PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天, Jalan Besar: Enjoy their signature and unique pao fan hotpot from S$12

I’ll start off by saying that I, unlike many, have not tried pao fan in my life— much less pao fan hotpot. A quick Google search revealed that it is a Teochew dish which translates to, “rice soaked in broth brewed from pork, fish bones and prawn, typically served with seafood, fried egg floss and crispy rice”; different from the usual porridge dishes that are readily available in Singapore. So, when I heard of PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天, you best bet I was excited yet nervous for my first-ever pao fan experience! 

Image of exterior

PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天, is helmed by the founder of T.K Kitchen Restaurant, and is located at Rowell Road. The quaint outlet is merely a five minutes walk from Jalan Besar MRT station. A quick chat with the owner also revealed that they were the pioneers of bringing this unique dish to Singapore, and are the first to invent their signature Hotpot Pao Fan

What I tried

Image of seafood

I dove headfirst into my maiden experience and got myself the Lala PaoFan Hotpot (S$58). I was served with a plate of fresh lala along with a colourful mix of fresh prawns, clams, and crayfish, their signature garlic fried rice, fresh vegetables, and other hotpot staples. 

Image of flames

After the ingredients are laid out, a staff will proceed with the flamin’ table-side theatrics while stir-frying the lala in the pot. After which, the broth is added and left to simmer. I was told that the soup is brewed for six hours before serving, has a collagen-like texture, and has no MSG which means diners won’t get thirsty easily.

Image of pouring broth into hotpot

The broth used here is their special homemade soup. If I poked my nose any further, I’d probably be the next ingredient in the soup. So, I decided against asking more about the ingredients used.

Image of soup with lala

The soup with the addition of lala was light, refreshing, and bursting with umami! The addition of chilli padi also gave it a spicy kick. It was unlike any kind of seafood soup I’d ever tasted. 

However, I was told that the pao fan hotpot comes in various levels; the first level being the combination of broth and lala

Close up of a spoonful of rice and soup

The next level was a game-changer for me. I was instructed to pour the soup into my bowl of garlic fried rice, and have a spoonful of the quirky concoction. What happened next ejected me right out of my seat. Not only was the combination a tasty one, but I could also taste the wok hei from the rice with each spoonful. All I know is that I want to eat fried rice submerged in soup all the time now. 

Image of menu dishes

The last level comes after the addition of fresh seafood and vegetables to the soup. The vegetable in context here is cabbage, and if you’re familiar with it, you’d know of the intense sulphuric odour it exudes. Hence, I’ve never been a huge fan. However, when mixed in the soup, the smell of sulphur surprisingly disappears (which is a win for me). 

Back to the soup. When everything goes into it, the soup turns into an aromatic blend of sweet-tasting broth. Bonus: it wasn’t too cloying which made it incredibly addictive.

Image of ginseng chicken paofan

The other pao fan banger of the day is the Ginseng Chicken PaoFan (S$12 for small). A tad bit different from the hotpot, the Ginseng Chicken PaoFan comes with deep-fried fried rice (for that added crunch), ginseng (obviously), and tender and moist chicken chunks. Upon taking a mouthful, I was greeted with a herbaceous explosion. This is one dish I’d come back for if I am feeling under the weather.

Collage of zi char dishes

Apart from pao fan, PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天 also sells a large variety of well-cooked zi char dishes. I’d recommend the Caipu Beancurd (S$12 for small), Prawn Paste Chicken (S$12 for small), and Sambal Kangkong (S$9 for small) as add-ons to your pao fan order. Special shoutout goes out to the Sambal Kangkong for being the top dish of the day. 

Trust me, dishes over here certainly don’t disappoint. 

Final thoughts

Image of bowls of fried rice

I left PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天 incredibly stuffed, and happy I found a liking to a dish I’ve never tried before. I also learned that pao fan is generally a heaty dish which is one of the main reasons why the owner decided to open an air-conditioned restaurant— for diners to eat in comfort. Although pao fan isn’t new to Singapore’s food scene, pao fan hotpot is. Which, to me, is something everyone should experience at least once in their life. Besides, the dishes here are affordable too! 

I sure found paradise at PaoFan Paradise 泡饭天!

Expected damage: S$12 to S$65 per pax 

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Paofan Paradise 泡饭天 by T.K Kitchen Restaurant

107/109 Rowell Road, Singapore 208031

Our Rating 5/5

Paofan Paradise 泡饭天 by T.K Kitchen Restaurant

107/109 Rowell Road, Singapore 208031

Telephone: +65 9164 1448
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5pm - 11pm (Mon, Wed to Sun), Closed on Tue
Telephone: +65 9164 1448

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5pm - 11pm (Mon, Wed to Sun), Closed on Tue
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