It’s rainy season all year round in Singapore, which is possibly why bak kut teh (pork ribs soup) is such a popular dish — there’s nothing more comforting, especially when it’s cold outside.
But here’s the thing: not all bak kut teh are made equal. And somehow, the cheap and good ones like to set up stores in areas like Balestier, Joo Chiat and more.
Whether it’s the white peppery Teochew style or black herbal Malaysia recipe, if you’re craving a good bak kut teh, we’ve got your back.
Best bak kut teh (pork ribs soup) in Singapore for $10 or less
Here are the cheap and good ones:
|Bak Kut Teh store in Singapore||Location||Price of standard pork ribs soup|
|Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh||Marsiling, Ang Mo Kio, Upper Thomson||$5.70|
|Balestier Bak Kut Teh (Kian Lian)||Balestier||$6|
|Song Fa Bak Kut Teh||10 outlets in Singapore||$6.50|
|Old Street Bak Kut Teh (Lao Jie)||18 outlets in Singapore||$6.80|
|Leong Kee Bak Kut Teh||Geylang||$7|
|Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh||Keppel Road, Havelock Road, Hougang||$7|
|Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh||Rangoon Road, Chui Huay Lim Club, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa||$7.80|
|Founder Bak Kut Teh||Balestier||$7.80|
|Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh||Bedok, OneKm Mall, Jalan Kayu, Chinatown||$7.90|
|333 Bak Kut Teh||Balestier||$8|
|Sin Heng Claypot Bak Kut Teh||Joo Chiat||$8|
Generally, bak kut teh is a cheap dish lah. The best ones are at old school markets, and you can have a hearty meal for under $7. But even if you visit shopping mall chains, prices rarely go past $10 a bowl.
If you’re particularly hungry and want to eat like a king, ordering additional servings of liver and more, then expect to pay up to $15.
Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh (Marsiling) — $5.70
Hong Ji Bak Kut Teh is the famous “Marsiling bak kut teh”, serving delightfully herbal pork ribs soup in rustic claypots. There are now 3 outlets islandwide, with 2 more at Ang Mo Kio and Upper Thomson respectively.
A bowl of the standard pork ribs soup is just $5.70, which is the cheapest among the “branded” bak kut teh places in Singapore.
Address: Marsiling Blk 19, Singapore 730 019
Kian Lian Balestier Bak Kut Teh — $6
Balestier has several famous bak kut teh stores, but there’s one that’s literally called “Balestier Bak Kut Teh”. Kian Lian Balestier bak kut teh has been around for some 50 years, and is currently helmed by the 3rd generation of founders.
Unlike Hong Ji, they serve the white, peppery variant of the pork ribs soup. A bowl of standard pork ribs soup is $6, but if you want the more premium spare ribs soup it is $7.
Address: 365 & 369 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329 785
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh — $6.50
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has been around for 50 years too, starting from a humble push cart along Johor Road in 1969. Today, they are one of the largest bak kut teh chains in Singapore, with 10 outlets islandwide.
If you don’t want to sweat it out at a market (like many others on this list), you can visit one of Song Fa’s shopping mall outlets.
With a store even at Jewel Changi Airport, you’d expect the prices to be inflated right? However, a bowl of Song Fa bak kut teh only costs $6.50, which is very reasonable.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Song Fa Bak Kut Teh’s official website.
Old Street (Lao Jie) Bak Kut Teh — $6.80
Another shopping mall bak kut teh chain is Old Street Bak Kut Teh (also known as “lao jie”). They are the world’s largest bak kut teh chain, with 23 outlets in total.
18 of them are in Singapore, and you may have seen their stores at Suntec City, Westgate, and even Changi Airport terminal 4. Lao Jie also serves the white pepper-style bak kut teh, and a bowl costs $6.80.
This chain was only founded in 2010 though, so no heartwarming story of a grandpa sweating over the stove.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Old Street Bak Kut Teh’s official website.
Leong Kee Klang Bak Kut Teh (Geylang) — $7
As you can tell by the name, Leong Kee serves Klang, Malaysia-style bak kut teh that is the dark, herbal soup kind. If you’ve ever had it, you’d know it’s the real deal — the soup is very thick, almost opaque even.
It costs $7 a bowl, which is average. Leong Kee bak kut teh used to be at Beach Road, but have since relocated to Geylang.
Address: 251 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389 309
Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh — $7
Ya Hua bak kut teh was founded by a Madam Gwee Peck Hua and her sister, with their first store in Outram Park estate. They’ve since moved and now have 7 outlets, including the “original” one at Havelock Road.
Like Leong Kee, a standard bowl is $7. If you don’t like pork, you can also order a fish bak kut teh — I’ve never tried it though, but if you have, feel free to tell us how it is in the comments below.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh’s official website.
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh (Rangoon Road) — $7.80
Rangoon Road’s Ng Ah Sio bak kut teh is one of the most famous in Singapore for their Teochew-style soup. They have take-home boxes for those who want to brew the soup at home too ($16 for a box of 4).
I find that the DIY herbs are lighter and less peppery (even following the instructions), but it’s pretty good for a home cooked meal. At the restaurant, the classic pork ribs soup is $7.80.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh’s official website.
Founder Bak Kut Teh — $7.80
There are 4 Founder Bak Kut Teh outlets in total, but the flagship one is at Balestier. Like Ng Ah Sio, you can also buy the spices to cook at home ($20 for 6 packs).
At the restaurant, the cheapest bowl is $7.80. However, if you want the signature Founder’s Bak Kut Teh, it is $9.80.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Founder Bak Kut Teh’s official website.
Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh — $7.90
This is my personal favourite bak kut teh in Singapore — I first had Soon Huat bak kut teh in Johor, but then I discovered they had a Jalan Kayu outlet too. I find that taste-wise they’re pretty similar. I also like that I don’t have to survive a 2-hour causeway jam and eat in the sweltering heat.
A bowl is $7.90, and it comes with pork ribs, mushrooms, beancurd skin and if you want, pig’s liver and stomach.
Address: Multiple outlets, check the locations on Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh’s official Facebook page.
333 Bak Kut Teh (Balestier) — $8
Aside from Founder and Kian Lian bak kut teh, 333 bak kut teh is another famous store in Balestier that also serves white pork ribs soup. I don’t know which of the two is better, so tell us what you think in the comments below.
Because it’s open 24 hours a day, this is a popular supper spot, especially after club nights. It costs $8 a bowl.
Address: 567 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329 884
Sin Heng Claypot Bak Koot Teh (Joo Chiat) — $8
Somehow all bak kut teh places are recognised by their street names, so Sin Heng Claypot Bak Koot Teh is what’s commonly referred to as the “Joo Chiat bak kut teh”.
A bowl is $8, which is on the high side for bak kut teh, but generally cheap for a meal. Sin Heng is very well known, but based on the Burpple reviews, it seems the standard may be a little inconsistent. While some wax lyrical about the tasty herbal soup, other complain about rubbery meat.
Address: 439 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427 652
Which is your favourite bak kut teh place in Singapore? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured image credits: Kong via Flickr