Bak Kut Teh @ Sin Ming

Some friends and I were discussing about our preferences for Bak Kut Teh (Chinese-style spicy pork rib soup) yesterday. It was in the midst of this discussion that I realised that CT loved Bak Kut Teh as much as I do and all the talk about preferences (some like it herbal and some like it peppery) got me thinking about this dish.

Which do you prefer? The Herbal type (KL style) or the Peppery type (Singapore style)? I love herbs and spices so both styles appeal to me. My preference varies according to my mood.

Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh - Sin Ming

My parents had been telling me about their favourite Bak Kut Teh stall in Sin Ming for a while now. Whilst I have heard of the place, I'd never visited it until a few weeks ago.

Bak Kut Teh - Sin Ming
Bak Kut Teh

Check out that long piece of pork rib! My parents say that the rib cage is the best cut for Bak Kut Teh as it's the sweetest cut. I don't like pork generally so its a mystery to some friends why I love Bak Kut Teh. The reason is because the herbs and spices help to reduce the porky taste of the flesh. I usually prefer to drink the broth more than I enjoy chewing on pork ribs. I found the pork rib to be a little too tough for my liking but Dad loved it. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

In spite of the tough pork rib, I loved the broth as it was very tasty. The broth here is clear unlike the light brown/dark brown versions at some other stalls. It's prepared in the Singaporean style, I wish it had a little more pepper though. Some people equate the colour of the soup with how good it tastes (ie. they tend to think of clear broths as being dilute and devoid of flavour). They should be pleased to discover that the clear broth here is robustly flavoured. Bak Kut Teh stalls are great as we get refills. The lady pours the soup from a huge kettle, how practical! I love to drink soup as it's one of my favourite Comfort Foods! This is definitely a MUST-TRY!

Tang Oh in Bak Kut Teh Broth
Tang Oh (Garland Chrysanthemum)

This is one of my favourite vegetables. Many Bak Kut Teh stalls do not serve it but I would usually try my luck and order it at any Bak Kut Teh stall that I visit. It's slightly pungent, mildly bitter-tasting and is a very popular ingredient in Chinese steamboats. Do note that cooking this vegetable in the soup tends to dilute the flavour of the Bak Kut Teh so don't only order this dish and skip the pork ribs if you're intending to enjoy the full flavour of the broth.

Stewed Salted Vegetables
Stewed Salted Vegetables (Preserved Chinese Mustard)

It's a good thing that I ordered Tang Oh as the Stewed Salted Vegetables here were awful. The dish tasted like it had been made with low quality preserved Chinese Mustard. Expecting to enjoy a savoury dish, I was disappointed to discover that the Salted Vegetables were sweet instead of salty.

Braised Pig's Trotter

Braised Pig's Trotters

The Braised Pig's Trotter was excellent as the flesh was succulent and tender. The richly flavoured soya sauce gravy was a perfect complement to the fluffy grains of steamed white rice. This is a Must-Try!

Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh (Rou Gu Cha)
Block 22 Sin Ming Road,
Singapore 570022
Tel: +65 9754-4774

Operating Hours: Daily from 7am to 4pm

PS: The coffeeshop is perpetually packed. Be prepared to wait for a table.