One step across the thresholds of the acclaimed Founder Bak Kut Teh and you'll be promptly swept away by the plethora of photographs that grace the walls of the small yet cozy joint. Serving as solid, visual testimony to the popularity of its Bak Kut Teh, these photographs feature local and overseas celebrities, from Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou to local actress Fann Wong, who have visited the store and have taken photos with the Founder, Mr Chua Chwee Whatt. To reward its mass of devoted patrons, Founder Bak Kut Teh has recently opened a new outlet at Jalan Sultan, which we visit to check out what the hype is all about.
Behold the signature Founder Bak Kut Teh ($9.80, pictured above) that has, ever since its opening at Balestier in 1978, incited a constant horde of patrons queuing for hours just to tuck into this simmering, piping hot goodness! Containing a harmonious blend of pepper and garlic, the flavorful broth is specially concocted by Mr Chua himself back in the 1970s. Remember to ask for free refills of the soup as one bowl is certainly not enough! The only gripe we had with the dish was the slightly overcooked meat though the robust soup definitely made up for it.
At an affordable price of $2.50, you can dip the soft and fluffy Fried Dough Fritters, or You Tiao (pictured above), into the savoury Bak Kut Teh broth for a more authentic Teochew experience.
We also had the side Bean Sprout with Oyster Sauce ($5.80 onwards, pictured above) to complement the aromatic steamed rice ($1). The bean sprouts were crunchy and well-balanced with a tinge of spiciness that comes from the chilli padi.
Another memorable dish that we had was the well-received Braised Pig Trotters ($9.80 onwards, pictured above). Simmered for hours in black vinegar gravy, the trotters were tender and succulent. We especially loved the thick and chewy layer of gelatin underneath the skin! All in all, it was certainly an unforgettable trip down the old days of 1970s as we chowed down the traditional delicacy. And you might want to swing by before it gets too crowded! Founder Bak Kut Teh, 500 Jalan Sultan #01-09 Singapore 199020
Written by Tan Siew Bee Images: Rachel Wong and Tan Siew Bee