Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan: Ex-Marriot chef serves loaded claypot rice from $4.80 at Tiong Bahru

While I was on my way to check out whether the famous Beo Crescent Curry Rice had reopened (FYI, it’s not), I chanced upon a hidden gem nestled within Beo Crescent Market in Tiong Bahru. Though Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan’s storefront looked simple, it garnered a never-ending queue. And frankly— the smell of charred claypot rice was too tempting to resist.

It was only when I struck up a conversation with the lady behind the counter that I found out that the man behind the stove is actually an ex-chef who used to work at Marriott Hotel!

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 19 - beo crescent market Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 17 - beo crescent market

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan, a humble claypot rice stall, is located within Beo Crescent Market, a small but well-loved hawker centre in Tiong Bahru. 

Beo Crescent Market is definitely one of the smaller hawker centres I’ve been to, with at most 50 stalls that formed two rows. Despite that, I found the stall easily— if not because of the waft of freshly made claypot rice, then because of the long queues in front of the stall.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 18 - storefront

Though Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan’s menu looked filled to the brim (it even had expanded menus plastered on the sides of the stall!), it was easy to digest. 

6 claypot dishes were available in different flavours, the cheapest of which were the Claypot Chicken Rice (S$4.80) and Claypot Pork Ribs Rice (S$4.80). If you’re not a fan of claypot or would like to go for smaller portions, you can go for the steamed rice options, such as the Preserved Veg Braised Pork Steamed Rice (S$3.80).

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan also sells 12 types of soup, ranging from your classic Lotus Root Peanut Chicken Claw Soup (S$3.50) to interesting concoctions such as Scallops Bittergourd Oyster Stewed Pork Ribs Soup (S$4). Lastly, they also sell side dishes that are great for sharing, such as Bean Sauce Garlic Steamed Song Fish Head (S$15).

What I tried at Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 14 - claypot rice

After glancing through Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan’s menu, I decided to go for the most loaded claypot on the menu, which seemed to have a little bit of everything: Claypot Sausages Bacon Chicken Rice (S$5.80).

Though I was initially taken aback by the long queue, it moved pretty quickly as customers are given buzzers, so they won’t have to wait in the queue. Yet, every time I turn to look at the stall, the queue seems to have grown— a sure testament to its popularity.

Once my buzzer rang, I received my food. And what a loaded bowl it was! Ingredients such as lap cheong, browned pieces of chicken, little bits of bacon and plenty of fresh vegetables were piled on top of rice, which had been doused in what seemed like dark soy sauce. I could smell the gorgeous charred scent of rice— a good sign, and my tummy rumbled in protest.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 09 - claypot rice Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 08 - claypot rice

The first thing I did was to give my Claypot Sausages Bacon Chicken Rice a good mix. This proved to be a tough ordeal, simply because there was so much rice and ingredients that bits and pieces kept falling out of the claypot!

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 12 - lap cheong Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 07 - bacon

While lap cheong is a common ingredient in most claypot rice dishes, this was the first time I came across bacon. Both added salty and savoury notes to each spoonful of charred rice, with the lap cheong contributing an almost candied-like sweetness. 

I loved how generous Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan was with the ingredients, and more importantly, how each element seemed to have been cooked separately, resulting in beautifully browned, salty pieces of bacon and lap cheong.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 11 - chicken

Though the bacon and lap cheong were more than enough to add flavour to the claypot, the star of the show turned out to be the large, juicy chunks of chicken. 

Similar to the bacon and lap cheong, the pieces of chicken seemed to have been grilled prior to being added to the claypot, resulting in gorgeously caramelised pieces of chicken. Some even still had the skin on, and the fatty, lip-smacking pieces of chicken skin were incredibly addictive.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 10 - salted fish

Don’t underestimate the small piece of salted fish that’s given in the claypot! This potent nugget of saltiness packed a punch of briny umami flavours. 

I’d suggest breaking this small piece up into tiny flakes and mixing it directly into the rice, so as to avoid accidentally eating one entire piece of salted fish by accident. Plus, that means more chances of digging up these little gold flakes of saltiness throughout the course of your meal.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 06 - claypot rice

After giving everything a thorough mix, I found myself unable to stop eating. Even though each element seemed relatively straightforward, they came together in such a complementary way. 

This was a fantastic bowl of claypot rice. The rice itself was lightly seasoned with dark soy sauce, so that the charred smoky notes came through strongly with each bite. The insanely generous amount of ingredients meant that each spoonful of rice was well matched in terms of meat and vegetables. Everything melded together to form something so hearty, smoky and delicious, such that I didn’t even feel the need to add chilli or additional soy sauce to the claypot. 

Frankly, this was so much food that I’d reckon it’d be good enough for 2 people to share. And this costs a mere S$5.80!

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 01 - burnt rice

As with most claypot rice dishes, if you enjoy the charred, burnt pieces of rice that formed at the side of the claypot, Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan’s claypot rice dishes definitely won’t disappoint. I took my time to scrape the chao ta bits of rice off the side of the claypot, enjoying its crunch and burnt flavours.

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 13 - ginseng chicken soup

To accompany my Claypot Sausages Bacon Rice, I decided to order one soup— Ginseng Stewed Chicken Soup (S$5).

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 04 - ginseng chicken soup

Though the soup looked light, the flavours were anything but. 

Most ginseng soups I know tend to lean heavily towards either the chicken stock end or the ginseng end, but Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan’s Ginseng Stewed Chicken Soup was perfectly in-between— not too salty, yet full-bodied and strong in terms of the taste of chicken, with the invigorating gingery notes from the ginseng.

Final thoughts

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan 16 - claypot rice

Oh, what a great lunch! I can’t remember the last time I was so impressed with something so simple. What I absolutely loved was how generous Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan was with the ingredients, and despite that, they still managed to keep prices amazingly low, with a bowl of claypot rice averaging out to be about S$5.

More importantly, each element of the claypot rice was carried out perfectly— grilled pieces of juicy chicken, fresh chunks of cabbage, salty strips of bacon, and the beautifully charred rice that had been doused in dark soy sauce. 

You can definitely bet that I’ll be back again.

Expected damage: S$3.80 – S$10 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan

38A Beo Crescent, Beo Crescent Market, #01-66, Singapore 169982

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Guang Dong Sha Bao Fan

38A Beo Crescent, Beo Crescent Market, #01-66, Singapore 169982

Telephone: +65 8333 2813
Operating Hours: 12pm - 8pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 8333 2813

Operating Hours: 12pm - 8pm (Daily)

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