Thursday, July 18, 2013

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh...a curious name...pork rib tea, loosely translated. But a venerable staple of local food, it combines the rice staple and good old pork ribs in a soup.

I am not sure of the origins of the bak kut teh, but many ascribe the beginings to come from coolies who needed a good solid breakfast or lunch to carry them through a hard day of labour. The rice provides the carbohydrates and the pork ribs the protein. The soup, herbal or peppery provides nutrition as well as hydration.

Interestingly, this is one dish which traditionally, can be served for all the main meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Song Fa, if I remember correctly used to operate at Blanco Court before it was demolished to become the now Raffles Hospital. They are now in South Bridge Road and in Changi Point. Their style is the peppery one, though less peppery than Ya Hua.

We ordered the premium pork loin ribs...long boned pork ribs. The meat was very tender, if a little mild. I found the soup to be very mild...preferring the more pungent version of Ya Hua.

The braised pork leg was quite good, nice, tender, flavourful. And for the healthy concious, not very fat.

The braised peanuts are exquisite. Very nice indeed.

The kiam chye is quite nice, and not too salty as the dish can sometimes tend to be. A rather refreshing dish.

I seem to remember their soup to be much more flavourful in the days back at Blanco Court. But the current version is still very nice, and robust, perhaps they are reacting to the feedback for a less peppery version. Still highly recommended.

11 New Bridge Road #01-01
7.00am - 10.00pm Closed on Monday
6533 6128

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