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  • I'm Xin En from CNBC.

  • My last name is Chan. I'm Hawker Chan.

  • And we're here for the world's cheapest one-star Michelin meal.

  • This is Mr Chan and we are at his stall in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown.

  • The humble Mr Chan, who calls himself Hawker Chan, has received one Michelin star from

  • the world's most prestigious food guide for two years in a row.

  • More importantly, he has also created the world's cheapest one-Michelin star meal.

  • This plate of succulent chicken and rice costs just $1.50, a third of what a Big Mac in Singapore would cost.

  • And he hasn't raised prices since he opened eight years ago.

  • So how does he manage to make the world's cheapest one-star meal?

  • We went into his kitchen to find out what makes his business tick.

  • It may look like a small operation but it's a thriving business.

  • The two stores in Chinatown use 154 pounds of barbecued pork in a day,

  • which is marinated overnight and barbecued every day.

  • The restaurant also uses 33 pounds of vegetables, 33 pounds of rice,

  • 22 pounds of noodles and 22 pounds of chilli sauce everyday.

  • Hawker Chan concentrates on making his award- winning chicken, tasting and preparing the sauce.

  • He puts various ingredients into 13 gallons of secret sauce,

  • arranges the chickens in a certain order in this giant pot, and covers it for about 20 minutes.

  • Finally, Hawker Chan lets me into one little secret of his trade, how to rub maltose on the chicken.

  • Like it's your boyfriend. Slowly, slowly.

  • The chef says, love this chicken like you love your boyfriend.

  • Hawker Chan sells 90 of his lovingly massaged chickens a day at his original stall,

  • which is just nine feet by six feet wide.

  • The original outlet makes about S$2,000 a day roughly $1,500.

  • That comes to a whopping $36,000 in revenue in a month.

  • That sounds like a lot, but after taking away the costs of his raw materials like chicken and pork,

  • the salaries of his employees, utilities and rent he told me that he makes a profit margin of just 10 to 15%.

  • Food and Michelin stars make for big business in Singapore.

  • Since gaining a star, Mr Chan has partnered with Hersing Culinary, a Singapore-based company

  • which also owns the franchising rights to Hong Kong's Michelin-starred dim sum eatery Tim Ho Wan.

  • Hersing sunk in S$1 million, or $700,000, for the first air-conditioned Hawker Chan restaurant.

  • There are now three outlets in Singapore, two in Taiwan, two in Thailand

  • and another due to open in Australia by the end of this year.

  • You would imagine that the Michelin hype might have died down after a year,

  • but there is so much demand for Hawker Chan's chicken rice that there is a line every single day.

  • Hawker Chan said that last year, customers would have to queue four to five hours for a plate of chicken rice.

  • For the full one Michelin star experience, I decide to join in the queue.

  • When you have a queue this long, reselling is strictly prohibited.

  • After about 40 minutes of waiting, I finally get my coveted chicken.

  • The verdict?

  • Silky, smooth and really flavorful chicken.

  • Celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay are both known

  • for their love of Singapore's Hawker centers and its cheap, good quality food.

  • Singapore is gaining recognition as a global food hub with a total of 47 Michelin stars

  • awarded to restaurants this year, an increase of 12 stars from last year.

  • It still has a long way to catch up with Asian food capitals like Tokyo, which has more than 300 stars,

  • but there's no doubt that the Michelin stars will make the food business in Singapore even bigger than it is today.

  • For now, I'll be thanking my lucky stars that I get to eat this one-star Michelin meal for $1.50.

  • Thanks Chef Chan!

I'm Xin En from CNBC.

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The business behind the world's cheapest one-star Michelin meal | CNBC Reports

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    April Lu posted on 2018/11/29
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