SINGAPORE - Out of the 67 recipients of this year's Bib Gourmand award, nine are new to the list.
Five of them offer hawker fare. They include Kelantan Kway Chap Pig Organ Soup at Berseh Food Centre; chee cheong fun specialist Sing Lung HK Cheong Fun in Beach Road; and One Prawn & Co in Macpherson, known for its rich prawn noodle soup served in a claypot.
One Prawn & Co’s owner Gwyneth Ang, 29, received a flurry of congratulatory messages from friends after the announcement was released.
The stall, which opened in 2019 at Golden Mile Food Centre, has been at its current location since January.
She says: “I am elevating local cuisine and have put a lot of homework into each component. It is not just about the prawns, but other under-valued yet crucial ingredients such as fried shallots and pork lard.
“Over the years, I’ve constantly worked on improving the soup and sambal.”
The other two establishments are Hai Nan Xing Zhou Beef Noodles and LiXin Teochew Fishball Noodles - both located at Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre in Toa Payoh.
LiXin’s owner Lim Lee Seng, 76, says in Mandarin: “If people are happy with our food, that makes us happy too. We are not doing this for awards.”
While he runs the hawker stall in Toa Payoh, his son Eddie Lim, 52, has been working to expand the brand for the past 13 years.
Other locations include Ion Orchard, Changi City Point, Marina Bay Sands and VivoCity.
Its signature fishballs, fish cake and fish dumplings are made with yellowtail fish in their central kitchen.
New restaurants on the list are Indonesian restaurant Cumi Bali in Tras Street, Fool Wine Bar in Boon Tat Street and Thai restaurant Un-Yang-Kor-Dai in South Bridge Road - a former Michelin Plate recipient promoted to Bib Gourmand status.
The Michelin Plate is given to eateries with neither a Michelin star nor Bib Gourmand, but are recognised for having very good food.
Fool, which opened in November last year, joins the ranks of its sister restaurants - fellow Bib Gourmand recipient Kotuwa and one-Michelin-starred Cloudstreet - by chef Rishi Naleendra.
He says: “Given that we’re pretty new in the wine bar scene, we’re happy with how well-received it has been.”
Rounding off the new entries is Unagi Tei, which was formerly known as Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant. It is recognised as a new entrant because of its new name.
Ten eateries from last year are not on the list.
They include Ka-Soh's flagship restaurant at Outram Park, which shut on June 26; as well as nasi lemak restaurant The Coconut Club, which closed its Ann Siang outlet in March and recently reopened in Beach Road in end May.
Others include Balestier Road Hoover Rojak in Whampoa, Chef Kang's Noodle House in Toa Payoh and Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Laksa in Bukit Merah.
The eateries on the Bib Gourmand - nominated by Michelin inspectors - offer diners value-for-money food priced at no more than $45.
Mr Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide, says: "With this selection of newly awarded Bib Gourmand locations, we celebrate the dynamism of the local food industry, which has neither lost at all its passion, nor its quality of offerings."
The Bib Gourmand release comes shortly before the upcoming Michelin Guide announcement of its Michelin-starred restaurants on July 12. It resumes a physical award ceremony format at Marina Bay Sands.