3 Michelin starred street food vendors in Asia

Asian street food, which has long been famous for its diversity, simplicity, and exquisite flavours, never fails to impress thousands of visitors around the world. As an absolute evidence for the high-end cuisine of asia, there are many street food vendors of this continent that have been awarded michelin stars.

As prestigious as the Academy Awards Oscar of the film industry or the Grammy Award of the music industry, Michelin Stars are a crucial award for assessing the service quality of a restaurant in the culinary industry. Annually, Michelin-starred restaurants will be honoured in The worldwide Michelin Guide – published since 1900. After being awarded these flower-shaped stars, the reputation of the restaurants will grow rapidly, and many customers have to book several months in advance when they want to eat there. Though most of Michelin-starred restaurants have luxury 5-star ambiance and facilities, in recent years, some street food vendors in Asia with simple set-ups featuring plastic chairs and tables arranged on the sidewalk have caught the eye of Michelin reviewers thanks to their good quality, unique flavors of the dishes, and affordable prices.

1. RAAN JAY FAI, BANGKOK

Jay Fai, the queen of Thai street food, is a living legend of Bangkok. Every day, the 70-year-old chef wearing a woolen hat and goggles is absorbed in cooking famous Thai street food. Many visitors even compare Jay Fai to a conductor who is cooking so gracefully and artistically by the charcoal brazier, pans and ladles being her musical instruments. Jay Fai’s signature dish is the legendary “khai jeaw poo” (Crab Omelets). The omelet is crispy outside and filled with sweet fresh crab meat inside, served with a side of sriracha and a sprig of parsley. One portion of the omelet full of crab meat is about 1.5 times bigger than hand size, costing THB800 (VND500,000).

Besides khai jeaw poo, Raan Jay Fai serves many other dishes such as seafood, or prawn in thick gravy noodles that costs THB400-500 (VND300,000) depending on the amount of noodles and seafood. This dish is quite expensive as it is cooked with a lot of fresh, highquality prawns. The noodles are stir-fried on a hot giant pan with greasy sauce and Thai spices for spicy flavour and fresh prawns. This dish tastes really delicious; therefore, it is always one of the signature dishes of the restaurant, though it is relatively expensive.

Tourists to Raan Jay Fai can try specialties of Thailand such as pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodle dish), green curry, crab curry, or Larb Pla Duk (catfish salad).

  • 1 Michelin star
  • 327 Mahachai Road, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 3pm – 2am (Monday – Saturday), closed Sunday

2. HONG KONG SOYA SAUCE CHICKEN RICE & NOODLE, SINGAPORE

In Singapore, the world’s most expensive city to live in, the Michelin-starred Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles Restaurant of Chef Chan Hong Meng, which costs about SGD3.8 (VND67,000), is a really attractive food stall for any visitor. The restaurant is located on Smith Street, Chinatown Complex.

Tourists’ most favorite dish is Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice. The Soya Sauce Chicken lives up to its name with tender and smooth meat, and it is good enough to eat without adding more chili sauce. Meanwhile, the rice, which is covered in a thin layer of dark savory sauce, aromatic oil and served with stewed salted peanuts, tastes even better with chili sauce. Besides the Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, you can try Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles, pork rib hor fun, roasted pork with dry hor fun, and char siu rice. Especially, with Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles the meat tastes heavenly and perfectly executed while the noodles are chewy and tasty. When served with slices of spicy green pepper, it tastes much better.

Chef Chan Hon Meng has 35 years of cooking experience. He shared that he learned this dish from a chef who lives in Hong Kong and brought it to Singapore. Today, his food stall is one of the most famous places in Singapore, well known by citizens and tourists. Many visitors have to line up for 2 hours to enjoy the dish but still feel happy and satisfied as the food is truly delicious, deserving of their time effort of waiting.

  • 1 Michelin star
  • 02-127 Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith Street, Singapore.
  • Monday, Tuesday, And Thursday: 10.30am – 7pm; Saturday and Sunday: 8.30am – 7pm.

3. TIM HO WAN, HONGKONG

Tim Ho Wan is a famous Dim Sum brand. Its first restaurant opened in Hong Kong in 2009. In the first year, Tim Ho Wan welcomed thousands of visitors every day, some visitors even had to wait for 2-3 hours for their turn. And after a year of success, Tim Ho Wan was awarded 1 Michelin star.

Deserving of the Michelin award, the quality of Tim Ho Wan’s food is excellent. The steamed meatballs are soft and firm with a lot of coriander. The rice roll with pork liver is praised as a delicious dish by visitors. In addition, shumai with shrimps and mushrooms and or pineapple cake “cha siu” are two of the culinary highlights of the restaurant.

Tim Ho Wan’s red bean paste pancake is considered the best in Hong Kong, at a very affordable price of about HKD16 (VND47,600) per portion of 3 pieces. After being taken out of the oven, the cake is hot with a smooth crust, the cake filling of red beans has a sweet taste while the cha siu meat adds a hint of saltiness. This pancake is really delicious and is one of the signature dishes of the restaurant. In addition, you can try a Vermicelli Roll with pork at the price of HKD17 (VND50,000). Normally, visitors will spend about HKD100 (about VND300,000) for 7 dishes.

  • 1 Michelin star
  • Shop G, 72A-B, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road,Tai Kwok Tsui, Kowloon, HongKong
  • 8am – 9pm daily.

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