Bah Kut Teh is a Chinese soup that is one of the most-wanted dishes in Singapore. Literally translated as “meat bone tea”, Bah Kut Teh consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices. This dish is usually coupled with tea in the belief that tea will help dissolve a large amount of fat in the soup.
In Singapore, there are two styles of Bak kut teh served – Teochew style and Klang style. And it is the broth which makes bak kut teh styles different. While Teochew version features clear soup with a peppery taste, Klang version has thick, cloudy soup with an herbal taste. In our lion city, the former is more popular than the latter.
People used to have bak kut teh for breakfast, but it can occur at any dining table of any meals of the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or supper.
And especially it would the “soup for the soul” on a rainy day.
And, if it’s a shiny day, Bak kut teh will definitely be the soup for recharging energy after a tiring journey.
Herein the 5 best bak kut teh places highly recommended for you to enjoy Bak kut teh in Singapore.
See also: Top Things to Eat In Singapore
1. Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House
Established in the 1950s, Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House has long been recognized as one of the best bak kut teh places in Singapore. This famous eating house has a loyal following for its Teochew-style bak kut teh. Besides its signature bak kut teh, Ng Ah Sio also serves a selection of pig-related dishes such as blanched pig liver, blanched pig kidney, pig tail, braised pig intestine, braised pig skin, and braised pig trotter.
- The strongest flavour of peppery bak kut teh soup in Singapore: The peppery soup at Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House is definitely the best option for those who love the typical flavour of Teochew-style bak kut teh. You just need to sip some spoons of soup to feel a peppery blast. The good combination of pepper, garlic, and fresh pork ribs in its ingredients makes the soup really fragrant and tasty.
- A place to enjoy kung fu tea: Definitely, bak kut teh and tea are a perfect match, so you can’t miss out on tea during your bak kut teh time. And it is even better if tea is enjoyed in a special way like fung fu tea as it helps maximize the tea and meat tastes. Follow the sequence of eating bak kut teh and drinking tea, you will get the best tastes of both. Among the restaurant’s special tea, Xiao Yue Gan is highly recommended.
SIDE DISHES: A good selection of side dishes is served. You can find fried you tiao (S$2.50), salted vegetables (S$3.50), braised peanuts (S$3), tau kwa pok (S$3), blanched lettuce (S$5.50), tang-o (S$5.50), and blanched xiao bai cai (S$5.50) on the menu. Among them, fried you tiao and salted vegetables are the most wanted.
ATMOSPHERE: Ng Ah Sio eating house may fill you with nostalgia. This kind of feeling often goes well with this kind of food – something traditional. The place is packed during its opening hours, so you will find there a typical ambience of a hawker place.
MINUS POINT: Regarding bak kut teh, the quality of the pork ribs is as highly expected as the soup; however, the pork ribs at Ng Ah Sio are quite tough and seem not to meet the expectation of bak kut teh fans for some time.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$15
2. Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant
Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant is definitely the most popular bak kut teh place on Balestier Road, which is considered as the “bak kut teh street” in Singapore. A lot of local and international celebrities have visited this restaurant for a good bowl of bak kut teh.
- One of a few bak kut teh places for supper: People who have a bak kut teh craving in the middle of the night must appreciate the operating hours of Founder Bak Kut Teh as it opens till 02:30. Nothing beats a cold rainy night like a hot bowl of bak kut teh.
- Excellent braised pig trotters in black sauce: It is a big surprise when the braised pig trotter dish has won people’s hearts at a bak kut teh place. This dish is a must-order at Founder Bak Kut Teh. With the tender of the meat, fat, and skin, all melt in your mouth.
BAK KUT TEH SOUP: Founder Bak Kut Teh serves Teochew-style soup but its peppery soup is not so strong as its counterpart in Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House. For those who do not take spicy food, Founder Bak Kut Teh’s soup is a good choice.
PORK RIBS: The pork ribs chopped into four small pieces are decent. To best enjoy the dish, don’t hesitate to have them with dark sauce and chili padi.
SIDE DISHES: The restaurant features a selection of side dishes with usual items that you can find at any bak kut teh places in Singapore such as youtiao ($2.50), salted vegetable ($3.80), braised peanuts ($3.80), and braised tau pok ($1.80).
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$15
3. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has made it a brand for its Teochew-style bak kut teh, widely recognized by locals and international tourists. With two outlets located nearby on New Bridge Road, Song Fa is a smart choice when you prefer a central location eatery.
- Bak kut teh in central location: Conveniently located near Clarke Quay MRT station, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh is the ideal option for people around who want to have a good bowl of bak kut teh to boost energy.
- Reasonable prices: A bowl of standard pork rib soup is priced at S$6.50. It satisfies diners with its three meaty pork ribs in the flavorful peppery soup. With around S$10, you can always have a comfortable meal at Song Fa.
- Quick service: Diners will certainly be attended right after being seated and foods will be served in a couple of minutes after the order. The waiters regularly refill your bowl with hot soup is a good mark for this bak kut teh place.
BAK KUT TEH SOUP: Like most of its counterparts in Singapore, Song Fa commits to serve Teochew-style bak kut teh soup to its diners and the peppery level is mild, so it might be just nice for Western palates.
SIDE DISHES: Nuts and greens are offered as side dishes to balance your meal. Most of the vegetable dishes are prepared in the way that vegetables are blanched and tossed with sesame oil, soy sauce, and diced garlic.
- Premium loin ribs
- Pig’s stomach soup
- Pig’s liver soup
- Braised pig’s intestine
TEA: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh offers a selection of Chinese Tea from Pek Sin Choon. At Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, you can order a pot of tea to complement your bak kut teh and experience a bit of the Chinese old day’s practice in a bak kut teh place by boiling the water yourself to refill your teapot.
- Payment is made right after the food is served so if you don’t want the wet tissues (40 cents each) provided at your table, decline it when placing order.
- If you come alone at peak hours, you may be asked to share the table with others.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$10
4. Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh is one of a few bak kut teh places in Singapore that offer this dish in Klang style – a very popular bak kut teh style in Malaysia. Leong Kee has established a loyal following for its delicious and herbal rich bak kut teh at its two outlets on Beach Road and Geylang Street. But the shop now can only be found at Geylang Street.
- Best herbal style bak kut teh in Singapore: Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh is a find for those who love Malaysian-style bak kut teh. Leong Kee’s soup is rich in herbal flavours, thick in texture and cloudy in colour. The bak kut teh is always served piping hot in clay pot with generous amounts of pork ribs, vegetables and bean curd skin. Add some fresh minced garlic into your soup to bring out all the best from your bowl.
- Outstanding stewed pork leg: It is simply pig trotter dish, but it is cooked in a different style, leaving the dish tender, sweet and sticky when it is displayed on your table.
- Located at Geylang – one of the most vibrant areas at night and open till 01:00: If the temperature cools down in the midnight, a hot bowl of bak kut the is ideal for those who enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of nightlife at the area.
PORK RIBS: The pork ribs in each bowl of Leong Kee’s bak kut teh are awesome, the tender and flavorful meat almost falls off the bone.
SIDE DISHES: Choices for side dishes are limited, you can only find fresh vegetable, stewed egg, salted vegetable, stewed peanuts, tau pok and you tiao there. The prices are reasonable as most of the side dishes cost less than one Singapore dollar.
- If you prefer mixing intestines with pork ribs in one bowl, you can have it at the same price as the standard bowl of pork rib bak kut teh.
- Herbal chicken and herbal mutton are available for those who do not enjoy pork.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$10
5. Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
Located at Keppel Road, Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh is specialized in Teochew style bak kut teh.
- A bak kut teh place for revelers after clubbing: Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh opens till 04:00. The stall is a bustling late-night dining site since revelers usually gather to have a bowl of peppery bak kut teh to boost energy after a clubbing and drinking night.
BAK KUT TEH SOUP: Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh offers diners Teochew-style bak kut teh soup which is clear and full of peppery flavour. The soup is tasty and the pepper taste is not overpowering to diners.
PORK RIBS: It’s the pork ribs, the highlight of the show. And at Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, the pork ribs are so tender for you to enjoy your meal.
ATMOSPHERE: Located on the ground floor of a residential building and with simple decorations, Outram Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh features a typical atmosphere of a coffee shop setting, fully packed during its operating hours.
- Spare rib soup
- Liver soup
- Sliced pork loin soup
- Pig trotters
- Watercress soup
- Salted vegetables
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$13
- You can fill up an order by using the ordering slips placed under the menus which are hung on the walls of the eatery.
- Besides rice, the usual carbohydrate dish goes well with your bak kut teh, this eatery also offers mee sua which is a very good alternative option.
- Fish in bak kut teh soup are available for those who don’t enjoy pork.
- You can choose to have your preferred level of fat in your pork ribs by indicating it in your ordering slips.
- The place is non-air-conditioned.
- Smoking zone is marked by tables in blue colour.