The world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal is $2.25

hawker chan stall exterior
Photo: picture alliance / Contributor (Getty Images)

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I hear the term “Michelin-starred” I involuntarily feel my wallet shrivel up and hide away. Keep that Stay Puff-lookin’ troublemaker away from me. I can’t afford to be near him. The Michelin Man’s name is Bibendum, by the way. If I have to know, you do too.


Not all Michelin-starred meals have to cost you a month’s rent, however, and the world’s cheapest can be found in Singapore. It’s a humble dish of chicken and rice, and you can get it at a hawker stall called Hawker Chan’s in Singapore’s Chinatown neighborhood. Insider went for a visit and documented the experience, and now all I want is to be able to hop onto an airplane and run around Singapore eating anything that isn’t nailed down to the floor.

Chan Hong Meng opened up his stall, Liao Fan Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, in 2009. Since then, he’s trimmed the name down to Hawker Chan and has opened up two more locations in Singapore, along with franchises in multiple counties. There’s always a line, but it moves quickly. The signature dish is soya chicken rice, and at 3 Singapore dollars (or around $2.25 American), it sounds like a steal. That’s even cheaper than a fast food value meal.

The chicken is marinated and braised with soy sauce and 10 different herbs, then served with sauteéd soybeans. But how is it?

According to the writer of the article,

The chicken was impossibly tender, and the sauce had a rich, balanced flavor. It was a perfect portion size for a filling yet not too heavy lunch.

Sounds good to me. Pair that with eating this outside during the middle of a sunny day, and you’ve got my ideal lunch. Cheap, al-fresco, and quick. Who wants to meet me at the hawker stalls for lunch today?

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.


Brick HardMeat

Can you guys do a crash course/recipe piece on chicken rice? Certainly not suggesting I can match Michelin-level cooking but this seems like something cooks can at least attempt/approximate at home.