My family loves spicy food. As a lover of mala and intensely spicy flavours, I actively seek out the best steamboat restaurants in Singapore as much as possible. I chanced upon Han Shi Fang (汉食坊) when I found out that the owner of this place was the ex-staff in my old favourite steamboat establishment.
The restaurant was small but had very attentive staff with good service. They also have a clean toilet and free wifi.
Han Shi Fang isn’t your regular buffet place where you keep ordering the same things over and over again. It’s a fully ala-carte restaurant, where you choose what you want and pay-per-dish. Initially, I thought that we would be spending a lot of money here. However, I found that we actually spent less, had better quality food and was generally very satisfied compared to buffet places which easily costs over $22.
The entire place seems really clean and proper, and the ordering process very easy with an iPad. Their menu has everything you would expect from a steamboat place; meats, seafood, veg etc. There are also premium dishes like crabs etc. They also have a BBQ plate attached to the steamboat pot, which we did not utilize as we just wanted the steamboat experience.
When we were seated, we were already introduced to the pot. The staff here mentioned that the pot was specially brought in from China, and the sides of the pot was made of a material that ensured that you would not get accidentally burnt. It seemed like a lot of attention was given to their crockery as everything was beautifully engraved with their logo.
We were also given complimentary side dishes, which appears to change once in awhile. We were served radish and fried potato, while previously we were given peanuts and beancurd skin.
Han Shi Fang differentiates itself from the competition by giving its customers an authentic Chinese Steamboat experience. Not only were all the staff Chinese, the utensils, pot, even beer and soups were also in a very original Chinese style – in a good way.
The next thing I was impressed by was the sauces. We were given three different sauces – peanut sauce, their specialty chilli and curry powder.
I found myself using the chilli sauce and curry powder the most. The curry powder reminds you of the Maggi Curry powder, and both goes very well with their dishes.
We chose the Mala Soup, my personal favourite, and one recommended non-spicy soup, Chicken Soup, which is our usual benchmark for comparison among steamboat restaurants.
The chicken soup was tasty throughout the entire meal. I feel that it was generally better than most basic chicken soups in steamboat places I’ve been to. A plus point is that it stayed tasty and consistent throughout the meal, even with dishes being added. Not all places have soups of such strong flavour that retains until the end of the meal.
Their Mala Soup comes in varying levels of spiciness. Less Spicy, Normal, Medium Spicy and Extra Spicy. We usually go for Extra Spicy, but found that the levels of spiciness here is proportionate to the oil levels, so we ordered Medium Spicy, less oil (Which is suspect is normal spiciness). It was not overwhelmingly spicy but still very oily. The mala soup complemented their dishes really well, and tasted even better with more meat dishes being added in.
We started off with fish slices ($6). Tasted pretty ordinary like any other place, but presented nicely.
All of us agreed that their best dish was the 肥牛卷, Fat Beef Rolls ($12 for small, $18 for medium). The beef was thinly sliced, making it cook really fast by simply swishing it into the hot soup a few times. It was delicious and complemented the sauces well. It was so good that we had to order it twice.
We also ordered the mushroom platter which serves a variety of mushrooms like Enoki (Golden) Musroom, White Beech Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms and King Oyster Mushroom. It was a good variety platter that is good for its price.
The pork belly, at $10, was another dish we enjoyed. It was definitely superior to the pork you get at other steamboat restaurants, and was a generous portion at $10.
Another highlight dish is their Handmade Fishballs ($5), which was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend ordering a large portion of fishballs. It was twice the size of regular Dodo fishballs, and had a springy consistency that is different from regular fishballs. It also did not harden if left to boil, and it was something that I ate the most among my family.
The handmade noodles was easily my dad and my favourite dish of the night. At only $4, they served 2 generous portions of noodles. The noodles did not harden or become soggy easily even with over-boiling, and I personally finished an entire portion myself. At only $4, this was incredible value with the amount of noodles they gave. A highly, highly recommended dish. The noodles go along well with both the mala and chicken soup. This picture alone makes me hungry and crave for the noodles!
There were so many dishes that we ordered that night, and Han Shi Fang offered such a large variety. Unfortunately we were so full by then that we closed the bill for the night, at $72.90 (~$18/pax) for 4. Usually, our bill is around $54 (~$13/pax), but we ordered extra that night.
In conclusion, Han Shi Fang is one of the greatest alternatives to your regular steamboat place. My family has steamboat 1-2x weekly, and Han Shi Fang remains a place that we visit at least once a month. With a clean environment and large variety of quality dishes at an extraordinarily low price, Han Shi Fang is easily one of the best value-for-money steamboat places in Singapore.
Han Shi Fang is an approximately 10 minute walk from Bartley MRT, or 10 bus stops from Paya Lebar MRT.
Han Shi Fang – Steamboat and BBQ King (汉食坊-汤烤火锅王)
331 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Tel: +65 82238976