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Do Affordable Eateries Ever Get Michelin Stars?

Think you need a fancy dining experience with white tablecloths, pretentious waiters, and unpronounceable entrées to earn a star in the coveted Michelin Guide? Well, it might be time to think again. In 2016, two street vendors in Singapore -- Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford Lane and Chinatown's Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle -- each earned one Michelin star for simple meals served at hawker stalls, a well-known part of Singapore's iconic street food culture. The open-air stalls now offer the most affordable Michelin-starred meals ever. A plate of soya sauce chicken and rice costs about $1.34 USD, less than many items on a fast-food restaurant menu.

A first for Singapore restaurateurs:

  • In Singapore, hawker stalls sell dishes such as chicken rice, char kway teow (fried flat noodles), rojak (mixed fruit salad with prawn paste), laksa, and chendol (coconut milk with palm sugar syrup, kidney beans and grass jelly).

  • Michelin's one-star award is given to restaurants with "high-quality cooking, worth a stop," according to the guide.

  • Singapore is the fourth Asian country to be rated by Michelin, in a guide book published every year by the French tire company. Asian dining excellence has previously been cited in Macau, Hong Kong, and Japan -- but never in such a low-key setting.

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More Info: NPR

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