Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fa Lai Bak Kut Teh in Taman Tangkak Jaya, Tangkak, Johor

When people talk about good food in Tangkak, the first thing that comes to mind is Tangkak beef noodles. Yet on my first “find dining” foray into Tangkak, Fa Lai bak kut teh turned out to be my first stop instead Tangkak’s legendary beef shops.

I didn’t plan it that way. 

Eager beaver, me, arrived a little too early before the famous Do Do Do beef noodles opened for the day. While circling Taman Tangkak Jaya to burn off some time, I drove pass this bak kut teh shop, that caught my eye – I cannot help but wondered how great their bak kut teh must taste! You see, cars were double parked outside the shop, and what made it even more intriguing were the number of out-of-state cars shoe horned together outside the shop. Cars of all makes and several cars were from Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and even Singapore.

Reluctantly, I decided to sacrifice some of the cholesterol quota that I had originally scrimped and saved for a week just for my Tangkak beef adventure.

Once we were seated, we were presented a pickled cabbage starter that was amazingly refreshing and delicious! The cabbage was pickled in vinegar together with chopped garlic and chili to taste sweet and sour, yet spicy. The flavours blended well together and the cabbage kept its delightful, crunchy texture. The entire dish disappeared in a couple of minutes.

Next came the star, the piping hot bak kut teh in a clay pot. Placed right in the middle of the table, everyone ooed and ahhed as it kept boiling, bubbling furiously away, silently popping fragrant herbal steam bubbles.

In this claypot, we can have our meats to order. For ours, we had meat on cartilage, pork ribs, small pork intestines, pork belly, fried pork skin, button mushrooms, lettuce, and fried beancurd skin – all this potpourri boiling in a delicately light herbal flavoured broth.

To match this, they served fragrant, delicious yam rice.

The ingredients in the broth were cooked to a good tenderness while still keeping its form and texture. The broth was not too thin, neither was it too thick - it was a hot syrupy smooth and soothing broth when swallowed. The flavours in the broth blended well to bring out a light herbal taste which also highlighted the flavours of fresh pork.

For customers who order in advance or who are willing to wait about 30 minutes, Fai Lai also offers bak kut teh made from scratch with raw fresh pork on the spot i.e. instead of the usual pre-cooked variety. 

The owner of the shop looked out for his customers attentively by offering them more bak kut teh broth from time to time. Every time we were offered more broth, we gladly welcomed the offer as the delicately sweet broth was simply irresistible!

This bak kut teh was well worth sacrificing a slice out of my cholesterol savings originally reserved for the beef noodle legends of Tangkak.

This is a must try for those who haven`t visited, and a worthy place for a return visit for me!

We will be coming back to Fa Lai as they also serve a must-try signature braised chicken feet which we had to take a rain check on today because we had planned to try out the top two Tangkak beef noodle shops for the day.

Restaurant name: Fa Lai Bak Kut Teh
Address: 1306, Jalan Bidara 10, Taman Tangkak Jaya, Tangkak, Johor
GPS: 2.272827, 102.553113
Hours: (closed on alternate Thursdays)
Non Halal

Date visited: 18 Apr 2012


  1. Hi,between Fa Lai and Jia Jia BKT in Tangkak, which is better? Thanks

    1. My taste buds are more inclined to the milder and natural flavours of Fa Lai. I know others who prefer the more robust taste of Jia Jia.

  2. Jia jia good, but I feel it is too salty. Have not tried falai


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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