Last Updated on 25/04/2023 by iEat&Eat Team
Let’s face the truth, it doesn’t matter how much we love to explore different places and different cuisines. We will always come back to what’s ours, what makes us feel at home, and what we call comfort food.
Personally, we are proud of our cuisines, no matter how common they may be for us. You know you’re Singaporean if you know this – bak kut teh! How many times did you bring this up as one of your most recommended dishes when someone visits Singapore? How many times did you wake up and say, “I want bak kut teh today!” Well, I know I’ve been there.
Now that it’s one of those nice times of the year for some delicious bak kut teh, let’s dive into the old and new trends of bak kut teh in Singapore. I’m already excited!
What Is Bak Kut Teh?
Well, if you’re new to Singaporean or Malaysian cuisine, bak kut teh is basically a pork broth dish that originates from Singapore and Malaysia depending on the versions prepared. Its main ingredients are pork ribs, a broth of pork and mixed herbs native to Hoklo and Teochew preparations like cinnamon and star anise but not limited to those.
Translated as “meat bone tea”, it is a broth with all the ingredients simmered for hours to bring out the best flavours.
Of the two variations, the Hokkien version of bak kut teh is typically much darker because of the soy sauce. Teochew versions are lighter, and almost clear when it comes to soup colour.
If you’re one of the people who love bak kut teh, there are actually really healthy benefits of indulging in a bowl or two. Studies have found that bak kut teh is actually good for people who deal with rheumatism – isn’t that just good news, right? Well, despite the young age, I find bak kut teh to be such a refreshing experience no matter how many times I try it.
Top 10 Bak Kut Teh in Singapore
Singapore has a lot to offer when it comes to food, and you might want to jolt down notes where to get the best bak kut teh in town! Here are our top 10 favourites when it comes to bak kut teh.
1. Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh
Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh is one of the most prominent bak kut teh restaurants in Singapore and they have been serving the country for generations. They serve various bak kut teh dishes with rich, tasty and robust flavours that people always come back to whether they’re from Singapore, Malaysia or just in for a visit.
Everyone’s favourite Joo Siah bak kut teh are Pork Ribs Soup (S$6.90), Pork Tenderloin Soup (S$6.90), and Mei Cai (S$3.80). You can order food directly on their website and find their menu here.
Joo Siah is one of the favourite restaurants in West Singapore and has been living up to their Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition in 2021.
2. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Song Fa has a very deliberate menu to make sure they can cater to the cravings of their customers. From soup dishes to braised dishes, they ensured that the menu had complementary options that go well with their special recipes through the side dishes and their delicate tea selections.
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has numerous branches in Singapore and Indonesia, but they definitely made sure that their special dishes are also accessible in China, Bangkok and Taipei.
Most of the recommended main dishes are Pork Ribs Soup, Pig’s Kidney Soup, Braised Large Intestine and Braised Pig’s Trotter.
People’s favourite side dishes mention their own made dough fritters, a healthy serving of Cai Xin and Spicy Pork Belly.
Song Fa also serves retail products so you can enjoy the best of Song Fa flavours at home. You can purchase their King’s Garden Tea, Braised Spices, Bak Kut Teh Spices, and even their King’s Garden Ale. Ensure you don’t miss out on their merchandise as well since they have wooden coasters, acrylic magnets, pins and keychains.
Aside from ordering directly from their website, you can also place your orders for Song Fa on GrabFood, FoodPanda and Deliveroo.
3. Founder Bak Kut Teh
Founder Bak Kut Teh is one of the old names of bak kut teh in Singapore, from humble beginnings. And for many, they offer the best soupy comfort food. Aside from the amazing consistency of their flavours, they also serve large bowls of bak kut teh.
Founder Bak Kut Teh is one of the most memorable restaurants because of their tender meat, generous servings and favourite side dishes. If you dine in, you are also given a second bowl of delicious broth soup.
bak kut teh soup, much less pepper and soy which gives it a satisfying experience when you gulp. Whether you’re up for their premium ribs, the classic Founder bak kut teh or their pig’s organ variations, Founder Bak Kut Teh is definitely the calmer side of meat bone tea soup.
The best thing about Founder Bak Kut Teh is they have a simple menu for dessert as well after a sumptuous meal. They serve Ice Jelly Honey Lime and Coconut as well.
4. Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh specialises in Teochew bak kut teh; always steaming hot bowls of strong meat bone flavours and herbs. Like every person’s craving for bak kut teh, they have a wide variety of dishes ready for your consumption.
Their selling dishes are their Pork Ribs Soup (S$7), Braised Pig’s Trotters (S$10) and everyone’s favourite side – the braised peanuts (S$3-5) and Tua Kua (S$2.50).
Unlike most bak kut teh restaurants, they made sure they have a generous selection of beverages and yes – that includes nice, hot tea! You can choose between Put Tee Hiong, Tie Guan Yin, Xiao Yue Gan and King’s tea at various serving sizes; 1 to 2 servings at S$4, 3-4 servings at S$5 and a fuller pot at S$6.
5. Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh
If you’re looking for an explosion of beautifully curated flavours in your bak kut teh – you’ve made the right stop. At Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh, there is an amazing extraction of flavours to match each bak kut teh and clay pot dishes.
Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh provides good quality of food and matches its customer service to that standard. Their Pork Ribs are always tender and hot, their premium ribs are on point and their dark, tasty bak kut teh flavour just hooks every guest.
Dining at the restaurant, take note that they do not accept credit or debit card payments. However, they accept GrabPay, ShopeePay, and NETS, especially CASH.
You can order and have your meals delivered by directly booking on their website or set up your transaction for pick up. If you know the place will be packed, you can also book through their website.
6. Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh started sometime around the 1950s and has since been servicing Singapore with tasty bak kut teh and other specialities, especially when the family business was turned over to the son in 1977. If there’s a legacy the family should be proud of, it’s the relevance and flavours of bak kut teh served to the people of Singapore.
At times, bak kut teh can get quite overwhelming. If you’re a fan of the Ng Ah Sio’s flavours, then there’s more than the bak kut teh – there’s the Mee Sua and Teochew style braised Pig’s Trotter on top of delicious fried rice paired with an amazing braise of Teochew Onsen egg.
You can order directly from them through their website or their social media accounts. Enjoy the feast!
7. Tuan Yuan Pork Ribs Soup
Tuan Yuan Pork Ribs Soup is a restaurant that lives up to expectations, and they never fail to deliver their best bak kut teh forward. If you’re one for the herbs and peppery flavours, this is the restaurant to go to. Their bak kut teh is always fresh and the meat is always tender and a joy to consume.
Our personal favourites are their Mixed Organs soup, the Pork Ball Soup and a steaming bowl of Spare Ribs Soup.
They make sure that the side dishes are not overshadowed by using recipes that really stand out. Make sure you try out their beancurd fried pork, the tasty chicken with shrimp paste and their deep-fried hei zoh.
8. Legendary Bak Kut Teh
Legendary Bak Kut Teh has been around for generations – yet the family flavours remain.
If you’ve never tried to have a chill time of choosing which bak kut teh to order, Legendary Bak Kut Teh serves just the right amount of flavours for many people. The most recommended main and side dishes at Legendary are Pork Ribs Soup, their Braised Pig Trotters, their own fried vegetables and the Pig Intestines were a personal favourite!
If you’re keen on helping yourself to a calmer experience of bak kut teh, Legendary Bak Kut Teh is the place to be!
You can now order your Legendary favourites at Deliveroo as well!
9. Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh
Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh is one of the few restaurants that serves the bak kut teh in a clay pot! Aside from its classic and aesthetic for every gastronome, you know it hits different when everyone’s soup dish is served in a clay pot, right?
Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh upholds their reputation for serving flavourful and tasty bak kut teh without the strong, off-y taste! They also serve a house speciality of dried bak kut teh, can you believe that?
Aside from the special dried bak kut teh, they have the Pork Ribs bursting with herby flavours, you’d want another bowl of soup right away! Aside from their most recommended Pork Knuckles, add in the Braised Intestines, Chicken Feet and Fried Prawn Rolls! If you need an extra recommendation, make sure you get their plate of sizzling tofu – you won’t regret it!
10. Old Street Bakuteh
Old Street Bakuteh was established in 2010, but it has proven its worth to all who love the traditional hot pot.
Their best dishes are the Pork Ribs and Pork Loins bak kut teh. If you’re in for a closer mood to taste something saucy or drier, you can try their version of the Dry Bak Kut Teh. Either way, they’re all delicious, to be honest! If you need other viands, you can hit the Clay Pot Chicken and Braised Minced Pork Noodles or it comes in a rice variation, too!
You can also find them on FoodPanda!