Han Shi Fang – Steamboat and BBQ King at Upper Paya Lebar Road (汉食坊)

Han Shi Fang at Upper Paya Lebar

Apart from the Saturday Cafe that has opened recently near my house, another new Chinese steamboat restaurant, Han Shi Fang has surfaced along the same street. Apparently there was not much crowd due to its new opening, but we decided to give it a try as the steamboat looks decent.


The restaurant was not lavishly decorated and the interior looks more like a family-styled setting. Just felt some homely in here.

Herbal Soup Base (left) and Pork Rib Soup Base (right).

The concept is slightly different and it incorporates steamboat and BBQ together. While most of the steamboat restaurants are offering one soup base with BBQ, they are able to split the soup pot into two sections and offer more varieties of soup base, offering greater choices for your tastebud.
Of course, if you are looking into their Pork Ribs Soup Base and Herbal Soup Base, you will need to pay an additional of S$10 each for the soup base.

Unlike conventional steamboat, they are using ceramic pot, which takes longer time to heat up but also longer time to cool down.

What a feast ! Meat, Veggies and Seafood for only S$58.

Since we are not sure what to order, we went for the set meal which is S$58 for 2 person. In addition of their new opening, they are giving 10 % discount on the set meal which we thought it is very reasonable price.  That mounts up to a dozen of dishes including veggies, pork, lamb and seafood as well. One of the feature for the seafood, the prawn and crab are prepare alive, meaning to say it is still wriggle its legs while being served onto the table ! Those shown above are only a portion of the dishes and there was more to come later. Check out the live seafood below.

The live seafood  – Prawns and Crab.

Conclusion

Overall food experience was good. The staff are friendly and they served food in generous portion based on the price tag for the set meal. One of the must try dishes will also be their handmade dumpling which tasted really good.
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

Opening Hours:
Till 11am daily

Bijin Nabe Japanese Steamboat at Tsukada Nojo Chinatown

Tsukada nojo at chinatown point
People queuing outside of the restaurant waiting for their turns.

Before the end of year, I hope to fulfill one last resolution for the year of 2014 and that was to visit Tsukada Nojo again for their Bijin Nabe. I had a wonderful ramen lunch at Tsukada Nojo in Westgate previously and today I am here again for their Bijin Nabe, but at their Chinatown Point‘s outlet.

Though plans have been laid days ago before the year end dinner, they does not accept reservation if the timing is before 6.30pm and the only way was to personally queue for seats. Traffic was bad that day and since we arrived, it was almost what we had predicted – people lining outside of the restaurant. Do not get it wrong, it was not the festive event that resulted the long queue, it has been this way all the way.

Related: Collagen Rich Ramen Lunch at Westgate Tsukada Nojo

Tsukada Nojo chinatown point
Waiting area with seats at the entrance of the restaurant.

The restaurant did some good arrangements to have some seats for those that has been queuing up and at least a place to rest their feet before ushering them to their tables. After 20 minutes of waiting, one of the Japanese waitress came and ushered us to our seats at the back of the restaurant.

Looking at the dinner menu, we were slightly confused thus requested the waiter to brief us on how we should order the food. If you are going for the steamboat, there is no hassle to choose between type of soup or ingredients, it is fixed. The only important factor was to determine the number of portions (1 portion per pax). It is not necessary that each person has to order one portion, but a lesser portion can be chose to share among a few (minimum two person). This is a really good concept because it allows you to leave more rooms in the event you decided to order some ala carte from the dinner menu as well.

The Bijin Nabe (美人鍋)

Bijin Nabe
Watch slowly while the “beancurd” starts to melt and turned into a pot of boiling collagen rich chicken soup.

Soon after, the waiter brings over a claypot with some beancurd look alike substance residing on it. That you saw above is actually the chicken gelatin. The restaurant painstakingly simmered the stock for 8 hours before reaching this texture. While the heat slowly breakdown the gelatin into a more liquidity state, you can start to smell the aroma of the collagen rich chicken soup.

Like a wine tasting session, the waiter filled four small ceramic cups with the soup and distributed to each of us. The purpose is to allow us to taste the soup’s original flavour. While we sipped carefully from the dedicated ceramic cup, you can feel a stream of hot and creamy texture soup running down your throat and at the same time leaving a strong after taste in the mouth. However, maybe due to its richness, you may feel slight stickiness along your lips as well.

Pieces of chicken meat hidden in the gelatin. 

That was not all. Hidden within the gelatin was pieces of chicken meat, which was only revealed after all the gelatin has melted off. As opposed to prolong boiling of chicken meat in water that could cause the texture to be hard and difficult to chew on, the meat was very tender and smooth. Even without any seasonings, it has a brilliant taste. What an eye-opener !


A platter full of fresh vegetables, meat and seafood.

While we are busily munching on the collagen rich chicken meat, the waiter started to arrange the ingredients on the platter carefully into the steamboat, like an artist trying to create a masterpiece. Matter of fact, as explained by the waiter, the steamboat is most of the time being served by the waiter rather than self-service.

Finally the Bjin Nabe is ready !

After about ten minutes of waiting, all the ingredients are ready to eat. All the ingredients has been inserted except for the prawn and noodles. This was to prevent the soup to taste differently and we were advised only to put it in after we had finished all the ingredients in the steamboat. Looking back, this was really a very healthy pot ! Collagen with fresh vegetables without any special homemade sauce nor the need for any seasoning. With all the flavoured absorbed into the ingredients, it has already tasted heavenly !

We ended the steamboat with a high note with the prawns and noodles cooked together. Much as what the waiter mentioned earlier, the soup indeed taste much different ! The prawns makes the soup slightly sweeter and fresher.

Our Ala Carte Orders

Below are some of the ala carte we have ordered on top of the Bijin Nabe. I will only write about the Coriander salad since I have already covered the other two dishes in my previous visit at Tsukada Nojo Westgate.

coriander salad
Coriander Salad. Price: $6.00.

Coriander is just like durian, either you loved it or you hate it to the core. For both my girl friend and I, we are the die-hard fans for coriander. The salad comes in a mixture of coriander and radish with some seasonings and sesame seeds. The radish is very refreshing while unlike coriander which you eats in Chinese restaurants, the smell are not that overwhelming. My sister whom was not a fan has tried and simply loved it too. The chilli sauce is an option, it just gives you extra spiciness you need if you have a heavy tastebud.


Nikumaki Onigiri – Original and Yuzu. Price: $3.80 per piece.


Chicken Nanban with spicy tar tar sauce. Price: $8.50.

While we are coming to an end for the dinner, the waiter has dished out an complimentary dessert with decoration on the plate saying “Happy New Year 2015”. The dessert looks like Osmanthus cake and had the some refreshing taste, but it is still hard since there wasn’t much hint you can find physically.

Conclusion

Bijin Nabe is certainly a delicacy not only for the women, but those that enjoy natural taste as well. Japanese are well-known to prepare and cook food that brings out the quality of the ingredients and I think this is no different. However, it can only be a occasional feast as you might grow sick of the collagen rich chicken soup if consume within a short period of time. Having the choice to chose the number of portions instead of compulsorily having everyone to get a portion is also one of the advantages that the restaurants has as well. Price at $25.00 for the steamboat, the price is definitely reasonable.

Tsukada Nojo
#02-37 Chinatown Point
133 New Bridge Road
Singapore 059413
Tel: +65 6444 8840

Opening Hours
Daily: 11.30am to 3.00pm (Lunch), 5.00pm to 10.00pm (Dinner)