Sunday, 31 August 2014
Lau Ah Tee Bak Kut Teh 老亚弟肉骨茶 is one of the pioneers of Singapore BKT.
Fifty years in the bak kut teh business, the spritely owner Sim Choon Lian (popularly known as Lau Ah Tee) remains faithful to the original Teochew recipe and still as passionate about his BKT as ever.
The boss and founder, Lau Ah Tee is personally at the kopitiam stall, so we can be assured of the quality and consistency of his bak kut teh.
The large ribs known as "dragon rib 骨龙" come in an almost clear broth, practically free of floating oil. The savoury round bodied broth had the natural sweetness of fresh pork, slight garlicky flavour and mildly peppery. The flavours were all well balanced, none dominating and overwhelming the others. The delicious grease free soup was highly drinkable. (Free top ups are provided.)
The meat had just the right tenderness. The juicy meat stripped off the bone easily but it was not mushy soft, and it still had some gentle bouncy bite.
Lau Ah Tee (speaking in his Teochew Mother Tongue 潮州) shared that only water, garlic, pepper and fresh pork (from Indonesia) are used in his bak kut teh. The fresh pork is cooked for only 30 minutes, just enough to extract the natural flavours from the meat and to get the right texture.
Lau Ah Tee started working life at a tender age of 15 as an apprentice in a Teochew porridge shop, and later, at a Teochew braised duck shop. So besides his signature bak kut teh, Lau Ah Tee also serves very good steamed seafood and braised dishes.
The braised trotter was slow cooked till soft in a lightly flavoured braising sauce. I liked the tender meat, jelly like fat and skin, as well as the well balanced flavours in Lau Ah Tee's braised trotter.
Lau Ah Tee's braised intestines were equal to the best kway chap stall fare in Singapore. The very well cleaned braised intestines had Lau Ah Tee's signature light touch on flavourings that accentuate the meat's natural sweetness.
Perfectly executed Teochew style steamed Ikan Kurau 潮州蒸午鱼. At age 67, Lau Ah Tee still personally goes to the wet market early in the morning to handpick his fresh fish. I really respect Lau Ah Tee for his untiring dedication for serving the best food to his customers.
This marvelous meaty steamed fish tail was a specially picked Ikan Kurau caught off Tanjung Balai (Karimun Island) which is famous for their sweet taste and tender texture.
Steamed fresh squid loaded with jelly like roe. The dish came with various dipping sauces but I paid the dips zero attention :P Personally, fresh squid is best eaten neat with nothing else to distract from it's wonderful natural flavours.
At Lau Ah Tee, the usual bak kut teh side dishes were also very well executed with care and attention.
The braised tau kwa 豆干 in gently savoury braising sauce.
The crunchy pickled vegetables 咸菜 was a nice balance of savoury, sweet and tangy.
Lovely crunchy fresh greens.
Bak kut teh is best enjoyed together with hot Chinese tea and good company.
Today, we were also privileged to enjoy and learn about traditional Chinese teas and tea culture from tea master Kenry Bai, owner of Pek Sin Choon.
I highly recommend Lau Ah Tee Bak Kut Teh 老亚弟肉骨茶.
Restaurant name: Lau Ah Tee Bak Kut Teh 老亚弟肉骨茶
Address: Blk 34, Whampoa West, #01-67, Singapore (beside Boon Keng MRT)
Hours: 7:00am to 3:00pm daily
Tel: +65 9755 5250
Date visited: 30 Aug 2014
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