If there’s one dish that our Malaysian neighbours do better than us in my humble opinion, it’s bak kut teh. Deep and rich in flavour, it’s a dish I must have whenever I travel across the Causeway. Fortunately, Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh | Fried Porridge is where you can find that same, distinct Malaysian taste, here in Singapore.
With two successful outlets in Beauty World and Kallang, Feng Xiang has gone on to open a third outlet in Tai Seng.
You can find this new outlet in Food Republic at BreadTalk IHQ, located just a stone’s throw away from the MRT station.
Feng Xiang prides itself on serving up the best herbal BKT in Singapore. One of their co-owners hails from Klang, Malaysia, the birthplace of herbal BKT. If that isn’t enough to convince you, their head chef is also from Malaysia. We were therefore lowkey optimistic about what we were going to try.
What we tried
We started off with the classic Herbal Bak Kut Teh (Soup) (S$7.90/S$13.80). To our delight, it came in a claypot, as is the traditional and authentic way.
Right off the bat, we were impressed by how large the pork ribs were. With just a gentle bite and tug, the meat came off the bone quite effortlessly, a sign of how tender it was.
Other than pork ribs, the key to a great BKT, in my opinion, is the soup. I was glad that Feng Xiang’s BKT soup possessed a rich herbaceous flavour that’s a signature trait of Malaysian herbal BKTs.
Personally, I’d have preferred it even more herbal in flavour, but I reckoned it was adjusted to cater to the general Singaporean crowd. That said, I could still taste a good amount of traditional herbs and spices in the soup.
Stirring through the claypot’s contents, we also managed to find a variety of quintessential BKT ingredients. Think beancurd puffs, beancurd skin, enoki mushrooms and slices of pork.
Those of you who are big on pig’s stomach will be glad to know there were a few pieces of those in this BKT too.
We moved on to Feng Xiang’s other signature item, the Fried Porridge. However, this wasn’t their usual Fried Porridge. In the spirit of Chinese New Year, they’ve come up with a festive special, the “Abundance of Wealth” Prosperity Fried Porridge (S$8.80)!
What’s special about this festive version is that it’s topped with a classic Chinese New Year staple, bak kwa.
Juicy and decadent, the bak kwa complemented the milder-tasting porridge pretty well. I appreciated how generous they were with the portion too, considering that bak kwa can be quite expensive especially during the CNY season.
As for the porridge itself, well, let me put it this way — porridge with lots of wok hei. Imagine your favourite porridge, thick and luscious in every mouthful but infused with a distinct smokey flavour, that’s what this was.
The porridge also had lots of other ingredients like sliced pork, fried shallots, green onions and pork lard.
For someone who was having fried porridge for the very first time, I can say it won’t be my last. Not only that, but here at Feng Xiang, you’ll also be treated to a fiery spectacle as you watch their chefs prepare this dish.
We tried their Bak Kut Teh (Dry) (S$8.90/S$15.80) next, which was the dish that intrigued me the most. I’d never heard of dry BKT before, much less tried it. Nevertheless, it turned out to be my favourite dish of the day.
To begin with, the pork ribs were tender and had a good bite to them. The layer of luscious dark sauce coated my lips spectacularly with its sweet and savoury notes. It reminded me of sweet and sour pork ribs.
We also had their Vinegar Pig’s Trotter (S$6.90), which is very much an acquired taste. Fortunately, my Cantonese palate adores this dish and the co-owners assured me that I would enjoy their version if I liked it extremely sour.
True enough, the gravy packed a satisfyingly sour punch which rejuvenated my appetite. Not only that, but the trotters were pleasantly large and meaty too. If you’re looking for a midday perk-me-up, I’d definitely recommend having this lip-puckering dish.
We also tried a couple of their side dishes, starting with the Deep Fried Barramundi (S$19.90). This dish is exclusive to their Tai Seng outlet, so you won’t find it at other Feng Xiang outlets.
As someone who doesn’t handle spicy food all too well, the coat of devilish-red toppings on the fish intimidated me. It turned out to be a fiery yet extremely fragrant sambal paste that had tons of onions, chillis and spices.
Furthermore, the fish meat was moist and abundant and had a layer of crunchy skin which made for an all-rounded bite. My dining companion and I agreed that it was very similar to sambal stingray, a popular Malaysian delicacy that’s also one of my favourites.
We ended off strong with the FX Pork Cutlet (S$7.90). This dish might look unassuming, but after trying it we understood why it was one of their signature items.
The strong savoury notes were evidence of how well marinated the pork was. Not only that, but the cutlet was also deep-fried to golden-brown perfection, possessing an addictive crunch. We wiped out the entire plate in no time.
As someone who hasn’t been out of the country since the pandemic, I’d say Feng Xiang’s Malaysian-style herbal BKT evokes nostalgia and wanderlust in me. The flavours and preparation methods are all too reminiscent of Malaysian cooking too.
It’s simply a bonus that they offer a wide variety of other dishes as well, like the Fried Porridge and Vinegar Pig’s Trotter. Hence, there’s definitely something for everyone!
Expected damage: S$6 – S$15 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh | Fried Porridge.
Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh (Tai Seng)
30 Tai Seng ST #01-04, Food Republic @ BreadTalk IHQ, S534013
Opening hours: 10.30am – 8pm (Mon to Fri)
9am – 8pm (Sat & Sun)
Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh (Kallang Bahru)
63 Kallang Bahru, 7 Days Coffee Shop, S330063
Opening hours: 10.30am – 3pm, 4.30pm – 8.30pm (Daily)
Feng Xiang Bak Kut Teh (Beauty World)
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road #04-65, Beauty World Centre, S588177
Opening hours: 10.30am – 3pm, 4.30pm to 8pm (Mon to Fri)
9am to 3pm, 4.30pm to 8pm (Sat & Sun)
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