Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan & Ramen: Ex-zi char head chef sells velvety collagen pao fan in Pasir Ris

There’s a new addition to Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre that’ll make it worth travelling to Pasir Ris for. Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan & Ramen is run by a husband-and-wife team, and this humble hawker stall specialises in soup-erb collagen pao fan that’s packed with fresh ingredients.

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 01 - storefront
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 01 - storefront

Collagen seems to be the in-thing nowadays. There’s collagen bak chor mee, collagen fish soup, and now, it seems like it’s time to add collagen pao fan to the list.

I struck up a conversation with Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan’s owners, Mr Wong and his wife, and found out that Mr Wong is an experienced chef, having been working in kitchens since he was 15-years-old! He even helmed his own zi char stall at 201 Tampines Street 21 for 21 years before deciding to take a break due to Covid-19.

Feeling compelled to get back into the business, Mr Wong decided to open Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan in June 2022 with his wife, Yan. The biggest draw of the stall? Its golden broth, which is boiled for at least 10 hours, with shark and deep-sea fish bones, old hens (aka 老母鸡), lean pork and pumpkin.

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 02 - storefront
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 02 - storefront

For the record, I absolutely love Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre. It’s a great place to head to for a meal. Its second floor alone houses 21 stalls, serving a mixture of hawker and hipster food. You’ve got your cult favourites like Wild Olives, Prawnaholic and Reimondo Seafood Congee.

The ambience is on a whole other level. Large and spacious, the hawker centre is incredibly windy and is always filled with natural light. It’s probably one of the cleaner hawker centres around, and I love how bright and modern it seems.

What I tried at Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan & Ramen

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 04 - pao fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 04 - pao fan

But of course, I had to get Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan’s most popular dish: Signature Collagen Golden Broth Rice Combo (S$9.80 for rice, S$10.80 for ramen).

It might be worth noting that this is one of the priciest pao fan on its menu, as it contains all types of ingredients such as lala, prawns, sliced and fried fish, and pork belly-wrapped enoki.

If you’d like to go for a less loaded bowl, other options include Fried Fish Collagen Golden Broth Rice (S$6.80 for rice, S$7.80 for ramen) and Fresh Short-Neck Clams Golden Broth Rice (S$6.50 for rice, S$7.50 for ramen).

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 09 - pao fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 09 - pao fan

While the price tag of S$9.80 threw me off, especially since the velvety golden broth had covered everything and the bowl of pao fan seemed pretty average at first glance, it only took a single mix with my spoon for all apprehension to fly out the window.

This was one loaded bowl! Every scoop held something different. You’ve got regular white rice, deep-fried puffed rice, prawns, lala, sliced fish, fried fish, pork belly-wrapped enoki, and shredded deep-fried egg floss.

Before I knew it, I was shovelling spoonful after spoonful of pao fan into my mouth.

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 06 - pao fan soup
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 06 - pao fan soup

Most collagen soups I know resemble Beauty in the Pot’s iconic rendition— lip-smackingly smooth broth that’ll leave your lips sticky with collagen. While Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan’s collagen soup didn’t coat my lips in that sense, it was incredibly rich and silky in texture. 

Hearty and full-bodied, this soup had a strong hint of natural briny sweetness from the amount of deep-sea and shark bones that had been used in the broth. The biggest compliment I can give it is that it’s rich without being oily in the slightest. You know that’s the true mark of a good, honest boiled soup: when its full-bodied savouriness doesn’t leave you thirsty.

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 12 - pao fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 12 - pao fan

Out of all the ingredients in the Signature Collagen Golden Broth Rice Combo, my favourite was the deep-fried egg floss. It added a roasted saltiness to the pao fan and elevated the already rich soup to another level. It became so incredibly addictive that I found myself digging for soaked pieces of deep-fried egg floss.

Fun fact: you can add on additional portions of Egg Floss for just S$0.70. You can bet I’ll do that next time.

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 15 - lu rou fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 15 - lu rou fan

Out of all the other dishes on Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan & Ramen’s menu, one item stuck out to me— Braised Pork Rice with Egg (S$5.30 for basic, S$6.30 for combo with peanuts & beancurd).

Mr Wong and Yan revealed that they’re huge lovers of lu rou fan and decided to sell it as an additional dish. Because why not, right?

“At a previous restaurant I worked at, there was a Taiwanese chef who would always cook lu rou fan for us,” Mr Wong said. “The lou rou fan I sell today is inspired and based on his recipe.”

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 19 - lu rou fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 19 - lu rou fan

Comprising 70% lean meat and 30% fatty meat, Liang Liang Golden Pao Fan’s Braised Pork Rice was absolutely fantastic. The pork belly, which had been sliced sufficiently thick, was super soft and tender, while retaining just a touch of meatiness that gave it a satisfying bite.

Similar to the Signature Collagen Golden Broth Rice Combo, the Braised Pork Rice managed to stay fragrant and savoury without being the least salty. Because it had been braised for more than 3 hours, the preserved mustard greens (aka 梅菜 or mei cai) had essentially disintegrated into the sauce, adding a slight hint of musky tanginess to each bite.

Final thoughts

Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 03 - pao fan and lu rou fan
Liang Liang Collagen Pao Fan Ramen 03 - pao fan and lu rou fan

Despite being an Eastie myself, travelling to Pasir Ris isn’t an everyday affair. Yet, for Liang Liang Pao Fan & Ramen, I’d gladly make the trip.

Its Signature Collagen Golden Broth Rice Combo is a real wonder, with soup that’ll nourish you from the inside out and warm your tummy. This is a dish I’d come back for, regardless of rain or shine, because of how honest, good and comforting it is. It’s genuine food for the soul, and I loved it.

Not to mention, Mr Wong and Yan’s story is a great one, and I love how the pair decided to come out on their own to start their own hawker stall. Not only does the independence give them more flexibility in terms of working hours, Mr Wong also cheekily mentioned that this allows him to spend more time with his wife. 

Thanks, Mr Wong and Yan, for this bowl of liquid gold. I’ll see you soon!

Expected damage: S$6 – S$10 per pax

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