Hong Ho Phang Pau: The Man who went in search of a Char Siew Pau but Came Back with a Fan Choy


Char Siew Pau 50cents

Here’s another recommendation by our friend Liverpool whose neck I will put on the chopping board again. He had been telling me about this fantastic Char Siew Pau in Clementi that can beat the Tangjung Rhu Char Siew Pao and Bao Zai Char Siew Pao anytime. When I went down to the stall, it was unfortunately closed, but I found out that they had a branch nearer the East in Telok Kurau.

I finally found the quiet little coffee shop along Changi Road selling these innocent looking Char Siew Paus. Could they really be the “shiok shiok die die blow my mind out of the sky” Char Siew Pau that Liverpool described?

Unfortunately not.

This place is actually the Central Kitchen that roasts the Char Siew before preparing it as the filling for the Clementi Branch and they assured me the filling is the same but the skin is made at each location following a standard recipe. That being the case, if the Char Siew filling is the same as the Clementi one, then I must say it was good but certainly did not meet up with the description Liverpool gave.

BUT don’t despair, while I did not find a Char Siew Pau to recommend, I found this……


Fan Choy $1.50

I don’t think many people go around looking specifically for Fan Choy. At least I am not one of them. To me Fan Choy was just something I ate when someone Tar Paued back home or if I had no other choice. If I searched my memory banks, I cannot even point out one significant Fan Choy in my life. Now there is the ONE.

The photo perfectly mirrors my feelings for the Fan Choy as I hope it does yours. This is one outstanding Fan Choy. The first time I laid eyes on it, I was mesmerized. It wasn’t the dry, unexciting, “eat me because there is nothing else” kind of stuff. This one really screamed out “Come on! Eat me! You can do it! Eat me!”.

OK, just to moderate your expectations, a Fan Choy is a Fan Choy. So don’t expect a Fan Choy to give you as much buzz as a good Laksa. But this is the first Fan Choy I can honestly say that left me thinking about going back to eat it again very soon. The rice was moist with the savoury sweet sauce which was quite a delight on the palate. 4.5/5


Lo Mei Kai $1.20

The Lo Mei Kai here is also quite commendable. It is one of those that are still made in an aluminum bowl not the disposable plastic ones. I always felt the aluminum bowls were better for the steaming process and ensures that the glutinous rice remains moist and full of the meat gravy. For me the Lo Mei Kai yardstick has been set by the one I had in Petaling Jaya and unfortunately, no Lo Mei Kai has ever come close to that one. However, the one is is about as good a Lo Mei Kai I have found in Singapore. The meat is quite generous, moist and tender and the rice has a consistency that I like. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy it when some clumps of rice are so full of the juices that they have lost their original shapes and are sort of like morsels of melt-in-your-mouth starch. 4.25/5

For those who need to cut down on cholesterol, you would be pleased to know that they have a vegetable pao here that even I would enjoy. The filling is made of Turnip and Hae Bee and is quite satisfying even when you need that “meat trip”. 4/5

Conclusion

I went to look for a Char Siew Pau, but came back with a Fan Choy discovery. Certainly not a wasted trip. But I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss was about the Char Siew Pau, or is the Clementi one really that much better?

Hong Ho Phang Hong Kong Pau

Address:
Junction of Telok Kurau Road & Changi Road, Singapore
Opening hours:
7:30AM to 4:00PM

Closed:
Mondays

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