Now Open: First Hawker Chan in Manila

Hawkers are so popular in Singapore, these are food stalls along the streets of a city that sell cheap and affordable food. This is, somehow, already a street food culture in the metropolis.  In some formal terms, hawker is a trader who goes from place to place, or along the streets of a town, selling the goods which he carries with him. (The Law Dictionary)

When I went to Singapore a year ago, I had my first experience with hawker food. It was cheap for about S$2-3 per meal and it was not bad at all since we all know that Singapore has a high cost of living.

HAWKER CHAN IN METRO MANILA

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The world’s first and cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant (hawker) is now in the Philippines, Hawker Chan.

Hawker Chan opened last July 26, 2018 at SM Mall of Asia’s entertainment mall area. The well-known food stall of Chef Chan that originally started in Chinatown Food Centre in Singapore as a humble hawker is now conquering the tastebuds of the Filipinos.

The brand is managed by Foodee Global Concepts along with other brands like Tim Ho Wan, Todd English Food Hall, Pound by Todd English, Hook by Todd English, FOO’D by David Oldani, MESA Filipino Moderne, Llaollao, and Sunnies Café.

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OPENING DAY

It was a long queue when I went to Mall of Asia to try Hawker Chan. They catered the first 100 customers on the opening day with corresponding perks such as 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, and 1 month supply of their signature dish, the Soya Sauce Chicken Rice.

The queue made me wait for about 1.5 hours, but I’m really expecting an inevitable line for a first day. However, the jam-packed opening was a proof that Hawker Chan was welcomed warmly by the Philippine market.

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And when I got it inside the outlet, I immediately ordered Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, Thai Style Tofu, and a glass of House Blend Iced Tea. As I see the glazing meat and skin of the chicken plus the aroma of Thai tofu, it makes me want to savor every bite of my order.

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FOOD QUALITY

The Soya Sauce Chicken Rice will always be on the spotlight of Hawker Chan, maybe because the outlet started from that dish and gave more time mastering the perfect recipe. Hence, it has a good taste. On the other hand, what I loved more when I tasted their food was the Thai Style Tofu, it was indeed flavorful. The mix of sourness and sweetness of the dish makes me want to order more of it. You will never go wrong with Thai Style Tofu. And with this, I’ll give a 4/5.

SERVICE QUALITY

The waiting line to food service were really organized. Sometimes, first day openings of restaurants is open to lots of mistakes but I find it amusing when the staff gave their passion on the opening day. They have a swift bussing and I personally believe that it plays an important aspect of service that oftentimes being overlooked by restaurant owners. Order time was fast as well, I guess the management took the opening day seriously as this will leave a good impression to the customers. Since everything ran smoothly, it’s a 4/5 then.

FACILITY QUALITY

Opening day impression for the facilities and overall look of the restaurant was just fine, things were just simple from interiors to exteriors. Well, maybe they still want to stand by their brand as a hawker dining outlet, simple and open to the mass. Cleanliness was impressive though. I’ll give 3.5/5.

PRICE QUALITY

It was worth it! Food price is really affordable for a Michelin-starred restaurant. Soya Sauce Chicken Rice is only worth PhP 128 inclusive of the government taxes. Hawker Chan is making it sure that you will not run out of money after dining with them. To think this is rated by Michelin as one of the bests in the world, I’ll rate this a 4.5/5.

My experience with Hawker Chan, as expected, was great. Though it was swarmed by customers on the opening day, the long lines didn’t affect my decision to go home instead of waiting. That feeling when I first tasted and experienced hawkers in Singapore was almost the same experience I felt with Hawker Chan. And luckily, I got a 1 month supply of Soya Sauce Chicken Rice. Hurrah!

Hawker Chan is open daily from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm. at G/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.  You may follow their social media accounts for the outlet’s happenings, Facebook and Instagram.

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