Pao fan @ Katong jago seafood zhi char

Pao fan

Another rainy day over the easter weekend found me down at Brunner’s coffee shop at Katong. Torrential rain meant I was going to be stuck here for the foreseeable future. Normally I only frequent this coffee shop at night time, so I was intrigued as to what the lunch options were. The first thing I saw was the specials offered by the zhi char, which today was pao fan. I don’t read mandarin, but google translate works a treat in these situations. What could be better for a cold rainy day? A dish that is apparently making a comeback in Singapore. The pao fan came with different options, fish, lala, prawns, or combination of all three. I opted for the pao fan with just the fish.

Zhi char specials board

The soup was amazing. A complex mix of flavours, dominated by fish stock. A nice warmth of ginger. Some evaporated milk perhaps to thicken it out. And served piping hot on a cool day. Crispy bits of fried garlic added little bursts of flavour. The rice in the pao fan was somehow soft and crunchy at the same time.

Pao fan

For $6 the dish came with a generous amount of batang slices, and the fish was extremely fresh, even the parts of the fillet near the stomach were neutral tasting. This was perfect rainy day comfort food. The only criticism was that the sambal belachan is balanced too much towards the belachan, not enough chilli and definitely not pounded in a mortar and pestle.

Batang fillet in pao fan

Go try this special before it disappears!

Price: $6.00

Coffee shop: Brunner’s Coffeeshop
Address: 228 East Coast Road, Katong
Hours: 7:00am - 10:30pm

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