「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


Singapore's Michelin Guide

By Tan Ying Zhen


Singapore recently got its inaugural Michelin Guide. In a country of foodies who get into intense debates about where the best chicken rice is, everyone had an opinion.

Why was this restaurant left out? How could they miss out on dishes like char kway teow and laksa? Did the Michelin inspectors visit only one or two food centres? Is it a conflict of interest that the guide is partnering Resorts World Sentosa, where as many as four restaurants were awarded Michelin stars?

Prominent food critics have weighed in on the guide too. Many expressed reservations about the inclusion of certain restaurants over others. Given their experience and familiarity with the local food scene, their views have a strong influence on public opinion.

That said, the Michelin Guide is not without its merits. Some see it as a sign of recognition for Singapore as a culinary capital. Singapore is the first Southeast Asian country — and the fourth Asian destination after Japan, Hong Kong and Macau — to be rated.

Singapore has also made history by having the first Michelin-starred hawkers, or "street vendors," in the world. The inclusion of hawker food, well-loved by both Singaporeans and foreigners, is a significant acknowledgement of the quality food that local hawkers serve, and for a fraction of the price of a restaurant meal to boot.

"For the first time, you would be able to have a Michelin-starred meal for under SG$5 (¥390)," said Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin guides in an interview with AFP.

For $2 (the equivalent of about ¥160), you can get a plate of soya sauce chicken rice from a stall in Chinatown named Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. This is the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. The other Michelin hawker, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle Stall, offers a bowl of springy noodles with minced pork, liver and wontons in a vinegary sauce for $5.

Both hawker stalls attracted longer queues than usual the day after the Michelin Guide announced its choices. Tourists will probably start to flock to these stalls too. Singaporeans who are loyal customers of these stalls will have to get used to waiting for a longer time than before. People are also worried that the Michelin Guide may end up being a curse, if the quality of the food starts to fall — or if the rent goes up and the hawkers are forced to raise their prices.

Fortunately, there are many good hawkers in Singapore and we have long known how lucky we are to have great food at such reasonable prices. Whatever the Michelin Guide chooses to include, every Singaporean already has a food guide of their own.



The Japan Times ST: August 19, 2016

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版