Thursday, September 29, 2016
Old Street Bak Kut Teh, Tiong Bahru Plaza
I've never heard of Old Street Bak Kut Teh (#02-105/106 Tiong Bahru Plaza, 302 Tiong Bahru Road, tel : +65 9812 9346) before until I saw them for the first time some years back at Funan Centre. My first impressions were that they might have been an old and possibly respectable stall in the past and have franchised just like a number of other old and possibly respectable local stalls. I didn't pay much attention on them then.
It seems that they have expanded their business into a number of malls since then and have even ventured into Surabaya and Jakarta in Indonesia.
These guys have updated their business and have installed iPads on their tables for order taking. While that was a nifty thing to have, there wasn't a way we could have indicated the sequence of the dishes that arrived. And hence, the first item from our order list they served was what people normally get for desserts. Tau huay (bean curd). It was not bad though. Light weight and a little "rough" in texture.
We ordered their rice with minced meat braised in a spiced dark soy sauce because we had previously seen other people eating them and they looked pretty good. This was comfortingly delicious. Possibly the local standard for the equivalent of the Taiwanese lu rou fan.
These are the premium loin rib options for their bak kut teh. While the bone was longer and looked more impressive, the meat on the edges were dryer compared to the rib meat from the regular bak kut option. Still it had the prerequisite fall of the bone tenderness and tasted pretty good. The broth was deliciously garlic-ky and peppery.
There was of course the condiment not to be left out as dips for the ribs. Sliced chilli padi in dark soy sauce.
Their you tiao/you char kway (fried dough sticks/crullers) were the soft and bready variety with only a faint crisp on the exterior. These were good for soaking up the peppery broth from the bowl of ribs.
Braised tau kee was also pretty darn good. They were tender and one could taste the flavour from the bean it was made with.
We were honestly apprehensive initially but I think this visit has gotten us convinced that the food was worth coming back for if we needed a fix without navigating into the inconvenient places some of these bak kut teh stalls are located at.