We sniffed out the city's best haunts that specialise in the Teochew and Klang (Malaysian) styles of the soupy, well-loved Chinese dish
No matter whether it’s a hawker centre or a restaurant, we’d make our way to wherever we need to go to find a nice, hot bowl of bak kut teh in Singapore. This well-loved local dish comes in two variations: the peppery Teochew form (which is a lot more common), and the herbal-based Klang version. Find a stall you like with this list!
Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant
There’s always a long, snaking queue to get into this Teochew-style BKT restaurant on Balestier Road (which, by the way, is so famous that it’s been visited by plenty of Asian celebrities – just see the photos on the walls). Complete your meal with a side order of items like tau pok and liver.
Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant, 347 Balestier Road, Singapore 329777, p. 6352 6192
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
We love Song Fa for their tender pork ribs; the meat falls right off the bone when you pick it up! The soup is a little on the sweet side and it’s mildly peppery, so you get that balance of savoury-sweet flavour. If you like, order some of their braised dishes to go with your BKT, like the decadent pig’s trotter.
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, #01-01, 11 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059383, p. 6533 6128.
Sin Heng Claypot Bak Kut Teh
Sin Heng serves their creations in a claypot, and when you tuck into a bowl of piping hot BKT, you’ll notice that the broth is surprisingly a lot lighter than usual. Opt for Sin Heng’s “special claypot BKT” if you like your soup more spice-heavy than peppery.
Sin Heng Claypot Bak Kut Teh, 439 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427652, p. 6345 8754.
Hong Ji Claypot Bak Kut Teh
Two things are essential for a perfect bowl of bak kut teh: the broth has to be kept hot, and the meat of the pork ribs has to be slide-off-the-bone tender. Prepared and served in a traditional claypot at Hong Ji in the Northern neighbourhood of Marsiling, the bak kut teh here checks both boxes for us. This herbal variant emits a strong, mouthwatering aroma as it is boiled with various Chinese herbs; you’ll be won over with just one sip!
Hong Ji Claypot Bak Kut Teh, 19 Marsiling Lane, #01-329, Singapore 730019.
Old Street Bak Kut Teh
The classic broth-based BKT aside, one shouldn’t miss out on Old Street’s specialty: dry bak kut teh. Prepared with dried chilli, this dish comes with savoury-sweet gravy and goes great with a bowl of rice. Split this and a bowl of regular, soupy BKT with a pal and you’re all set for a perfect meal.
Old Street Bak Kut Teh, 127 Upper Paya Lebar Road, p. 6759 1082.
Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh
Hiding amidst the new-age facilities in Singapore’s R&D hub of Fusionopolis, is this old-school bak kut teh restaurant that’s a welcome contrast of scenery. Popular amongst workers in the area, this standout establishment retains Teochew traditions with its garlicky broth full of peppery goodness (a recipe passed down from the ’20s), and classic offal dishes of pig stomach and liver.
Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh, 1 Fusionopolis Way, # 02-13, Singapore 138632, p. 6469 3536
Outram Park Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh
It’s a little far out, but this BKT stall is worth the journey. Their peppery soup is highly addictive, and we definitely recommend ordering dough fritters to dip into the broth.
Outram Park Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh, #01-05/07 Tanjong Pagar Complex, 7 Keppel Road, Singapore 089053, p. 6222 9610.
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
This popular BKT stall is great for breakfast and late lunch (open 7am to 3pm) and if you’re a fan of extra peppery broths, you’ll love this spot. Can’t get enough of the soup? Make your own Ng Ah Sio BKT at home with the ready-made mix, which comes in a box filled with eight sachets.
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh, Hong Building, 208 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218453, p. 6291 4537.
Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
Always preferred the herbal Klang version to the Teochew style of BKT? Leong Kee’s one of the few places in the city that specialises in the dark-coloured, thick, full-bodied broth.
Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh, 321 Beach Road, Singapore 199557, p. 9380 1718.
Tuan Yuan Bak Kut Teh
Located just a block away from the hip offerings of Yong Siak street is Tuan Yuan Bak Kut Teh, an air-conditioned resto with a name that means ‘reunion’. Order the perennial staple: Teochew-style pork ribs soup with a bowl of steamed rice, as well as sides of braised offal, oyster sauce veggies and you tiao (fried dough stick). Don’t forget to order a pot of floral tea to cleanse your palate after the meal!
Tuan Yuan Bak Kut Teh, 127 Kim Tian Road, #01-01, Singapore 160127, p. 6684 0123
Xiao Chen Gu Shi
Stop by Xiao Chen Gu Shi if you’re stomach’s growling after a bout of drinking at Clarke Quay! Open ’til 6am in the morning, this traditional joint serves up a piping-hot bowl of bak kut teh for the starving night owls. Help yourself to their peppery short ribs soup and braised pork dishes; and if rice seems a little heavy for a midnight snack, don’t hesitate to replace it with an easily-slurpable bowl of mee sua.
Xiao Chen Gu Shi, 3E River Valley Road, #01-08, Singapore 179024, p. 6336 0939
New Manlee Bak Kut Teh
A franchise from Kuala Lumpur, this place naturally offers the herbal, more-fragrant, and slightly-sweet variant of bak kut teh. Savour the darker broth with a variety of pork and vegetables, or if you’re not in a soupy mood, opt for the spicy, dry bak kut teh, which comes garnished in a dressing of sliced red chillies.
New Manlee Bak Kut Teh, #B1-22, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, Singapore 569933, p. 6484 1614