In the small Southeast Asian island of Singapore, "hawker stalls," better known in the West as street food stalls, have been around for decades, offering cheap and delicious meals for pedestrian passers-by. But while street food in the West is at best a delicious guilty pleasure that few consider fine dining, two hawker stalls proved that street food can be haute cuisine by earning coveted Michelin stars.
The Michelin food rating system, in which restaurants can earn one to three stars for quality, is the most prestigious restaurant honor in the world. Restaurants with a Michelin star are rare; to put it in perspective, there are no restaurants with even a single star in all of Canada. The Singaporean restaurants, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa, are the first food stalls ever to be awarded a star, and are among the only restaurants with the honor in all of Southeast Asia.