It has become quite an apparent trend that many restaurant chefs—some even hailing from prestigious hotels—have decided to hang up their aprons to pursue their own businesses, operating in hawker stalls instead.
Perhaps it’s due to the alleviated pressure, or maybe these veterans just want to settle down and finally do something that they can wholeheartedly call their own. Either way, it’s always a new reason to get excited whenever we hear of such news. To enjoy high-ses food at low-ses prices, here is our list of 6 hawker stalls opened by ex-restaurant chefs.
A NOODLE STORY
Opened by 2 young hawkers who gained accolades from Michelin-starred restaurants such as Saint Pierre and Iggy’s, their passion and relentless efforts in creating a local-style Singapore ramen led A Noodle Story to what it is today. This Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed stall located at Amoy Street Food Centre serves Singapore-style ramen that is specially created to suit local taste buds.
Inspired by modern European techniques and Asian flavours, their signature ramen has a distinctive local flavour that kind of reminds us of our wanton noodles–with tender cha-shu, Hong Kong-style wontons, onsen egg and crispy potato-wrapped prawn that sits neatly atop the thin and springy egg noodles.
A Noodle Story
7 Maxwell Road
#01-39 Amoy Street Food Centre
Tel: +65 9027 6289
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 2pm, 5.30pm – 7pm
Sat: 10.30am – 1.30pm
(Closed on Sunday)
Nearest Station: Telok Ayer
Previously known as Le Bouillon, Little Bowl is an unpretentious eatery that serves restaurant quality European grub as it is. Tucked in Clifford Centre’s NTUC Foodfare, Little Bowl is a hit among the office crowd due to the affordable prices and of course, quality food.
Started by 3 chefs who met during their time working at Saveur, they decided to start their own business after the founders of Saveur sold the business and went their separate ways. You can look forward to a delectable spread of French fare that is similar to that of Saveur’s standard, without burning a hole in your pockets.
24 Raffles Place
#B1-01/10 Clifford Centre NTUC Foodfare
Mon to Fri: 10am – 7pm
Sat: 10am – 3pm
(Closed on Sunday)
Nearest Station: Raffles Place
Photo Credit: Eddie Tai
MEET 4 MEAT
With over 20 years of experience working in a professional kitchen, former Wooloomooloo Steakhouse chef, Jimmy Teo, co-founded Meet 4 Meat—a no-frills eatery that serves up premium grilled steaks at affordable prices. Located in a humble Kopitiam along the bustling East Coast Road, Meet 4 Meat offers restaurant quality fare in a casual and relaxed dining experience to people from all walks of life.
Their steaks are cooked using a flame-grill, which adds a robust smoky flavour to the different cuts of meat. One of the must-try dishes is their signature Beef Wellington, which comes with a tenderloin coated in a red wine mushroom duxelle (a finely chopped mixture of mushrooms), wrapped in a puff pastry shell and baked.
Meet 4 Meat
228 East Coast Road
Tel: +65 8290 3605
Daily: 12pm – 2.30pm, 3.30pm – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Eunos
MR CHICKEN RICE
Opened and run by an ex-Mandarin Orchard Hotel chef who knows all the secrets to the plate of award-winning Chatterbox’s tasty chicken rice, Mr Chicken Rice is a humble and fuss-free eatery at Downtown East that serves almost the same standard of chicken rice at prices as low as a hawker stall’s.
The Signature Tofu Set comes with a plate of silky smooth steamed Hainanese chicken that sits atop the fragrant chicken rice, deep-fried tofu drizzled with sweet and tangy Thai chilli and a side of cabbage soup to wash down the spiciness of their piquant chilli sauce.
Mr Chicken Rice
1 Pasir Ris Close
#02-120 Downtown East
Tel: +65 6582 1302
Mon to Sun: 11am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Pasir Ris
Photo Credit: supremeramenxiaolongbao
SUPREME RAMEN XIAO LONG BAO
The brainchild of Chef Li — an ex-Crystal Jade chef with over 20 years of experience as a dim sum chef — Supreme Ramen Xiao Long Bao located in Holland Drive serves authentic and affordable Chinese cuisine, which is absolutely worth travelling for.
A basket of their signature Xiao Long Bao (6 for S$4.50) comes with 6 plump Xiao Long Bao—all of which came with a translucent skin that encapsulates the generous amount of pork filling and tasty pork broth. Given the size and quality of the XLBs, we have to say that it is really value-for-money and we would definitely head down to get our XLB fix if we were around that area.
Supreme Ramen Xiao Long Bao
46 Holland Drive
Tel: +65 9798 2211
Daily: 9am – 1.30pm, 4.30pm – 8pm
Nearest Station: Holland Village/Buona Vista
Photo Credit: Yokozuna Stall
Tucked in an unassuming Kopitiam in Toa Payoh, one would think that Yokozuna Stall is just like any other mediocre hawker Japanese food stall. However, this humble establishment is opened by Chef Francis, an ex-teppanyaki chef at M Hotel with two decades of experience in the F&B industry–and his wife.
Starting an eatery of his own, Chef Francis gets to enjoy the liberty of creating new flavours so be prepared to get treated to a modest selection of creative and mouth-watering Japanese delights.
211 Lor 8 Toa Payoh #01-01
Tel: +65 9732 8813
Mon to Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 8.30pm
Sat and Sun: 12pm – 8.30pm
Nearest Station: Braddell/Toa Payoh