Hawker Chan is the first street food vendor to achieve 1 Michelin Star. Their original location is based in Singapore but they have opened a location in Melbourne last December so lucky me! I also happened to come across their videos online as well so I was excited to go. They’re the cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant so I can actually afford it. Hawker Chan is famous for their soya sauce chicken dish which costs about $2 in Singapore!
The Melbourne location is no hole in the wall. It was actually much bigger than I expected and that’s good because there are always people coming and going. They’ve also designed the restaurant so that’s very long and can accommodate long queues. It’s cafeteria style so you order at the counter and you get a number and then you go find a table and wait for your number to be called. There’s a screen that shows what orders are being prepared and which ones are ready kind of like at McDonald’s. As you line up to place your order, you can keep yourself occupied by reading all the articles about Mr. Chan on the wall. There are also menus available to ensure you know what you’re ordering. Although you have to wait, the line does move quickly.
The dishes here are really cheap so I did expect that the portions would reflect that as well because Australia is not cheap. Hawker Chan offers 4 meat options: soya sauce chicken, roast pork, cha siu pork and pork ribs. For each meat option, you can get it with either rice, noodles or hor fun (flat rice noodles). Above we have the Roast Pork with Hor Fun ($9.80). It comes with a bit of sambal chilli sauce on the side and some Shanghainese bok choy on top. The roast pork was succulent and the noodles were smooth and went well with the sauce. There are also additional condiments that you can get like jalapenos and chilli sauce and extra soy sauce if you need more.
The Soya Sauce Chicken with Rice is their most famous dish so of course we had to get it. This only cost $6.80! It came with 4 pieces of chicken and some beans and a slice of cucumber served on the side. The marinade on the chicken was really good and you can taste a lot of spices like cloves and star anise in the marinade through the skin. Whole chickens are stepped in the marinade overnight. I didn’t think it was the most moist or smooth chicken I’ve ever had though but the marinade was what made it unique. I also felt that my rice was too cold which detracted from my experience. The hor fun tasted a lot better than my rice. The famous chicken is also available for order as a whole chicken or as half a chicken.
I admit I was expecting something more mind blowing here but I was kinda prepared for the quality to be less consistent than their Singapore location. However maybe it was just a one off thing… if you live or work around the area though it would be worth going back if you don’t mind the queue. You can check out this quick video on Facebook that features Hawker Chan. It’s a lot more drool-worthy than my post!