Monday, March 25, 2013

Ng Ah Sio: Vigorous Ba Kut Teh (Singapore)

What's the best thing to do in Singapore if you have the whole weekend?

You probably see this coming. Yes, for me it would be exploring all sort of culinary delights from different parts of the little red dot. I went from the famous Hong Lim food centre, to the suburbs of Hougang, to the fancy strip of Dempsey. Here's a story of so many stories that happen in that weekend in March.

Longan Lou Han Tea (SGD 1.87)

After a morning incident and a breakfast at Outram Park Kway Teow, I called out my Singaporean friends to venture on the local recommendation. Something that stranded a bit of the tourist map, yet still a winner. My taipan friend decided its about time for some pork affair. I dare him that if he could make me happy with our next lunch, then the treat will be on me. 

A few minutes on the taxi, the happy uncle stopped on the left side of Rangoon Road, just a turn from Balestier Road. Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup it says. A quick glance on the amount of patrons inside has partially convince me, but I left no room for assumptions. Let's get the best dishes out of the long list of menu. 

Mr. Taipan quickly scanned through and ordered a few of his personal favorites. 

Spare Pork Rib Combo (SGD 6.54)

Spare and Pork Ribs Combo Soup
Its 180 degrees different from the usual ba kut teh I have in Jakarta. Here we usually pour in a big portion of medicinal herbs as the main flavoring, resulting in an aroma that resembles more of a meds potion. While here, there's a dominating flavor of spices, particularly peppers, star anise, cinnamon and heaps of garlic. I fell in love with it on the first sip. Probably because I always hated our Indonesian version of ba kut teh that makes me feels more like in a clinic than in a restaurant. 

Mushroom (SGD 4.67)

Braised Winter Mushroom
Juicy thick meaty mushroom. Well seasoned with soy, but have the tendency toward neutral flavor that let the natural shrooms taste to overrule. 

Pig Tail Soup (SGD 5.14)

Pig Tail 
My first encounter with this part of a pig and I must say it is quite of a feast on its own. If only it could be cooked a while longer to let it smooth and soften a bit then it would be perfect. It is served with the similar soup to the pork ribs. The only difference here is the tail texture compared to the softer pork meat. 

Preserved Veggie (SGD 1.87)

Preserved Veggie 
The dish that complete the whole palate. We've had sweet, salty, and spicy. This particular veggie comes in to awake our sour tastebuds. A treat to eat in between other dishes. Think about 'sayur asin' and this will be its next of kin. 

At the end of my meal, I looked at my taipan friend and fashion designer buddy with a huge grin in my face. The signal couldn't lie, I was really satisfied with what I had, and that means I'll have to stick to my gentleman agreement. All on me. Total damage: SGD 33. Not bad. Not bad at all. 

In fact, I really enjoyed it that I bought home a box of its instant ba kut the spices. One of these days, when I miss Ng Ah Sio, I could easily pull it out from my cupboard, chopped in some pork, and cook myself a bowlful of vigorous ba kut teh. 

Fellow Indonesian, I would recommend this to any of you coming to Singapore. Don't forget to mention this blog upon paying, they will give you a discount*. 


Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Photographer & Storyteller

*Nah, I'm joking. ;p

Ng Ah Sio
Pork Ribs Soup (Ba Kut Teh) 
208 Rangoon Road 
Ph: +65 6291 4537


  1. Damn, i love pig tail so much...
    i hope i had chance to visit it...
    just for crave for the pigtail, reminds me to my childhood...

    1. Only 90 minutes flight away. Go get it ;)


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