One week before the announcement of the Michelin Guide Singapore’s winners every year, there is the unveiling of its Bib Gourmand list.
While the Bib Gourmand category does not offer the coveted culinary stars to eateries, it highlights worthy "restaurants and street food establishments offering quality cuisine at a maximum price of S$45” per person.
If you had barely felt any emotional turmoil over the recent departure of expensive eateries Restaurant Joël Robuchon, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Restaurant André and embattled American chef Mario Batali’s Osteria/Pizzeria Mozza, you might want to check out the Bib Gourmand winners, ’cos everything on the list is wallet-friendly and (according to Michelin inspectors) delicious.
This year, a total of 50 restaurants and street food establishments have been named in the lineup (12 more than last year’s), which will go into the third edition of Michelin Guide Singapore.
33 are hawker stalls and "street food" joints (casual eateries that are not located in a hawker centre) and 17 are restaurants.
The 17 new Bib Gourmand winners this year, of which a whopping 13 are hawkers, include: Tai Wah Pork Noodles, Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow from Old Airport Road Food Centre, which often boasts snaking queues (but we find only so-so), Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice, Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee and Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice.
If you think the name Tai Wah Pork Noodle at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre sounds familiar, well, it's run by Gerald Tang, the nephew of Tang Chay Seng, who runs the superior one Michelin-starred Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle.
Gerald’s father, Tang Chai Chye, used to run Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle with his elder brother Chay Seng at Marina Square till it moved to its current Crawford Lane location.
Chai Chye then went on to set up his own almost equally good stall at Bestway Building in Tanjong Pagar, but shuttered the stall when the building was closed for refurbishment.
The following restaurants also made it into the Michelin Guide Singapore for the first time: The Coconut Club (a worthy awardee, in our opinion), Sik Bao Sin and Muthu’s Curry (we think Banana Leaf Apolo or Samy’s should’ve made the list instead).
Alas, the eateries that dropped out of the Bib Gourmand list this year are: Liang Zhao Ji Duck Rice, Peony Jade, Shish Mahal Restaurant, 328 Katong Laksa and ramen restaurant Tsuta.
The Michelin Guide Singapore 2018 Star Revelation and Gala Dinner takes place next Wednesday (July 25) at Resorts World Sentosa.
The Full Bib Gourmand List
1. A Noodle Story
2. Alliance Seafood
3. Ah Er Soup (ABC Brickworks Food Centre)
4. Balestier Road Hoover Rojak
5. Bar-Roque Grill
6. Bismillah Biryani
7. Chai Chuan Tou Yang Rou Tang (Bukit Merah View Food Centre
8. Chey Sua Carrot Cake
9. Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck (Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre)
10. Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa
11. Eminent Frog Porridge & Seafood (Geylang Road Lorong 19)
12. Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa
13. Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle (Zion Riverside Food Centre)
14. Heng (Newton Food Centre)
15. Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee
16. Hong Kee Beef Noodle
17. Hong Kong Yummy Soup (Alexandra Village Food Centre)
18. Hoo Kee Bak Chang
19. J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff
20. Ka-Soh (Outram Park)
21. Kok Sen Restaurant
23. Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
24. Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice (Chinatown Complex)
25. Liao Fan Hawker Chan (78 Smith Street)
26. Man Man (Tanjong Pagar)
27. Muthu’s Curry (Little India)
28. Na Na Homemade Curry (Bukit Merah)
29. New Lucky Claypot Rice
30. New Ubin Seafood (Bukit Batok)
31. Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (Hong Lim Market & Food Centre)
32. Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff (Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre)
33. Shi Hui Yuan (Queenstown)
34. Shi Wei Da (Fengshan Market and Food Centre)
35. Sik Bao Sin (Desmond’s Creation)
36. Sin Huat Eating House
37. Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice (Holland Drive)
38. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh (New Bridge Road)
39. Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Hong Lim Market & Food Centre)
40. The Blue Ginger
41. The Coconut Club
42. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (Maxwell Food Centre)
43. Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (Tiong Bahru Food Centre)
44. Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee (ABC Brickworks Food Centre)
45. Shirokane Tori-tama
46. True Blue Cuisine
47. Whole Earth
48. Yhingthai Palace
49. Zaffron Kitchen (East Coast)
50. Zai Shun Curry Fish Head