I’m now a convert and I don’t mean it religiously. From a previous ‘I don’t like peppery bak kut teh’ attitude to the current ‘I want to eat peppery bak kut teh’ mindset, I can’t help but feel amused that my tastebuds have yet again evolved (likely with age?) or perhaps I’m just a late BKT bloomer, lol. Well, thanks to my BKT-fanatic husband, we had peppery BKT for the past 2 weekends (Sat & Sun included) so there were Song Fa & Founders one week and then Ya Hua & Soon Soon Heng BKT near KSL City in JB on the other. Four BKTs in 2 weeks. Must have been the most BKTs eaten within a short period of time in my entire existence to date.
Let me just kick off my BKT adventure chronologically with Song Fa.
The husband and I went to check out the new Seletar Mall that was just one bus ride away from our home which wasn’t too difficult to get to as we thought the mall was located in some ulu part of Sengkang.
We spotted Song Fa at Level One as we were walking around and decided to go for an early dinner since there was only a short queue. Been seeing Song Fa @ New Bridge Road for the longest time ever whenever we were in the Clarke Quay area but we had yet to give it a try.
Apparently this is Song Fa BKT’s first mall outlet. A few weeks after this outlet opened for business, their latest outlet at Chinatown Point also followed suit. Business seems to be rapidly expanding for them.
We ordered a Home Made Ice Lemon Tea ($1.80) to share which was complimentary in the end because there was an opening promotion of free drink with >$20 spending. This lemon tea was totally refreshing. Balanced flavours of sweet and sour with a strong taste of tea.
And here was our BKT feast with an array of sides. Do try the chilli sauce that was provided on the table. I combined it with the dark soy sauce and fresh sliced chillies – it was incredible. A little tangy, spicy and salty – perfect dipping sauce for the meat.
This was the Pork Ribs Soup ($7.00) that came with a substantial portion of meat which wasn’t exactly chopstick-tender that easily fell off the bone but I liked that slight chewiness so there was a bite to it. It was a shame the broth wasn’t up to our expectations. Not only was it not peppery, it wasn’t robust too and somewhat tasted under seasoned.
The Pork Tenderloin ($6.50) was incredibly soft as though there weren’t any fibres in the meat. Older folks with dentures would really enjoy this because it was effortless to chew. I still prefer my meat with a bit more bite.
This Braised Pig’s Trotters ($6.50) was probably the only highlight for me (though I still think the one from Ng Ah Sio is best). Good ratio of meat to fats – it was pretty meaty. Meat was nicely braised, tender and flavoursome. Could taste a strong flavour of star anise too.
The Salted Vegetables ($1.50) was crunchy but was also quite bland.
The Braised Groundnuts ($1.50) were really soft and salty sweet.
Like most other BKT stalls, you tiao is often a lacklustre side. Similarly, this Dough Fritter ($1.20) wasn’t overly greasy but it was cold and too bready for our liking.
We each went for the Big rice ($0.80, Small is $0.60) but the portion looked like a normal small rice bowl size though the bowl used was wider. So if you are a big rice eater, you’d probably need another bowl.
Prices stated above are inclusive of 7% GST. There is no service charge. Do note for the side dishes, we had requested for Small portions.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed by the standard of the BKT which should be the star of the meal because the broth was just weak and uninspiring. I doubt we will be coming back here again as there are better BKTs elsewhere.
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
33 Sengkang West Ave
#01-39/40/41, The Seletar Mall
Tel: 6702 7688
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/songfabkt
Opening hours: 10.30am – 9.30pm daily
They also have outlets at New Bridge Road (opposite Central, Clarke Quay), UE BizHub East (Changi Business Park) and Chinatown Point. Please refer to their FB page above for the respective location/address.