Rong Cheng (Sin Ming Road) Bak Kut Teh 榕城(新民路)肉骨茶

Located at Blk 22 Sin Ming Road, in the far left corner of the coffeeshop, Uncle Lim has more than 30 years of experience selling this Teochew version of peppery pork rib soup, Bak Kut Teh. For 3 decades, Rong Cheng BKT has built up a huge following based on words of mouth because of the quality of their food.

On 8th November 2011, a new restaurant run by his son, located in Midview City at Sin Ming Lane, was opened. This was where I came to lunch with Ian. He was surprised that I have never heard of or eaten at Rong Cheng’s.

Ian Low, founder of The Silver Chef Blog, standing up as a gentleman does, to greet me as I walked into this spacious kopitiam specialising in BKT.

Ian Low, founder of The Silver Chef Blog, standing up as a gentleman does, to greet me as I walked into this spacious kopitiam specialising in BKT.
Click on this photo for Ian’s review on Uncle Lim’s stall.

The interior of the new Rong Cheng Restaurant at Midview City which was opened in November 2011.

The interior of the new Rong Cheng Restaurant at Midview City which was opened in November 2011.

I was seated next to this interesting display of teapots and tea leaves.

I was seated next to this interesting display of teapots and tea leaves.

What a huge tea pot! Never have to worry about running a dry spell, lol...

What a huge tea pot!
Never have to worry about running a dry spell, lol…

Doing away with the traditional method of boiling water over charcoal and a metal kettle, Rong Cheng adopted the modern appliances using electrical burners. Customers help themselves to tea brewing after they picked out their choice of tea leaves.

Doing away with the traditional method of boiling water over charcoal and a metal kettle, Rong Cheng adopted the modern appliances using electrical burners.
Customers help themselves to tea brewing after they picked out their choice of tea leaves.

Tea for two.<br />I have mentioned in my previous BKT posts that when customers are usually given two tea cups. This is to facilitate the cooling of tea before consumption.<br />Like wine, tea needs to be "decanted" and hence the porcelain ware (with the fish) is provided.

Tea for two.
I have mentioned in my previous BKT posts that when customers are usually given two tea cups.
This is to facilitate the cooling of tea before consumption.
Like wine, tea needs to be “decanted” and hence the porcelain ware (with the fish) is provided.

Jasmine Tea 不知香. This tea has a unique name even though Jasmine Tea is a common choice. The name in Chinese 不知香 literally means "don't know what is fragrant". First you grab and huge pinch of tea leaves and put them into the clay teapot. The you pour some simmering (almost boiling point) hot water into the pot. Give it a twirl and pour them into the tea cups. This first brew is not meant to be drunk. We were washing the leaves and preparing the cups for drinking. Repeat the process and this time, pour the steeped tea into the "decanter" which acts as the tea service.

Jasmine Tea 不知香.
This tea has a unique name even though Jasmine Tea is a common choice. The name in Chinese 不知香 literally means “don’t know what is fragrant”.
First you grab and huge pinch of tea leaves and put them into the clay teapot.
The you pour some simmering (almost boiling point) hot water into the pot. Give it a twirl and pour them into the tea cups.
This first brew is not meant to be drunk.
We were washing the leaves and preparing the cups for drinking.
Repeat the process and this time, pour the steeped tea into the “decanter” which acts as the tea service.

Ian said the best time to eat at Rong Cheng is 10.30am when the ribs are tender and crowd is not there. Since the lunch crowd has not arrived, the food was served quite immediately, even before we had time to brew our tea.

Ian said the best time to eat at Rong Cheng is 10.30am when the ribs are tender and crowd is not there.
Since the lunch crowd has not arrived, the food was served quite immediately, even before we had time to brew our tea.

Ian doing the tea "cleansing ritual" before we drink it.

Ian doing the tea “cleansing ritual” before we drink it.
Btw, our meal cost S$34 (I had forgotten to take the bill).

Tea is served.<br />The taste is light just as we liked.<br />If you desire stronger brew, steep the tea longer.<br />Once it reaches the strength of your choice, pour it into the decanting jug.<br />Then help yourself from it from time to time.<br />Repeat the process when you're ready for your next brew.<br />Each pinch of tea leaves in the pot can last 2-3 rounds before you need to remove the "old" leaves and add new ones from the package.<br />Remember to "wash" the new tea leaves.

Tea is served.
The taste is light just as we liked.
If you desire stronger brew, steep the tea longer.
Once it reaches the strength of your choice, pour it into the decanting jug.
Then help yourself from it from time to time.
Repeat the process when you’re ready for your next brew.
Each pinch of tea leaves in the pot can last 2-3 rounds before you need to remove the “old” leaves and add new ones from the package.
Remember to “wash” the new tea leaves.

Let's tuck in but first an introduction of the food.

Let’s tuck in but first an introduction of the food.

Huge pots of these foods are found in the kitchen.<br />There were many more as they operate till 9pm.<br />These type of food (the vegetables and pork trotters in the background) needs time to develop their flavours so they are stewed well ahead of time, sometimes a day or two earlier (I do not know how long Rong Cheng stewed theirs).

Huge pots of these foods are found in the kitchen.
There were many more as they operate till 9pm.
These type of food (the vegetables and pork trotters in the background) needs time to develop their flavours so they are stewed well ahead of time, sometimes a day or two earlier (I do not know how long Rong Cheng stewed theirs).

Preserved Mui Choy (Chye Buay) 梅菜尾.<br />This are preserved vegetables that are usually either heavily salted or sugared.<br />Most Bah Kut Teh Restaurants have them on menu as side dishes.

Preserved Mui Choy (Chye Buay) 梅菜尾.
This are preserved vegetables that are usually either heavily salted or sugared.
Most Bah Kut Teh Restaurants have them on menu as side dishes.

You Char Kway or Youtiao 油条. We love to dunk these savoury Chinese "churros" into our BKT broth.

You Char Kway or Youtiao 油条.
We love to dunk these savoury Chinese “churros” into our BKT broth.

Pig's Kidney and Liver.<br />A side order with some "Tang Oh" vegetables (also known as Broad Leaf Garland Chrysanthemum).<br />The dish was done well with no ammonia taste or smell from the kidneys.<br />However, I found the liver sliced too thin and thus a little dry.

Pig’s Kidney and Liver.
A side order with some “Tang Oh” vegetables (also known as Broad Leaf Garland Chrysanthemum).
The dish was done well with no ammonia taste or smell from the kidneys.
However, I found the liver sliced too thin and thus a little dry.

Braised Pork Trotters in Dark Soy 卤肉.<br />Ian did not eat this. On diet?<br />I liked the gelatinous texture of the meaty bones. The gravy did well on my rice, too.

Braised Pork Trotters in Dark Soy 卤肉.
Ian did not eat this. On diet?
I liked the gelatinous texture of the meaty bones.
The gravy did well on my rice, too.

Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶.<br />The BKT lunch I had was special because of this Long Gu 龙骨 translating to "Dragon Bone".<br />It is slightly more than twice the size of the standard pork ribs.<br />Every pig has only 2 pieces of these (or rather one piece cut into two).<br />Despite the size, the meat weren't tough at all. The mastication was flavoursome!<br />Ian said if it had been stewed longer, the meat would slip off the bone but we did not want to take the chance for if you come late, these may be out of stock!

Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶.
The BKT lunch I had was special because of this Long Gu 龙骨 translating to “Dragon Bone”.
It is slightly more than twice the size of the standard pork ribs.
Every pig has only 2 pieces of these (or rather one piece cut into two).
Despite the size, the meat weren’t tough at all. The mastication was flavoursome!
Ian said if it had been stewed longer, the meat would slip off the bone but we did not want to take the chance for if you come late, these may be out of stock!

The lunch crowd gathered momnetum just as we were finishing our meal.

The lunch crowd gathered momnetum just as we were finishing our meal.

Having eaten quite a few Teochew BKT Singapore, I must admit that this was one of the best. The robustness of the peppery pork was subtle but delightful. We had the soup refilled without any fuss from the staff. I have heard horror stories about other “top” BKT restaurants refusing soup top-ups (which is quite a normal practice in BKT outlets) and scolding customers, even of important stature in the foreign political scene. What a disgrace to Singaporeans as hosting country! I think their popularity has gotten over their heads to treat paying customers (laymen or politicians) that way.

The service was fast and efficient when I was there although I would not say they were totally attentive. The S$34 meal was satifying and has made it into my “food-I-will-go-back-for” list.

Rong Cheng (Sin Ming Rd) Bak Kut Teh 榕城(新民路)肉骨茶 at Midview City, Sin Ming Lane.

Rong Cheng (Sin Ming Rd) Bak Kut Teh 榕城(新民路)肉骨茶 at Midview City, Sin Ming Lane.
Click on photo to be directed to their facebook page.

Rong Cheng (Sin Ming Road) Bak Kut Teh 榕城(新民路)肉骨茶
Address: Blk 26, #01-117 (Midview City)
Sin Ming Lane,
Singapore 573971.

Tel: 6684 1889

Operating hours: &am – 9pm (Daily)

Rating: 8/10

P.S. There are differences in BKT from various dialect groups and in Malaya.

See Malaysian’s BKT style and reviews by clicking on the links below:

Kiang Kee Bak Kut Tea Restaurant 强记早市肉骨茶

Shoon Fa Bak Kut Teh 顺发肉骨茶

Mei Hua Ah Bee Bak Kut Teh 华美亞B肉骨茶

If you like to try cooking this dish click Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶 – My Home Recipe.

Advertisements
Comments
4 Responses to “Rong Cheng (Sin Ming Road) Bak Kut Teh 榕城(新民路)肉骨茶”
  1. Kevin says:

    We had our first BKT in Singapore 2 years ago and introduced by a resident. It was such a culinary revelation.

    • Sam Han says:

      Can buy the package herbs in Sydney and cook at home. Or this simple Teochew version only uses white peppercorns and whole garlic with skin on (amount to your liking). Especially good on cold days 🙂

  2. Damn, i can imagine the smells when you steppin’in to the restaurant….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s