Tag Archives: bak kut teh

Penang Travelogue: Bak Kut Teh

IMG_5464To most Singaporeans, Bak Kut Teh shouldn’t be the unknown. Pork Ribs served in delicious peppery broth, who could resist. Yet, how many knows of the difference between Singaporean and Malaysian BKT. Since I was in Penang for holiday, a place unparalleled for its diversity and quality in hawker fare, I was in luck to give Malaysian BKT a try.
IMG_5467Bak Kut Teh (Malaysian style): Visually, the difference is distinct. The clay pot is overflowing with ingredients. Besides the mandatory pork ribs, this particular style comprises of mushroom and beancurd skin as well. In addition, as compared to the slightly translucent looking soup of Singaporean BKT, the broth here is brown and clear looking instead. Taste wise, the broths are poles apart. The soup here tastes distinctively of herbs but yet, definitely still delicious in its own way.
IMG_5465Fried Lotus Slice: I seriously believe that despite us being close neighbours, we sure have distinct palates and culinary talents as well. Who would have known that sliced lotus roots would taste so delicious sautéed with vegetables and you tiao? This is definitely the work of a hidden culinary prodigy.
IMG_5474Steamed Pomfret with kway teow and bee hoon: As if brunch isn’t bizarre enough, our steamed pomfret appears on a bed of kway teow and bee hoon. And just like this, you can have your protein and carbohydrates all in one single dish. One key aspect that ties the dish together is the light and savoury sauce that the crew will not hesitate to refill for you.
IMG_5484Hokkien Mee: Once again, we agree to disagree. Another variation to a name that we’re familiar with. This dish was so popular and delectable that the boys wiped out the plate within minutes. 

Zealand Seafood
62 Gurney Drive 10250 Penang
Opening hours: 6.30am – 2.45pm, 6pm-11.30pm

Updated: The Bak Kut Teh League.

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.

Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha
PSA Tanjong Pagar Complex
7 Keppel Road
7AM – 3PM, 6222-9610

2. Hong Ji Claypot Pork Rib Soup (NEW in the list)

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
Singapore 730019
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 L
#01-117 Midview City

7am-9pm 66841889