Singapore’s Hawker Chan has now hit Melbourne with its legendary Michelin star chicken rice
A staple dish as simple as chicken rice has excited Melbournians in anticipation of the quality food to be expected at Hawker Chan’s first Australian venue. Having just opened its doors on Lonsdale Street in Melbourne, Hawker Chan is bringing us one of the world’s cheapest Michelin star dishes. Chef Chan Hon Meng boasts Michelin single stars in both 2016 and 2017, for his delicious soya sauce chicken rice, and it’s easy to see why. With over 30 years of experience under his belt, his hawker stall in Singapore, which opened in 2009, is known to have customers line up for hours.
The 92-seater Melbourne venue has a relaxed, casual vibe, with canteen style ordering protocols. Head to the counter, place your order, and within minutes your food is ready to collect. Then make your way to an available table to treat yourself to something special.
With most dishes under $10 and the soya sauce chicken rice a mere $6.80, it might be assumed that the fare would be ordinary. But Chef Chan manages to bring us 20 dishes that have a taste which will have you convinced they belong in a top-end restaurant.
The menu is perfect for sharing, too. The char siew, roasted pork and pork rib platter is ‘melt in your mouth’ good. The wonton soup with a delicious warm broth is an ideal tummy filler, and the crispy thai style tofu with a sweet chilli sauce makes a great accompaniment to any feast.
And of course, you must order the soya chicken, with either rice, noodles or hor fun (rice noodle). The chicken is tender and has a delicious sauce on the skin. Not surprising when the process each day involves a freshly made-from-scratch marinade, which is used to steep whole chickens overnight, and are then braised until the skin is a glossy brown. Chef Chan keeps his soya sauce marinade recipe a secret, but reveals some of the aromatics to include angelica root, cloves, coriander seed and star anise.
To quench your thirst during your feast, try a chinese tea, homemade chrysanthemum tea, or homemade plum juice.
If you’re looking for a quick meal on your way home from a busy day at work, or a generous feast with friends, Hawker Chan should be at the top of your list. After all, a rumbling belly does not have to mean a generous hip pocket.
157-159 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Open daily 10am – 10 pm