Zhen Zheng Handmade Pau: Charcoal Roasted Charsiu Pau!

Big Pork Pau $2.20 and Charsiu Pau $1.10 each

On the Pau trail….

Following our recent feature on Ipoh Handmade Pau, many readers have written in to recommend their favorite pau stalls. This week, we continue exploring the pau scene in Singapore with Zhen Zheng Handmade Pau. Their first location is here at Sims Drive, Aljunied, and they have recently opened another stall in Toa Payoh. While the fillings are prepared in a central kitchen, the skin is made fresh at each stall. Therefore, we can only vouch for the quality of the paus at the Aljunied location.

Char Siu with real Char!

Charsiu Pau $1.10

Right from the start, let me tell you that their char siu bao is well worth the trip. It’s been ages since I’ve had a char siu bao with that authentic charcoal-roasted flavor, and I was thrilled when I first bit into the one at Zhen Zheng. The owner mentioned that he still roasts the char siu himself in a central kitchen, ensuring it has that perfect char. It’s the best char siu bao I’ve had in recent memory! 4.5/5

The Secret is in the Quality of the Ingredients

Big Pork Pau $2.20

Their big pau is also very good. The meat is well-marinated and very flavorful. I was told that they use top-grade soy sauce, Chinese wine, and sesame oil to ensure quality. Although nowadays they have to use frozen pork to reduce costs, the overnight marination still ensures that the meat is juicy and free of off flavours.

The quality of the pau skin is also very good. It is made from a mother starter that has been going since 2009 when they first opened at the coffee shop, and they have been using the same levain instead of commercial yeast since then. The skin is soft and tender, not too thick, and most importantly, not dry but moist. If the juices had flowed down my hands, I would have given them top marks! 4.25/5

Braised Pork Pau $2.80

Kong bak (braised pork) pau is not as commonly available, which is why so many reviews highlight it as their standout item. Unfortunately, I was not as impressed with their kong bak pau. I found the braised pork too dry when we first had it in the afternoon. When we made a return trip on a Sunday morning when the paus just came out of the steamer, it was better. But it also depends on whether you got one with a bit of belly fat. If it is all lean meat, it is still a bit dry! 4/5

Lo Mai Kai $2.50

At first glance, I was put off by the lor mai kai. I don’t like the fact that they steam it in one of those plastic containers. Lor mai kai is still best steamed in an aluminum bowl in my opinion. Of course, the best is if it is steamed in lotus leaves, but you can only find that in dim sum restaurants. However, the lor mai kai was surprisingly good! The rice grains are moist and flavourful and the chicken is well marinated and tender. 4.25/5

Siew Mai $0.90/pc

I was a little disappointed with the siu mai. It was a little dry and starchy. It is still better than the factory-made ones but I was expecting them to be much better. 3.75/5

Fan Choy $2.50

Since their char siu bao was so good, I was expecting the fan choy to also be excellent. Alas, they are not. I am not sure what happened to that wonderful smokey charcoal flavor that we found in the char siu bao? It almost seems like they use a different char siu for the fan choy! 3.5/5

I was fortunate to meet Mr. Chia Chiang Kee, 63, at the stall. He shared that he has been making pau since he was 12 and had spent years working at various pau shops before opening Zhen Zheng in 2009.

Zhen Zheng Pau price list
Pricing valid as of 14 June 2024


I am so glad to have discovered another excellent handmade pau stall. The char siu bao is one of the best I have had in recent memory and has become my go-to place for char siu bao. Their big pau is also very good, with well-marinated, flavorful meat that showcases their commitment to quality ingredients and careful preparation. This stall is a true gem for pau lovers!

Watch a short reel of our experience: by Lisa
Zhen Zheng Handmade Pau

45 Sims Dr, #01-150
Singapore 380045
View Map

Opening hours:

Daily: 6:00 am to 5:00 pm


9838 6123

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