Literally translates to Meat Bone Tea, Bak Kut Teh is a dish that consists of tender pork ribs simmered in a special soup concoction of various herbs and spices. Usually paired with rice, youtiao (fried dough strip) is also served along to dip into the peppery soup. Singapore is home to many variations of this popular local dish and you will never have a hard time looking for a stall in your vicinity. But, how do each stall fare on the Bak Kut Teh League? I’m on a quest to find out.
1. Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha
This is by far the best Bak Kut Teh that I’ve tried. The broth possesses a great touch of pepper and garlic. Most importantly for me, the bak kut (Pork ribs) is so tender and soft that the meat just tears off from the bone easily. Be warned though, you will not stop dipping those lovely youtiaos (fried fritters) into the soup! It is that addictive. This place may be out of the way, but the trip is definitely worthwhile.
PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex
7 Keppel Road
7AM – 3PM, 6222-9610
Tucked away in the quiet and remote streets of Marsiling, a coffee shop buzzes with excitement. First you notice that people are loitering around tables, trying to wait for diners to finish. Then you notice that almost everyone has a clay pot and the distinctive green bowls and chopsticks on their tables. Fans of the Malaysian style BKT should really give this stall a try. If you’re not a fan, you could be won over by the herbal soup which is fragrant, full in flavour and soul-satisfying (Oh yes it was.).
Besides the fact that the soup is served and kept simmering hot in a claypot, the pork ribs are served in smaller pieces and easier to consumption. Not that it was difficult. You would be pleased at how easy the meat could be removed from the bone. From braised pig trotters to bean curd skin, the side dishes do not disappoint as well. This is one BKT that will give others a run for their money.
Hong Ji Claypot Pork Rib Soup
Blk 19, Marsiling Lane
8am – 9pm, 90901855
3. Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh (Previously at 2.)
Daddy was feeling spontaneous that day and drove me out to try out this famous BKT in the central. Be ready to face parking woes as people do throng over to not only eat BKT but the duck as well. (will try it another time) The meat is relatively soft and comes off quite easily from the bone. The meat somehow tastes exceptionally well after being dipped in dark soya sauce in chopped red chilli. The soup may not have the “oomph” but still provides a peppery punch to your tongue. Definitely more room for improvement.
Rong Chen Bak Kut Teh
Blk 26 Sin Ming Lane
#01-117 Midview City