Han Shi Fang (汉食坊) Steamboat, 331 Upper Paya Lebar

Han Shi Fang (汉食坊) Steamboat, 331 Upper Paya Lebar

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.

Electronic Menu
Electronic Menu

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.

The special pot, with BBQ in the middle (optional).
The special pot, with BBQ in the middle (optional).

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.

Yanjing Beer
Yanjing Beer. Non-alcoholic canned and house-brewed drinks are available.

The next thing I was impressed by was the sauces. We were given three different sauces – peanut sauce, their specialty chilli and curry powder.

Peanut Sauce, House-Special Chilli, Curry Powder
Peanut Sauce, House-Special Chilli, 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.

Chicken Soup/Mala Soup
Chicken Soup/Mala Soup

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.

Fish slices, $6.

We started off with fish slices ($6). Tasted pretty ordinary like any other place, but presented nicely.

肥牛卷, Fat Beef Rolls. ($12 Small, $18 Medium)

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.

Mushroom Platter, $8.
Mushroom Platter, $8.

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.

无花肉, Pork Belly. ($10)
无花肉, Pork Belly. ($10)

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.

Handmade Fishball, $5
Handmade Fishball, $5

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.

Handmade Noodles, $4.
Handmade Noodles, $4.

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.

Sorry for the blur photo!
Sorry for the blur photo!

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
Singapore 534949
Tel: +65 82238976
Contact Number:
6283 7863

The Best Steamboat In Taipei, Taiwan

The Best Steamboat In Taipei, Taiwan

EDIT: REVISITING Xin Dian Pot in 2015! Click here!

When it comes to Taiwan, I generally don’t bother to go to restaurants to eat as the amount of food on the streets is more than sufficient to fill me up. I know this for sure for most of my friends ‘cos that’s what we do there – eat (FANTASTIC!!) street food or go to the nearest 7-11. However this time, we went to a particular steamboat restaurant due to Xinhui’s auntie’s recommendation, and we were definitely impressed.



 Interior of Xin Dian Pot

The interior of this place was exceptionally clean, and the furnishing was exceptional. It was unlike any other steamboat place in Singapore; you were seated on cushioned chairs here. It was nice to see how this place paid attention to details like these to ensure the most comfortable experience. Even the waiting area was a luxurious sofa. This place made you feel like you’re entering a posh restaurant from the moment you entered, with the comfortable furniture, the colours of the restaurant and the lighting of the place. It was a whole new world of steamboat that I had never expected.


We waited for a bit before entering as there was a long queue and the place was fully booked. To burn some time, we went to the Ye Shi (night market) just beside it.


I was pretty impressed when I saw how the drinks were presented. They had drinks (coke/sprite/orange) bottled. Beside the fridge was a bottle opener and a container full of bottle caps. Their drinks here are not the usual watered-down crap you get in some steamboat buffets in Singapore, or even some restaurants. Freshly opened drinks, where you are free to help yourself to unlimited amounts of.


There was also a sauce station where you can make your own sauces, which had condiments like soya sauce, XO chilli sauce, chilli padi, spring onions, sesame oil etc. Very common ingredients but they were neatly presented, tempting you to just try your hand at creating your own sauce. We don’t have a pic of it, but I remember xinhui’s sauce to be freaking delicious. Right beside, there was also your usual drinks dispensers, in case anyone wanted your regular steamboat drinks like ice lemon tea, peach tea etc, and also a coffee-maker.


Now this was something I did not expect – FREE FLOW of Haagen Dazs and MOVENPICK ice cream! We all know how good these 2 brands are, especially the pricier Movenpick ince cream. I had a bowl of ice cream before starting on my meal, and the queues for the ice cream was continuously long the whole night.




Our soup bases were Mala (numbingly-spicy) on the right, and we were recommended vegetable herbal soup on the left. The soups were good, and was exceptionally flavourful from the start. Also, the mala tang came with ya xue (duck’s blood cake) which we took out as we didn’t eat that. It was something that Taiwanese people really liked though. If you feel that the soup wasn’t spicy enough, you could ask the staff to add more chilli for you.


This place is meat paradise. They offer more than just a single type of a particular meat. For example, we ordered New Zealand High-Graded Sirloin beef, American Beef Filet, Black Pork etc. There was also different type of noodles like instant noodles (wang zi mian), udon etc. Everything was very fresh and generous in portion. We accidentally left the beef for a long time in the pot, and it was still soft when we took it out. This shows the quality of meats being served to you. There was also no hassle in ordering, and the staff was always efficient. We did not wait long for food to be served.


Some of the food we ordered.


A very notable dish I would like to feature is the fish. This was one of the freshest and tastiest I’ve had. It was also what I kept ordering as the combination of the soup with the fish was simply brilliant. Even now as I’m writing this, I’m craving strongly for it.

IMG_5575IMG_5577The sofa chairs we were seated on..

..and the table, full of food.
IMG_5579IMG_5580Our soup after approximately 4 rounds of cooking. Still freaking delicious.
IMG_5582Stuffed-Cheese Fishball

This was one of the more notable dishes I had that night. The stuffed-cheese fishball was extremely addictive and I ordered a few rounds of this. The cheese was sweet and super stretchy. It was better than the one I had in Sukiya. Brilliant. Even as I was already full, I kept craving for more.

IMG_5583After the meal, I was surprised to see cakes being served to the tables around me, and wondered if there was a special occasion. After asking the waiter, I found that cakes were a permanent on the menu, as part of the buffet! They served various cakes like cheesecake, tiramisu, chocolate cake, Hokkaido Chiffon cake etc. This is a restaurant that spares no cost in making a customer happy. Cakes in a freaking steamboat restaurant!! I was thoroughly wow-ed. I ordered a cheesecake simply because I was too stuffed from the food and ice cream to eat any more.




A satisfactory meal

I wanted to make an additional note about the toilet. For steamboat establishments, I usually find myself going to toilets that are really filthy or hardly cleaned, or just not maintained at all. At Xin Dian Pot this was vastly different. Entering a toilet here is like entering a hotel lobby; it was extremely clean, well-perfumed and ventilated, and overall felt like I entered a toilet in a hotel. I didn’t take a picture, but I was very surprised and impressed with this. You’ll never know when you need a toilet when you’re stuffed at a steamboat restaurant, and it’s nice to find a clean, nice smelling toilet. Don’t need to worry about finding a nice toilet nearby if you er, need to do your business.


This is definitely a very impressive place for a steamboat craving fix, and although Taiwan is well-known for its various street food (小吃/small eats), I would definitely recommend coming all the way here just to have a meal. I am known for loving steamboat and I was thoroughly impressed by this place. We came here after a full day of 小吃 at Ximending, and we still found the food excellent even on a full tummy. At S$24.20, it’s an unbeatable price for unbeatable quality. A highly recommended place for all steamboat-lovers.

Opening Hours
Lunch: 11:00-16:00
Dinner: 17:00-03:00
Holidays: 11:00-03:00

Tel: 02-25037667
3-4 minute walk from Nanjing MRT Station

468NT for lunch (~S$19.90)
568NT for dinner (~S$24.20)

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