Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh: Best bak kut teh in the West of Singapore?

By HungryGoWhere July 11, 2021
Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh: Best bak kut teh in the West of Singapore?
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Anyone who lives in the westside of Singapore will know of Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh which is a well loved culinary institution in this area.

The bak kut teh eatery started in 1985 in a coffeeshop in Woodlands by the brother-in law of the owner of the famous Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh.

The business relocated to Yuhua Hawker centre in 1996 and In 2015, they relocated once again to a coffee shop (Kai Xiang Food Centre) just two blocks away, with the second generation taking over at the same time.

Their main dish of bak kut teh ($5.50/$7.50) is outstandingly done with an addictively robust pork broth which has very balanced stock, garlic and prominent pepper notes.

No frozen pork is used and all the pork comes from Indonesia and Australia. Thanks to a special low-heat cooking technique, the normal pai kut (spare ribs) and short ribs come so soft and tender that it’s not really necessary to order the much-coveted prime rib.

That said, the prime ribs is very worth the money because there is an impressive amount of meat on every rib.

Some bak kut teh eateries will only give you the bottom half of the rib because the meat is soft and tender but Joo Siah gives you the top half as well. It’s good and bad — good because there’s a lot of meat but bad because the meat is very lean, so it can be rather dry and tough.

The premium loin ribs soup comes in at only $8.50 for two ribs so it is incredible value for money for sure.

If you’re aiming to order some, note that they only have a limited supply of it. Morning breakfasts and brunch are the best times to get it.

The other must-have dishes at Joo Siah are the Braised Pork Leg and Braised Pork Belly ($5.50/$7.50) dishes.

The meat textures are wonderfully soft and tender and the skin and far come meltingly soft. The gravy as well has a great balanced taste: it’s a big, bold flavour that isn’t over-salted and with a prominent five-spice flavour and a rich collagen flavour, so rich that you can feel the sticky feeling between your lips.

Sadly, their side dishes can be a hit or miss affair.

The stewed mui choy (preserved mustard greens, $1/2/3), tau kee (dried beancurd skin, $2/3) and peanuts ($1/2/3) are nicely done, though you wouldn’t travel half across Singapore for them.

The sides which we would definitely avoid are the sliced you char kueh (dough fritters; $1) which had a disappointingly soft texture and the pork kidneys ($5.50/$7.50) and liver ($5.50/$7.50) frequently comes over-blanched.



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