The Most Affordable Michelin Star Meal in the World and a Soy Sauce Chicken Candle

In 1900, French tire makers, Andre and Edouard Michelin printed the first Michelin Guide. Since there were only three thousand cars in France at the time, the Michelin brothers thought that a guidebook might encourage people to buy automobiles so they could enjoy a road trip. The guide included maps and addresses for restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and mechanics that could be found along popular routes in France. This guide became so popular that by 1910 this publication was expanded to include all of western Europe. Southern Italy, Corsica, and North Africa.

The early Michelin guides didn’t include any restaurant reviews. When the first reviews were added in 1926, they only offered a single star. These stars were only awarded to fine dining restaurants.

The format for today’s Michelin guide wasn’t introduced until 1926 when the use of three stars were introduced. The criteria for awarding stars used the following format:

  •  “A very good restaurant in its category” (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
  •  “Excellent cooking, worth a detour” (Table excellente, mérite un détour)
  •  “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage).[5]

The United States was not included in this guide until 2005. Although Michelin initially focused on fine dining restaurants in New York City, it has since been expanded to include reviews for restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

In 2007 the guide was expanded again to include Hong Kong and Tokyo. Singapore was added in 2016.

The addition of Singapore added a new Michelin record for the lowest priced Michelin rated meal in the world. For two Singaporean dollars ($1.42 U.S.), diners may order soy sauce chicken with rice or noodles (pictured above left) from the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (pictured above right).

Soy sauce chicken is a dish that’s made by braising chicken in soy sauce with ginger, garlic, and star anise. To see how this is made, click here to watch a production demonstration video that I filmed and uploaded to YouTube for my culinary students.

When properly made, soy sauce chicken gives the poultry a dark glaze. The meat is succulent and fall off the bone tender. After degreasing the broth, the soy sauce broth is poured over the plated chicken as a simple sauce.

Having received an order for a seasoned chicken candle fragrance, I thought I’d play with it to see if I could produce a Soy Sauce chicken candle. To do this, I first had to make a chicken drumstick. After making this drum stick, I used a hot knife to cut it into oblique sections.

In Chinese cuisine, food is always cut to bite sized portion to facilitate the use of chopsticks. In real life, after fabricating a chicken to produce drumsticks, thighs, wings, breasts, and a backbone; a Chinese chef would use a heavy duty meat cleaver to cut each piece into smaller components.

The sliced drum stick was served on a bed of rice with Chinese cabbage. I added a baby carrot for color. I then added soy sauce which I made by mixing soy wax with medium density candle gel.

This candle smells of brown sugar, ginger, seasoned chicken, garlic, and Asian spice fragrances.

The culinary fame garnered by a Michelin star rating has made it challenging to order chicken from this stall. Lines begin forming even before the shop has opened. Customers have been known to stand in line for up to two hours to order a meal.

The stall’s address is: #02-126 Chinatown Food Complex 335 Smith St Singapore 050335

Hours of operation: Monday to Saturday, 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM

The stall’s success encouraged the owner to open a second location. Unlike the stall which only offers meals to go, the second location offers seating for up to 80 people. The chicken at this restaurant is a bit more expensive given the store’s higher overhead costs but diners may still order soy sauce chicken for less than $4.00 (U.S.) per plate.

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