Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha
Rou gu cha, or bak kut teh, is one of the local must-haves in Singapore so my Airbnb hosts took me to the well-known Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha the other evening. Bak kut teh literally translates to meat bone tea and started out as a dish for the poor in order to supplement their insufficient diets. Today, it is one dish amongst an entire feast.
The main item to order is obviously the bak kut teh. At Outram Park, they serve it in the Teochew style, which consists of a strongly flavored pepper and garlic broth. The pork is very tender, and I could not stop slurping up the soup itself!
With the bak kut teh comes a platter of youtiao for dipping into the broth. I wish these were a bit crispier and less hard in texture. But then again, you do just soak it in the soup so it becomes soft regardless.
Rice or noodles are usually eaten with bak kut teh, but I'd highly suggest you order the noodles as they are very flavorful! Plus, there are unlimited broth refills on all soups.
We also ordered a bowl of the pork stomach soup. I absolutely love the chewiness of the pork stomach, and again, the peppery flavors of the broth soaked into the meat. Just divine!
Aside from the bak kut teh, we ordered a number of braised side dishes. My favorite was definitely the pork trotters. I love gnawing on these because the meat literally melts off and the bone still has tons of flavor, but it's not overly impressive here. As for the tofu, the dishes were decent but again, nothing to brag about.
You can also order various vegetables in oyster sauce, which I highly recommend. The vegetables are steamed and get their flavor from the viscous sauce and fried garlic is spread on top. Plus, you get a bit of fiber to go with the protein heavy meal.
- Go with a number of people so you can try a variety of items.
- Order noodles instead of rice.
- Try the cold barley water- it is sweet and and refreshing.