Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh started in 1955, selling peppery Teochew bak kut teh. Since the flagship outlet’s opening at Rangoon Road in 1988, over a million bowls have been served and the brand has expanded to several outlets in Singapore and Taipei. When we were on a Tuesday, the old-school restaurant was still packed with people coming in large groups. Until 31 May 2019, diners at the Rangoon Road outlet (7am – 11am) and Chui Huay Lim Club outlet (9.30am – 11am) will enjoy a complimentary pot of Kung Fu Tea with a minimum spend of $35 per bill as part of the breakfast promotion.
They use xiao ye gan 小叶甘 made from tie luo han tea leaves from Wuyi mountain and 6 other tea leaves and herbs. It’s strong and smooth with a sweet aftertaste. This tea amplifies the sweetness of the peppery bak kut teh broth.
Ng Ah Sio offers two cuts of pork for the bak kut teh, spare rib or pork rib, starting from $7.50. The broth is done by simmering choice cuts of pork ribs with garlic cloves, as well as a special blend of peppercorns. Compared to the Bib Gourmand Song Fa whose broth has a nice clean peppery taste, the broth here is more milky, as if it is loaded with collagen. Depending on your preference, NAS has more depth and complexity whereas SF has a straightforward, clean-cut peppery flavour like a Konmari apartment.
The premium bak kut teh ($10.50) comes with two spare ribs. I like that they have an old-school bite—very traditional–although young people may prefer super tender, fall-off-the-bone texture.
Their ngoh hiang ($10) is hand-made. Usually ngoh hiang is deep-fried once and when customers order it, vendors deep-fry it again. But here, it is deep-fried freshly when customers order it. The method explains why it tastes lighter and fresher than other places’ versions.
Pig skin ($3.50)
The braised pork items are very good; they are not gamy and taste very clean and fresh. The excellent pig’s trotter ($10) has just the right amount of fat but it is never greasy. They use the front trotter of the pig and braise it with more than 10 kinds of herbs and spices including star anise, cinnamon, and galangal.
The big intestine ($8, pictured below) is probably one of the best I’ve eaten. Usually big intestine has this funky, blue-cheese-like taste but here, it is fat enough and umami.
Small intestine ($7.50)
Beancurd skin $3
NAS also has new items on their menu at Rangoon and Resorts World Sentosa outlets: fish maw soup and Teochew-style braised pig’s trotter rice 潮州卤猪手饭 (pictured below) which is similar to and as delectable as the Taiwanese lu rou fan.
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
208 Rangoon Road, Hong Building Singapore 218453
Tel: +65 6291 4537
7am – 10pm daily
Price / value: 7/10
You may be interested in…
–Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice, Nex: Bangkok’s Michelin Bib Gourmand Chicken Rice is now in Singapore
–Quan Ji 權記, Amoy Street Food Centre: Decent Cze Char Best Known for their “Yellow Cloth” Noodles
–Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle, Esplanade: $37/pax Doesn’t Sound Reasonable for Hawker Fare
–Jiao Cai Hotplate BBQ, Yishun Park Hawker Centre: 2nd-Generation Hawker Cooks Amazing “Wok Hei” Seafood
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.