: Michelin Stars: What They Are and How Restaurants Lose Them

Hawker Chan is a Singaporean eatery that opened in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre in 2009, with the name Liao Fan Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. Owned by Chef Chan Hon Meng, they're famed for their SG $3 Soya Sauce Chicken Rice—and they earned global fame when they were awarded a Michelin star in 2016. Hawker Chan opened in the Philippines in 2018, bringing their signature roasts and other savory eats to the local dining crowd.

UPDATE (September 9, 1:52 p.m.): The article has been updated to include Foodee's statement on the issue.

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