Old World Bak Kut Teh, Yishun: Fried porridge that makes heading North oh-so-worth-it

Google ‘Yishun’ and an entire page dedicated to describing the area’s notoriety will fill your screen. Despite its bad name, today’s review will be giving you just the reason to head north. Located a stone’s throw away from Yishun MRT station is Old World Bak Kut Teh, a quaint stall situated in Hiap Hoe Eating House.

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Opened late last year, the eatery (as its name suggests) specialises in traditional Teochew style pork ribs soup. But that’s not exactly the point. Ask any northern-dwellers about the place, and most of them will tell you that it is, in fact, the fried porridge that brought this humble stall to fame—an overnight sensation all thanks to the power of social media. 

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As expected, there was a snaking queue when I arrived. Five people were waiting for their turn, and in less than 10 minutes, the number of diners doubled. Without further hesitation, I hopped in line and patiently waited for my turn.

A good 20 minutes later, I was happily holding a tray full of perennial favourites walking back to the table; that’s not too long of a wait, I thought to myself.

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Swimming in a light, clear broth were three audaciously huge chunks of meat. I’m not sure about others, but my bowl of Pork Ribs Soup was worth every bit of the S$6 spent. It always gets on my nerves whenever I have bak kut teh, where the kut (bones) is way more than the amount of bak (meat). But it was certainly not in this case.

With layers of fats melting in between, the pork was faultlessly tender yet not too soft that there was no need for chewing. Its underlying sweetness brightened when consumed together with the garlicky and slightly peppery broth, resulting in a bowl of goodness that undeniably hit the spot.

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What’s a meal of bak kut teh without fried dough fritters? Deep-fried to a lovely golden brown, I was full of expectation when I saw the serving of You Tiao (S$1). I mean, just look at those beautiful bite-size pieces of the dough—fresh and crisp.

Sadly, I felt that the texture was a tad bit too hard. Soaking the you tiao in the warm soup indeed helped a little thus, I would highly recommend you to leave them in the broth longer than you usually would. 

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Served as a set were the Sliced Pork Soup and Fried Mee Sua (S$3.80). Both dishes came in a single-serving bowl, ideal for small eaters or those who are just looking for a mid-day fill-me-up.

Unlike the Pork Ribs Soup, the Sliced Pork Soup was immaculate in taste. The tanginess of mustard greens accentuated the sweetness from the pork imparted in the stock. It had savoury-sour notes but just in the right amount that prevents your jaw from tingling. 

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Old World Bak Kut Teh sure know how to treat their pork right. Needless to say, the pork slices were immensely soft and tender—and they remained that way even after they were left out for quite some time. If you are looking for a clean-tasting bowl of soup that will warm you up in an instant, this is a must-try.

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When it comes to bak kut teh or sliced pork soup, rice is usually the best accompaniment. But at Old World Bak Kut Teh, this is not the case. Almost everyone who left the queue had a bowl of Fried Mee Sua on their tray. After tasting it for myself, I finally understood why this plain-looking bowl of noodles was such a hit.

The Fried Mee Sua was a thin, springy cross between ramen noodles and wanton mee. Flavoured with a mixture consisting of oyster and soya sauce, the noodles packed a punch of robustness that hugged each strand—every single one of them. 

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On to the star of the show: the Mixed Pig’s Organ Fried Porridge (S$5). A concept birthed in Malaysia, porridge is often fried by families across the border to give life to its leftover counterparts. It was only later did many realise that the frying process not only brought out its original flavours but further enhanced the dish with a unique layer of smokiness, leading to this one-of-a-kind creation.

Old World Bak Kut Teh’s Mixed Pig’s Organ Fried Porridge is pre-cooked with dark soy sauce and fried to extract its flavours upon order. Served piping hot in a huge ceramic bowl, the porridge was bold, potent and far from anything typical you might be thinking of. 

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Under its brown and mundane looking exterior lies a kaleidoscope of taste and textures waiting to be uncovered. Amongst the soft and pillowy broken rice gains were a variety of offals and bits of tau kwa cubes that were separately stir-fried and kissed with a char. Every mouthful of porridge locked in the aroma and slightly burnt flavours from the wok hei which was made more brilliant with the addition of the fried shallots and spring onions. 

If the thought of heading to Yishun has never crossed your mind, I guarantee you that this comforting bowl of porridge alone will be enough to get you moving. 

Expected Damage: S$3.80 – S$8 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Old World Bak Kut Teh

747 Yishun Street 72, Hiap Hoe Eating House, Singapore 760747

Our Rating 5/5

Old World Bak Kut Teh

747 Yishun Street 72, Hiap Hoe Eating House, Singapore 760747

Telephone: +65 9388 5288
Operating Hours: 10.15am - 2.30pm & 5pm - 8.30pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 9388 5288

Operating Hours: 10.15am - 2.30pm & 5pm - 8.30pm (Daily)