Saturday, October 2, 2010

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

I thought it would be a good time to talk about my favourite bak kut teh in town, although I do have another fav outside of town.

The first one is Songfa which is just located opposite Clarke Quay Central, and has 2 outlets almost next to each other.

The other fav of mine is Founder at Balestier, but I will leave that for another post.

I discovered this quite by accident a couple of months back while sitting at Starbucks at Central and noticed that there was a steady stream of crowd at this particular bak kut teh outlet.

Curious, I brought my wife along one Saturday weekend and lo and behold, we practically had to fight for our table as the crowd was neverending on a lunch hour. Nevertheless, we settled down to the standard dishes you will get from notable bak kut teh places.

Bak Kut Teh
Songfa does the more Teochew style of bak kut teh ie. it is more peppery. I happen to find out this interesting nugget about the difference between Hokkien and Teochew soups from Leslie Tay (who runs and learnt that in the 1860s, Teochews mainly own the pepper market in Singapore and thus, used pepper in their soups more than the Hokkiens, who prefer a more herb type of mixture.

On to the dish itself, and what I like about Songfa is that while the soup is peppery, it is not overly overpowering to the point it masks the hearty flavor of the broth underneath. The pork ribs itself was very tender and the meat practically fell off the bones, a sign that it was very well cooked. And, there was no hint of porky smell as well. Overall, it was excellent.

Pig Liver Soup
As would expected from most bah kut teh places, they tend to use the same soup base for their other dishes, and we tried the pig liver soup. The pig livers themselves were tender with a nice medium texture, and thankfully not overcooked like some other places. Pauline did feel it was slightly cut too thin, maybe as a means of cutting cost perhaps :)

They do have other similar dishes like pig kidney and if you are willing to spend a bit more, premium ribs and pork tenderloins. Only caveat is the price here is somewhat more steep than your regular bak kut teh outlets.

Pig Trotter
A dish that we will always order when we devour our bak kut teh is the braised pig trotter in soya sauce. Here, the sauce is just nicely balanced, not too light to be bland and not overly savoury at the same time. The pig trotter was well treated and the lean meat, delicious and moist.

However, our portion had too much fatty skin and far too little lean meat, and while some people do like to eat the fat portion, we could hardly find the tendon, though when I did manage to bite on a piece, it was quite delightful!

As per the standard, you can have this with rice, dough fritters (or you tiao) and Songfa has an inner outlet which is more comfortable and comes with a teapot for each table if you prefer to go the classic way of drinking chinese tea to wash down the pork. For us, 2 cups of homemade barley did the same trick, and the barley was not too shabby either.

Bak Kut Teh Spread
Overall, the price was the main complaint as this, we suspect, is due to the fact that Songfa is situated in town and they seem to have done some marketing as well (they have their own website). Barring this price issue, I would heartily recommend this to any bak kut teh lovers.

In the end, Founder has better value of money, and better portions too, but then, Balestier is somewhat out of town's way and for those who prefer some place more central, Songfa is an obvious choice.

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
11 New Bridge Road

1 comment:

  1. I like to eat here also, mainly because of its rather convenient location! But it helps that their bah kut teh is quite tasty as well.