Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant 发起人肉骨茶餐馆
A couple of nights ago, I had dinner with Vanessa and Sam at Founder Bak Kut Teh (BKT) in Balestier Road. I have eaten there quite a few times but had never taken presentable photographs of the meal. Luckily, I had a chance to do so a couple of nights ago.
My children likes to eat at Founder Bah Kut Teh for several reasons. Firstly, they prefer the peppery BKT in comparison to the herbal ones. Secondly, they find the ribs tender and the broth tasty. Thirdly, this shop was in our residential district and opens till late. As I mentioned before, we usually have late dinners because of my children’s working hours.
The Youtiao is not as crisp as those freshly fried hot ones in markets. Although these are cold and a little dense, they managed to retain enough chewy texture when soaked in the hot peppery soup. More importantly, there’s no rancid oil smell and taste which I’ve encountered from another famous BKT shop in Havelock Road.
Whenever we eat BKT, our standard individual menu would consist of a bowl of white rice or noodles (usually rice), BKT with prime ribs whenever available, youtiao, preserved salted vegetables and braised beancurd skin. If there are more people, we would include offals, beancurd puffs (taupok) and stewed pig’s trotters in dark soy.
While we were in line at the queue outside, a waitress came out to show us their menu and took our orders. They have 4 types of BKT offered on the menu but she said they’d ran out of the “prime ribs only” so we had the mixed, comprising of prime and standard ribs.
Since variations in the thickness of the pork rib’s meat and bone, as well as levels of fat in each cut, can alter the flavour and texture of the prepared dish, prime ribs or loin ribs are regarded highly by BKT connoisseurs. As there are under 15 prime ribs per pig, they usually cost more than standard ribs, too.
I am happy to learn that Mr. Chua, the founder of Founder Bah Kut Teh, stands firm on using only fresh pork for his fare because there’s a huge disparity in terms of taste for the meat’s texture and the natural sweetness of broth if one should use imported frozen ribs. And there’s no fooling this man when it comes to the quality of pork as Mr. Chua was a pig farmer before our government decided to shut down the country’s pig farms for environmental reasons. From thence, he took on the challenge to come up with his own recipe of BKT and through many experimentations found one that he was satisfied with, hence the name Founder Bak Kut Teh.
Every now and then, an attentive staff would walked past with a metal jug of the pork broth and asked if we wanted to have our bowls refilled. This may seem to be a normal service in BKT shops yet I have heard of some arrogant owners refusing refill. Back on track, the peppery broth here was robust and we could taste the natural sweetness of the pork. If msg was used, it should be minimal.
We had offals like the small pig’s intestines and liver soup. Somehow, the intestines were a little bitter and did not sit well with the children. I was the only person eating it and there were leftovers.
While in the queue ordering, we had requested that the pig’s liver be cooked 70% doneness. The waitress told us that they do not fully cook the liver so we left it to the cook to prepare it in his usual way. We’re happy with our lot. As you can see the soup for this dish was murkier and darker and that’s because of the blood. My family do not drink the soup from this bowl but I know some folks find drinking this bloodied broth especially good for those with anaemic conditions.
We were satisfied with our meal. The price was on the high side but we didn’t mind as the restaurant uses fresh pork. The service was attentive enough. I asked Vanessa if she would recommend her friends, should they be looking for a BKT meal, to eat here and she said yes!
Founder Bak Kut Teh 发起人肉骨茶餐馆
Address: 347 Balestier Road,
Tel: (+65) 6352 6192.
Operating hours: Closed on Tuesdays
Lunch: 12noon – 2pm
Dinner/Supper: 6pm – 2.30am
Founder Bak Kut Teh @ Rangoon Road
Address: 154 Rangoon Road,
Tel: (+65) 62920938.
Operating hours: Closed on Wednesdays
9am – 10.30pm
Happy eating 🙂
For simple recipe:
BAK KUT TEH 肉骨茶 – MY HOME RECIPE