Old Street Bak Kut Teh
Singapore's takeover of Bangkok continues.
The buzz: Bak kut teh, Singapore's much-loved herbal pork soup dish, is having a moment in Bangkok. Joining CentralWorld's recently opened Song Fa is this almost-decade-old chain with over 22 branches spread across its homeland, China and Indonesia.
The decor: Located in the hectic MBK mall, the restaurant gives off the vibe of spruced-up Chinese tea-house. The high-ceilinged room is enlivened through orange brick walls, retro floor tiles and the occasional touch of greenery. Take a seat at the counter facing the window to watch MBK's tourists go about their shopping while slurping on your soup or take the wooden staircase upstairs for more privacy.
The food: Piping hot and packed full of peppery goodness, the clear broth here is as comforting as they come. A small bak kut teh will set you back at B156 or it's B208 for a large. (Good news: there's free refillable soup.) Protein comes not only in the form of pork rib, but also chicken, fish and even frog. The signature dry bak kut teh (B182/B234) is also a must-try, coming packed with rich, saucy flavor in a clay pot. The adventurous can also opt for the dry mala frog bak kut teh (B400) for a spicy, sweat-inducing meal. Get some veggies in the form of delicious sides like pan-fried kale in oyster sauce (B144) or the pickled cabbage with minced pork (B78). Rice goes for B16. Don’t leave without trying their dessert beancurd (B46) that’s got just the right sweetness.
The crowd: Tourist drop-ins, Chinese families and a smattering of Siam cool kids.
Why we’d come back: The bak kut teh is legitimately addictive—we could easily eat it on a weekly basis. Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj