SINGAPORE, July 14 — Hawker Chan Hon Meng of Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle fame has grand plans. Since his stall received a Michelin star last year, he has ventured into Taiwan and Indonesia, and has plans to enter the Australian and Philippines markets as well.
n April this year, Chan opened an outlet — Hawker Chan — in Taipei and last month, he opened another outlet in Jakarta.
On his decision to open an outlet in Indonesia, Chan said: “There are many Indonesians who came to Singapore to seek our food. Based on this, we did research and found out that Indonesia does not offer this type of food so we decided to open an outlet here.”
The Jakarta outlet, which opened in June 20, is housed on the second floor of Hong Kong Michelin-starred dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan, in North Jakarta. The location was chosen because of a sizable number of local Chinese residents living in the area, explained Chan.
Tim Ho Wan and Hawker Chan’s franchisee is Hersing Culinary, which oversees the operations in Jakarta. Chan said he plans to make period trips there to do quality control checks. He added: “If there’s something they do not know how to do, or if a problem were to arise, then I will fly down immediately to rectify it.”
A Malaysian-born chef is helming the Jakarta outlet.
To ensure the same quality of food is served there, the chef was in Singapore for a two-week intensive training stint, said Chan, who noted that the sauce and secret recipe are from Singapore.
“He has more than 20 years of experience in roasting. We trained him on our entire process from how to roast, to preparing the sauce and how to run the operations there. From there, he used his experience to get the flavour right,” Chan added.
Customers at the Jakarta outlet can expect to find the eatery’s signature dishes priced from IDR29,000 (RM9). Since its opening, the outlet has a waiting time of more than 45 minutes during peak hour, according to Chan. However, he said, “It won’t exceed one hour because we will definitely have more workers here. When it’s crowded, we will increase our manpower.”
He added: “At the moment, we are doing pretty well. We will observe for a while more and gather customer feedback before we decide on anything else.”
Chan revealed that he hopes to further expand into other countries but has to do more research. The two markets he is eyeing are Australia and Philippines.
“We need to understand the local flavour and see whether they will like our food or not. We need to know their culture and whether we can prepare the dish there or not. For instance, if they don’t have the meat, then we won’t be able to open a store here,” Chan explained.
The Hawker Chan outlet in Singapore was the first quick-service restaurant opened by Chan. The outlet entered into the Bib Gourmand List this year. His One Michelin-starred hawker stall at Chinatown retained their one-star in the Michelin Guide 2017. — TODAY