Singaporeans might associate bak kut teh with its garlicky peppery pork soup, but did you know that bak kut teh has plenty of other versions as well? For example, the Malaysian-style bak kut teh, which is said to have originated from Klang, is known to have a darker and more herbal broth. And then, there’s the dry bak kut teh.
While some might say the soup version of bak kut teh is comforting and warms your entire body, the dry bak kut teh is power packed and filled with plenty of fragrant flavours. The secret lies in the dark gravy, which is simmered on a stove and topped with dried shrimp or cuttlefish, dried chillies and garlic.
For those of you who prefer stronger and robust flavours, this is for you. Here are 10 dry bak kut teh stalls in Singapore that are so good that they’ll even impress your Malaysian relatives.
Nestled amongst the many bak kut teh restaurants in Balestier is Jia Bin (Klang) Bak Kut Teh.
This stall has been highly raved by Malaysians living in Singapore (in fact, our Malaysian colleague was the one who recommended this place to us!) and it’s no wonder, seeing that its owners are Malaysian and first opened a bak kut teh stall in Seremban, Malaysian.
While the Yang family first started out with the herbal Klang-style bak kut teh, they eventually went on to sell more dishes such as Jia Bin Dry Bak Kut Teh (S$11.50), Jia Bin Spicy Pork Belly (S$11.50) and Jia Bin Hua Diao Wine Chicken (S$10.50)!
Its Jia Bin Dry Bak Kut Teh is a black and savoury mess, featuring a mix of pork ribs, pork belly, pig’s tail, pig’s intestines and pig’s stomach all tossed in a glistening thick gravy. It was aromatic, robust and mildly sweet, with the dried cuttlefish adding plenty of umami flavour to the whole dish.
2. Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
Located along Geylang Road is Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh, and they specialise in authentic Klang-style bak kut teh.
Not surprisingly, more customers come here for its stunning dry bak kut teh rather than its herbal soup counterpart, although both are most definitely worth a try.
Its Dry Bak Kut Teh might cost S$12, but it’s pretty solid. Served sizzling hot, you’ve got shredded dried cuttlefish, slices of lady’s fingers and dried chilli, all of which give a little bit of everything— salty, sweet, savoury and spicy. Though the flavours of the dark gravy are definitely intense, be sure to pair it with the fork-tender pork ribs and fluffy white rice for an undeniably tasty meal.
Alternatively, you can always go for its regular herbal Klang-style Bak Kut Teh (S$7.70). There are seven different meat options, ranging from Kidney to Pig Tail, and even Intestine or the good ‘ol regular Rib.
251 Geylang Road, Singapore 389309
+65 9380 1718
Daily: 11.30am – 11.30pm
The story behind Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh is one of second chances. It opened in April 2013 with the intention of giving ex-offenders and former drug abusers a second chance at life, with 90% of its staff comprising ex-offenders.
Its founder and main chef, Jabez Tan, was also an ex-convict, and spent 13 years in prison for drug-related offences. It was in prison that Jabez started out washing pots and pans in the prison’s kitchen and he eventually climbed up the ladder to become the main chef there.
All of Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh’s recipes are created by Jabez. Go for its Dry Bak Kut Teh (S$8.60 for small, S$16.90 for big), which features tender pork ribs, dried cuttlefish, dried chilli and lady’s fingers.
They also sell the herbal Klang-style Bak Kut Teh (S$7.90 for small, S$15.90 for medium, S$30.90 for large), as well as other zi char dishes like Seafood White Mee Hoon (S$10.30), Curry Fish Head (S$28.30) and Da Pai Tung Lala Hokkien Mee (S$10.30).
Chope: Save up to 50% at Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh: Cash Voucher at Jalan Kayu outlet | Cash Voucher at Bedok outlet | Set Menu at Bedok | 1-for-1 Bak Kut Teh at Bedok outlet
One of Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh’s co-owners hails from Klang, Malaysia (arguably the birthplace of herbal bak kut teh), so if that isn’t enough to convince you that what they’re selling is the real deal, their head chef is also from Malaysia.
Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh has four outlets in Singapore, all of which are pretty well located. There’s Beauty World Centre, VivoCity’s Food Republic, BreadTalk IHQ in Tai Seng, and most recently, Fernvale Hawker Centre & CC.
It’s difficult to say which item on Feng Xiang’s menu is the star dish, but you’ve got to try their Bak Kut Teh (Dry) (S$7.90 for small, S$13.90 for medium). The pairing of tender pork ribs with luscious dark sauce is addictive, especially with that unique mix of sweet, fragrant and savoury notes.
Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh also sells fried porridge, which is essentially thick porridge with lots of smoky wok hei. You can try either the Sliced Pork Fried Porridge (S$5.90) or treat yourself with the Abalone Fried Porridge (S$9.90).
5. Tuan Yuan Pork Ribs Soup
Contrary to its name, Tuan Yuan Pork Ribs Soup doesn’t just sell pork ribs soup. In fact, it’s a full-fledged zi char restaurant located in Tiong Bahru that sells close to 100 items, ranging from Teochew-style peppery bak kut teh to dry bak kut teh, and even bak kut teh xiao long bao!
Its Teochew-style Tuan Yuan Pork Ribs Soup (S$9) comes with three soup choices, such as no pepper, original pepper and extra pepper, which is great for diners who cannot handle their spice.
Its pork broth is something to behold, as it’s triple boiled with more pork bones being added at each stage. Eventually, the pork bones become so brittle that they break down, and the essence of the pork bone goes into the soup!
Imagine that pork broth being simmered slowly together with the Dry Claypot Bak Kut Teh (S$18), and you’ve definitely got a delicious bowl of savoury goodness that’s worth sharing with your entire family.
6. Balestier Bak Kut Teh
Balestier Bak Kut Teh is a culmination of three generations’ worth of culinary skills. It is a family business that spans 50 years, and you can find this popular 24-hour bak kut teh restaurant along Balestier Road.
What sets Balestier Bak Kut Teh apart from other Teochew-style bak kut teh joints is the inclusion of sugarcane in its Classic Bak Kut Teh Soup (S$7). Yes, you read it right! Not rock sugar or sugarcane juice, but actual whole blocks of bamboo sugarcane that goes into the making of the peppery broth. The sugarcane is said to balance out the savoury pepperiness of the soup.
It also offers the dry variant in the form of its XO Sauce Dry BKT (S$19.80). Served in a claypot, this dry bak kut teh is perfect for sharing, as it features five types of pork— pork ribs, pigs’ stomach, braised pork belly, sliced pork and meatballs— all of which are tossed in a luscious XO-based dark sauce.
7. Ge Bi Lao Wang Bak Kut Teh
A heartland favourite is Ge Bi Lao Wang Bak Kut Teh. It can be found in a coffee shop along Geylang East Avenue 1, with some of its popular neighbours being Yakiniku Warrior.
Its name is a popular Internet phrase in China and literally translates to “Uncle Wang, who lives next door”. It’s a cheeky term used to refer to a neighbour who’s sleeping with one’s wife, but apart from inducing a few chuckles, Ge Bi Lao Wang Bak Kut Teh serves up authentic Malaysian-style bak kut teh in both dry and soup versions.
Packed with wok hei and mouth watering savoury flavours, its Claypot Bak Kut Teh (Dry) is available in two sizes: S$8 and S$15. Each claypot comes with tender pork ribs, lady’s fingers, dried chilli, thin shreds of cuttlefish, and a glossy dark sauce that pairs perfectly with white rice.
Feeling extra hungry? Add on a bowl of Braised Pig Trotter (S$7) or Oyster Sauce Veg w/ Pork Floss (S$3.50) to complete your meal.
121 Geylang East Central, #01-90, Singapore 380121
+65 9789 9523
Daily: 11am – 8.30pm
8. Yong Kee Claypot Bak Kut Teh
Yong Kee Claypot Bak Kut Teh is a family-run bak kut teh hawker stall in Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre, and it’s so good that it’s listed in the Michelin Guide!
Yong Kee sells both herbal-style Bak Kut Teh (S$4/S$5) and Teochew Loin Ribs Soup (S$6), so you don’t have to worry about picking between the savoury or peppery option. There’s even Bak Kut Teh (Pepper) (S$4/S$5) if you’re looking for a no-fuss option without any fancy meat.
As for the Dry Bak Kut Teh (S$8), Yong Kee certainly doesn’t scrimp on the ingredients. Each claypot is filled to the brim with tender pork meat that’s been tossed in a dry, savoury and wok hei-filled gravy. It also comes with shreds of dried cuttlefish, dried chilli and vegetables.
3 Yung Sheng Road, Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre, #02-78, Singapore 618499
Sun to Fri: 11.30am – 9pm
Closed on Sat
9. Tong Sheng Bak Kut Teh 同勝肉骨茶
Tong Sheng Bak Kut Teh’s two outlets are pretty far out— Pandan Gardens and Springside Walk along Sembawang Road— but its Malaysian-style bak kut teh might just be worth the travel.
Its Dry Bak Kut Teh is available in three sizes— Small (S$8.50), Medium (S$17) and Large (S$34), all of which come with a mixture of pork meat and innards, dried chilli, strips of dried cuttlefish and lady’s fingers. You can also choose to add on ingredients such as Quail Eggs (S$2.50), Abalone (S$5 per piece) and Sea Asparagus (S$5).
Tong Sheng Bak Kut Teh also offers other crowd favourites, such as Assam Steamed Fish Head (S$21), Deep Fried Fish Tail with Garlic & Chilli (S$21), and Vinegar Pork Trotter (S$8.50).
10. Old Street Bak Kut Teh
After its first outlet opened in 2010, Old Street Bak Kut Teh quickly climbed up the ranks to become one of Singapore’s most popular bak kut teh restaurants in Singapore. With multiple outlets all around our tiny island, I’m sure that you’ve seen or dined here at least once in your life.
While most folks come here for a classic bowl of peppery Pork Ribs Soup (S$10.50 for small, S$14 for large), you might not know that Old Street also serves up Dry Bak Kut Teh (S$12.20 for small, S$15.70 for large) too.
This piping hot claypot comes with thick pieces of pork meat, lady’s fingers, dried chilli and shredded dried cuttlefish. If you can’t handle your spice, don’t worry as there are less spicy and no spice options available as well.
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