As an avid fan of Malaysian style Bak Kut Teh, I was excited to go try out this new place located in Holland Village when they claimed to be serving authentic Kota Tinggi Bak Kut Teh. I have reviewed a few Bak Kut Teh shops and I have not exactly found one that tasted as nice as the ones I had in Malaysia.
The shop really stands out as it sits opposite a whole lane of hipster coffee joints and fancy cafes. Right at the entrance, you can see a mock-up of an old pull cart makeshift stall where bak kut teh was sold in the 60s.
The restaurant itself is longish and narrow in layout and houses quite several tables for at least 60 persons. The decor itself is somewhat retro in the 60s or 70s style with old Chinese calendars and wall posters
A mix of new and old as the old school soda advertising posters sit on the walls amidst a table of modern electric stove heating up soup and side dishes.
The restaurant serves 2 versions of bak kut teh; the peppery soup version which is more commonly found in Singapore and the herbal version which is common in Malaysia. Personally, I am a fan of the herbal soup version and is always on the lookout to satisfy my cravings whenever I am in Malaysia. When I saw the menu, I had to order the herbal clay pot to taste the herbal flavours.
You can put in your orders via these order chits before passing them to any of the servers in the restaurant. You can also customise your clay pot with your favourite ingredients instead of the common ones. For example. you can choose to add on more mushrooms, beancurd sticks, lean meat or ribs only.
You can find garlic, chilli, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce as the complementary condiments. They have also provided a small bin for customers to discard the pork bones conveniently without the mess.
A pretty decent portion of fried dough sticks at SGD 1.90. Typically, people will dip these into the soup to soak up some soap and have it while it is partially soggy and crispy.
Having tea by the pot was perfect for washing down the oiliness of the soup. They have a few selections of traditional Chinese tea or choice.
The soup came in a heated clay pot boiling hot with spring onions sprinkled as a garnish. We ordered the pig liver and kidney soup as both myself and my friend are not big fans of pork ribs. The soup was herbal but personally, the flavours lack a certain oomph. I could not taste the deep flavours of herbal pork soup cooked for long periods and instead only very light herbal taste.
We ordered an additional enoki mushroom pot as lovers of enoki mushrooms. The soup was the same as the pig liver pot except it tasted slightly less meaty.
We had another extra bean curd skin pot as well which came in the same soup as the mushrooms. The serving was quite decent with quite a big amount of bean curd skin and they came really crispy so when it was soaked in the soup, it was the perfect texture and taste as you could still taste the fragrance of the fried bean curd skin vs the flavours of the herbal soup.
Overall, the meal was ok but not good enough to provide satisfaction for a craving for real Malaysian bak kut teh. The price is not exactly cheap but at least they were not laden with MSG like other stores as we did not get too thirsty after the meal.
Address: 15A Lor Liput, Singapore 277730
Operating hours: 11 am to 3.30 pm and 5 pm to 9.30 pm