Bak Kut Teh is a Hokkien dialect, translated as “meat bone tea”. The meat used usually is pork which get simmered in a broth of herbs and spices. Very popular among Malaysia and Singaporean, however there are a little different in both the taste and color of the soup base. In Singapore, when you order Bah Kut Teh you usually get the clear soup base which has plenty of pepper taste, that is called the Teochew style. The Malaysia style has a darker soup base and stronger herbal taste. Being a Malaysian born, I still recall the funny moment when I ordered my first Bah kut teh in Singapore. I questioned the owner twice whether she gave me the correct order as the soup is very clear?
Let’s explore Bah Kut Teh “Teochew style” in Singapore. This is my personal ranking of Bak Kut Teh.
1. Ng Ah Sio Park Ribs Soup Eating House/黄亚细肉骨茶 (208 Rangoon Road)
The interesting part of Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh is the owner turned down famous HK politician Mr Donald Tsang, simply because Mr Tsang did not choose the right time to come. (Nah, not open for you Mr Tsang, sorry! Come back during operating hours). The owner refused to open for the politician and make headline news This make me even more curious to find out Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh.
After one sip of the soup, you will realized Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh has stronger pepper in the soup base. You will notice the soup base has darker color as there are more garlic and pepper residual at the bottom of each bowl. If you love pepper then this is for you. Personally I like their soup base best, it also has stronger herbal taste and goes well with the meat. If you finish the whole bowl of soup, you can really feel the heat in your throat and nose! Like a dragon which will blow out fire anytime. (refer to below picture)
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Another highlight is their dark sauce for dipping, taste just right. Not too sweet and not too salty.
Don’t forget to order their braised intestine in dark sauce, very soft and tender and easy to chew as compared to other stalls.
Wall of Fame in Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
1.What is special of Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
- More pepper used in soup base hence is more spicy and stronger taste
- Darker soup base
- Tasty Black dark sauce for dipping
- Under Jumbo Group – you will notice from the wet napkin printed with “Jumbo” logo and name.
- Not opening for Hong Kong Politician Donald Tsang after operating hour.
Address :NG Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
- 208 Rangoon Road, Singapore
- Operating hour : 7 am -10 pm
2.Legendary Bah Kut Teh/發传人肉骨茶
Legendary Bak Kut Teh is a family run restaurant which still do not have franchise as yet which is a good thing I guess as the quality of the Bak Kut Teh can be maintained.
Legendary offer Bak Kut Teh ribs ($11.50) or short ribs ($10.50) or combo ($9.50) for short ribs and ribs. Personally I prefer the ribs as it is softer compared to the short ribs.
You will notice the price in Legendary is slightly higher because the owner is using fresh Indonesian pork ribs as compared to the frozen one.
Wall of Fame in Legendary Bak Kut Teh
I love how the soup has strong garlic flavor so it takes away the gamy pork smell and make the meat even sweeter. The pepper used was just right, not too hot but comforting warmth.
Legendary Bak Kut Teh Combo ( Short ribs & ribs)
Legendary Bak Kut Teh
Other dish you may want to order is the the braised pork intestines in dark sauce. Very nice when it dip with the special sweet and sour chili sauce provided.
Tau Kee – Bean curd skin
2.What is special of Legendary Bak Kut Teh :
- Longer inches of ribs are served, especially if you order “All ribs” set
- Less peppery soup base
- Stronger garlic smell in the soup base
- Family own business
- Slightly pricey
Closed on Wednesday
3.Ya Hua Bah Kut Teh/亚华肉骨茶餐室
Ya Hua is famous among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong celebrities and tourist, simply because the CCTV crew from China has came down to film a documentary/远方的家 about Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh.
Ya Hua started out with two hardworking sisters, Madam Gwee. They worked tirelessly to perfecting the recipe for the finest bowls of Teochew-style Bak Kut Teh. They started small at Outram park estate but now branches out many shops all over Singapore, Havelock, Keppel, Kovan, Ion Ochard, Raffles City Shopping Center and one at Jakarta.
Digital Wall of Fame
The TV here is used to showcase the celebrities which has visited the shop. Different famous people will appear continuously at this TV.
3.What is special of Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
- Less peppery kick and quite mild, suitable for people who don’t prefer too spicy pepper.
- Famous among Chinese tourists
- Air in CCTV documentary 远方的家
- Dark source is a bit too salty
- Braised intestine is too chewy like chewing a rubber – not to my liking
Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh Eating House 亚华肉骨茶餐室
593 Havelock Road Singapore
Tue, Thur : 11 am to 2 am
Wed, Fri & Sat : 11 am -3 am
Sun: 11 am -10 pm
Closed on Monday
4.Song Fa Bak Kut Teh/松發肉骨茶
It was a Sunday noon when I was here at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh New Bridge Road. The shop was quite crowded and you can see a long queue waiting to be serve. In front of my queue was tourists from Vietnam and I noticed there are few tables are tourists from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. I thought I have to wait for a long time, actually not. The queue system is pretty efficient. When you are at the queue, the staff will take down your order in their computerize order pad. I only waited for 5-10 mins then I got my table and food was served within 10 mins. Pretty fast!
When my order came, I was quite surprised at the volume. The meat given are slightly more as compared to the other stall.
Some background of Song Fa, the owner has his humble start with his pushcart stall in 1970s but now owned about 9 outlets around the world. You will notice their furniture and ambiance is more towards the vintage style. And yes, there is a pushcart replica inside the shop, go spot them as that is Song Fa signature.
We ordered the Bak Kut Teh soup, salted vegetable as usual. However do try out their braised pork belly and tau kee/bean curd skin with chicken feet, quite nice I find.
4.What is special of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh?
- Pork ribs are generously meaty – bigger portion I feel
- Famous among tourists around the world
- Must try braised pork belly
- Don’t be shocked by the long queue, pretty efficient and fast to serve you a table
- The peppery taste in the soup is not the strongest but not tasteless
- Go spot the life-size replica of their founder’s original wooden pushcart
- Vintage style furniture & ambience
Address :Song Fa Bak Kut Teh/松發肉骨茶
17 New Beach Road
Operating Hour : Daily 11 am -10 pm
(Malaysian Style) – Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh @ Marsiling/宏记药材肉骨茶
I came to know Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh from my ex-colleges. We used to come down here to eat Bak Kut Teh during lunch hour. Coming back here last Sunday has made me thought of the good old days with my ex-colleagues!
Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh serves in claypot which is really nice as the soup is really hot. I personally think Bak Kut Teh needed to be serve in really “hot” soup. The aromatic fragrance of hot herbal soup which consist of Chinese herb “dang sheng” and “dang gui’ can be smelled far away before you reach the stall.
I ordered the signature Bak Kut Teh claypot cost $6.00 which consists of variety of thing inside, such as pig liver, 4 pieces of short pork ribs, fried tou pok/tofu skin,slice of button mushrooms & lettuce.
Hong Ji Signature Bak Kut Teh
What is special of Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh?
- Malaysian style which has dark soup base
- Soup base consists of lots of herbal such as dang gui & dang sheng
- Bak Kut Teh serve in sizzling hot claypot
- Their signature bak kut teh consists of variety of stuff, not just pork ribs
Address : Hong Ji Herbal Bak Kut Teh
19 Marsiling Ln, #01-329, 739152
Located at the Marsiling food court
Operating hour : 8.00 am to 9.30 pm
Which are my favorite Bak Kut Teh in Singapore?
I would say Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh – the hot peppery soup and Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh (Malaysian style) are both of my top choice! Now which are your favorite?