How far would you go for a bowl of amazing Bak Kut Teh? Apparently, not very far as BakBak is one of the newest Bak Kut Teh restaurants to open along the shophouses at Circular Road! This is perfect as it is located right in the central area of Singapore and so we headed down to see what was in store for us.
Inheriting the legacy of the famous Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh (that has been around for close to four decades), Bakbak has created and adopted the modern, popular trend of Teochew clear-styled broth which is whiter, lighter and clearer than most Bak Kut Tehs around.
To better serve their customers, Bakbak has incorporated QR codes on each table so you can pick up your own phone, scan it and start placing your order.
If you are into a solitary dining experience (we all have those days too), BakBak has also adopted the Ichiran-influenced individual booths, with curtains that are slightly lifted to deliver your meal and allow you to enjoy the wholesome experience in your own world. As a self-confessed lone wolf, this is perfect as there is no customer-server interaction at all!
Not forgetting us health-conscious folks, be prepared to indulge in your favourite Bak Kut Teh guiltlessly as one of BakBak's main focuses is on healthy eating, so you can expect them to use nutritious and fresh ingredients like brown rice, sea cucumber and tofu.
If you need something to cool you down in hot, sweltering Singapore, the Iced Lychee Tea ($4.50) would be perfect for you. It is a blend of lychee infused red tea and ... carbonation! A fizzy delight that is not too sweet with a fragrant lychee aroma that lingers in your mouth with every sip.
If you are looking for a hot afternoon tea, look no further than the Hot Osmanthus Oolong Tea ($2.50)! Extremely aromatic, each whiff of the Osmanthus Oolong Tea delivers a mildly addictive scent of the Osmanthus flower extract. A healthier perk-me-up drink as it contains theine (sort of like caffeine but in teas) and helps to detox as well as improve your skin and lung health.!
We were shortly presented a selection of Asian-styled hors d'œurves to sample.
The Cold Tofu with Ponzu Sauce ($2) was delicately soft and silky such that you can easily slice a mouthful portion of goodness. However, in my own opinion, the tofu was rather bland on its own and the ponzu sauce accompaniment was rather tangy and it overpowered the dish.
Chawanmushi fanatics will be pleased to know that BakBak has their in-house Chawanmushi with Homemade Crab Sauce ($4.50). A hot side dish that leaves nothing to imagination with its smooth texture. The crab sauce was also exquisitely tasty with slices of actual crab meat.
The Homemade Fried Prawn Roll ($11) was rather reminiscent and similar to the local fare, ngo hiang. The beancurd skin was deep fried to a golden crisp and encases a piquant filling! A personal favourite that I would recommended to eat hot.Don’t forget to pair it with the condiments off the shelves! Though it wasn’t homemade, it was was still a matchmade in heaven.
For you beauty-conscious foodies out there, the collagen-brimming Pork Rib Soup with Sea Cucumber ($17.50) would be the preferred choice of Bak Kut Teh. The balanced garlicky and peppery aroma of the soup tempts you with every slurp. What makes it extremely savoury is how tender the pork ribs were. We were curious and asked why, and were delighted to find out that BakBak only uses fresh pork ribs and not frozen ones! It allows the tendons to be cooked even softer and makes the soup clearer as well.
The sea cucumbers used were of premium and widely sought-after variants (it has a yellow tinge which we were told is proof that it is wild). Each piece of sea cucumber was firm and flavoursome. I sincerely believe this dish would definitely be a popular choice with the ladies.
The Sanuki Udon with Dragon Rib ($11) is a fusion-styled dish featuring udon noodles from the Kagawa prefecture. Not only did it looked grand with its accompanying "dragon's ribcage bone", the udon had an almost perfect al dente consistency, while the pork rib had a firm texture in my opinion. However, its umami broth was different from the usual Bak Kut Teh soup base used in their other dishes, hence I felt that the soup was too light in taste.
It is recommended that you crush the garlic cloves in all of the soup to enhance the flavour! To spice up your Bak Kut Teh, you may add cut chili into your soup for a different fiery adventure.
My favourite from BakBak has to be the Natural Pork Belly Slices ($8)! Its clear broth and supple "Shabu Shabu-styled" organic pork slices won me over by how fresh it tasted and its overall clean look made it ever so appetising. As a person who prefers easy and hassle-free eating, this dish simply takes it away!
We were also offered a cold dessert that was absolutely stunning, but you'll have to hop down to BakBak to find out what it is yourself! All I can say is, not only is it economical for its price, the texture and taste were like unfiltered heavenly clouds.
With such a great selection of Bak Kut Teh, I'm sure you will not be disappointed with what BakBak has to offer, so what are you waiting for?