[SG] Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant

Saturday, March 10, 2012

With the recommendation of my friend who hardly eats Bak Kut Teh, I had high expectations of this place as it was able to attract someone who eats BKT only once or twice in her lifetime to come back. The location was rather misleading, along the same stretch, there are already 3 other BKT stalls! And just like any other places, being Singaporeans, the tastiness of the food is directly proportionate to the queue. Having its doors open only at 6pm, it was already 90% occupied by the time we went over at 6.10pm.

Getting a whiff of the BKT soup from the table next to us, it got me excited to have my very own bowl too!
Ribs for two ($8)

I've always preferred the ribs section (排骨) when eating BKT as it always comes out very tender as opposed to the usual 肉骨 which is tougher and has more bones. And being the lazy me, ribs is always easier to eat, with fewer bones to move your tongue around. The key essence of all BKTs - the soup didn't disappoint with a flavourful burst of white pepper with every mouthful. As you can see, the soup isn't the very light and bland type, and has been cooked over some time. A more teochew style, instead of the predominant darker versions, the spices were strong enough to choke on especially when it's piping hot - but that's the exact 'shiok' part of it! It got me addicted to it and best part of it all, the soup is refillable! 
Braised Pig Trotters ($6)

A very good blend of both the fat and skinny parts that made the whole dish very balanced and not 'jelat' or overwhelming with all the fats. The meat was very tender and dislodged very easily and had a strong flavour of the braised sauce infused through hours of slow cooking. The sauce was a tad too salty for my liking, though it went well when it was mixed together with the BKT soup. A larger serving that what I've expected and it was definitely worth it with the quality! 
Youtiao ($1.50)

I'm the kind who thinks youtiaos are a must when it comes to eating BKT and I'm very particular about it. In fact, what draws me back or makes a stall stand out (in my opinion) depends on the youtiao they serve. Awesome stalls have got youtiaos that are freshly toasted, sliced to just the right size so that the outside can be just-crisp (not overly hard), with hot and soft insides, and when dipped into a good bowl of soup, the soft insides will naturally soak up the soup and soften abit of the crispy outside such that there is still a slight crunch and the soup oozes out with every single bite you take, bringing out the spice and savoury part altogether. Gosh, the thought of it alone is making me salivate! 

Sadly, the youtiaos here aren't the type that I was looking for. It wasn't freshly toasted hence it lost the crisp and it was just like any normal youtiaos that seemed to have be left for quite some time. A dull chewy dough texture when you bite into it and it was just monotonous after soaking in the soup as it all became soft. 
 The queue when we left at about 7ish
Look out for this signboard if you're checking out the place! Too many BKT stalls around. 

If you take a closer look, the wallpaper is made up of photos of celebrities who've been to the place before. Impressive collage of over 200 stars from all over the world, like Jacky Wu, Wu Jun Ru, Taiwanese boybands etc!

Overall, a place that serves great quality food and if you're looking for BKT that packs a punch with every mouthful, this is the place! Love the appropriate spiciness of the soup and the freshness of the meat. There isn't any slight hint of the typical pork smell (those 腥味) that leaves a strong after taste in your mouth and you just wanna pop a mint after that. I wouldn't travel all the way to Balestier just to have it only because the youtiao wasn't impressive (that's just my super requirements for a good BKT). But I'm sure to go there often after work/meetings in Whampoa next time! 

Nom Factor: 7.5/10

Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant 
347 Balestier Road

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