After a tumultuous year of dining restrictions, some hawkers and restaurants in Singapore received some cheer with the unveiling of the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand results.
This year, 9 new eateries, comprising 4 hawker stalls and 5 restaurants, made the cut for the Bib Gourmand list, which recognizes eateries that offer diners ‘very good value for money, with a complete and high-quality menu priced at a maximum of S$45’, according to the guide by the French tyre company.
A total of 67 eateries received the Bib Gourmand accolade this year — two fewer than last year.
New restaurants that entered the list this year include Indonesian restaurant Cumi Bali (which has relocated to Tras Street); Fool, a modern wine bar by chef-owner, Rishi Naleendra, who also runs Kotuwa (a Bib Gourmand eatery that serves Sri Lankan food) and the one Michelin-starred Cloudstreet; and One Prawn & Co in MacPherson Road, which is started by Gywneth Ang, a former chef at Burnt Ends. The restaurant is known for serving prawn noodles that have a rich and full-bodied broth.
Rounding out the new restaurants segment are Un-Yang-Kor-Dai, which specialises in Isan cuisine from northeastern Thailand, is known for its Leng Zaab and the Pen Laos Signature Chicken and char-grilled eel restaurant Unagi Tei, which used to be known as Man-man.
Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre in Toa Payoh has two stalls with freshly-minted Bib Gourmand status. They are Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodles, which specialises in Hainanese-style beef noodles, and Lixin Teochew Fishball, which serves hand-made fishballs.
Other new hawkers on the Bib Gourmand list are Sing Lung HK Cheong Fun in Beach Road and Kelantan Kway Chap · Pig Organ Soup at Berseh Food Centre.
Notable misses from the Bib Gourmand List
Drop-outs include hawker stalls such as Balestier Road Hoover Rojak, Bedok Chwee Kueh at Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre, Chef Kang’s Noodles (by chef Ang Song Kang who runs the one Michelin-starred Chef Kang’s), Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa, Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle at Zion Riverside Food Centre and Hock Hai Curry Chicken Bee Noon Noodle in Albert Centre.
On the restaurant front, Ka-Soh’s flagship outlet in Outram closed for good last month and nasi lemak restaurant The Coconut Club relocated to Beach Road in May. The Guide re-assesses the eateries when they relocate.
The Hawker Chan stall in Chinatown Complex Food Centre, which lost its Michelin star last year, failed to secure a Bib Gourmand accolade — a wish that its chef-founder Chan Hon Meng had hoped for. However, its Smith Street outlet is still on the Bib Gourmand list.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide, says: “With this selection of newly awarded Bib Gourmand locations, we celebrate the dynamism of the local food industry, which has neither lost at all its passion, nor its quality of offerings. Hawker centre stalls and street food are fully part of the very unique Singaporean culture, and our inspectors were amazed to deep dive into these authentic dishes that are full of flavour, culinary experiences, and led by talented professionals who enhance common ingredients.”
All eyes on the stars now
All eyes will now be on the announcement of the highly-coveted starred restaurant list that will be out next Tuesday. The list will be unveiled at a gala dinner and ceremony at Marina Bay Sands on 12 July. This will be the Michelin Guide’s first physical event in Singapore in more than two years.