Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore, Johor, Toronto based blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, places, people & overSixty lifestyle

Sunday, 8 September 2019

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

When Founder Bak Kut Teh opened in Taipei in Sep 2019, it became the third top Singapore BKT brand to jump on the Taiwan bandwagon. Ahead of Founder were Ng Ah Sio (in Jul 2018) and Song Fa (Aug 2019). As a fan of all 3 Singapore BKT kingpins, I took the opportunity to visit all of them during my Taipei trip. This Taipei bak kut teh trail is easy as all three shops are within 4 MRT stops from each other along the 板南線 Bannan Line (Blue).

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa
The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song FaThe 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

At all 3 places, I ordered their signature prime rib which is also referred to as Premium Loin Rib and Dragon Bone because of its size.

Of the three, Founder's prime rib was long and large enough to impress even the Flinstones. The "premium" ribs I was served at Ng Ah Sio and Song Fa were short and stubby. I felt a little short changed.

Pricing 👉

Founder Premium Ribs (NT240+)
Song Fa Signature Loin Ribs Soup (NT260+)
Ng Ah Sio Premium Loin Ribs Soup (NT260 no service charge).

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

The ribs at all three restaurants were cooked to fall off the bone tender doneness. Ng Ah Sio, on one hand was done a little too soft for my liking - almost breaking into mushiness. Founder has my preferred texture of tender juiciness with a bit of squeaky chew to the bite. Texture at Song Fa was similar to Founder though the latter had better lean meat to fat ratio so the mouth feel is more layered.

Texture 👉

Ng Ah Sio - soft to mushy
Song Fa - tender with gentle squeaky bite
Founder - tender with slight squeaky bite with visceral fat softer and juicier. 

Founder's meat had the most natural sweetness, Song Fa had the least.

Meat flavour 👉

Song Fa - slight flat sweetness
Ng Ah Sio - mild sweetness with subtle infused pepperiness
Founder - mild natural porcine sweetness and aroma.

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

Both Founder and Ng Ah Sio serve medium bodied soup, while Song Fa's version is relatively light, even slightly watery.

Ng Ah Sio's soup has the sharpest pepperiness. Its soup tastes peppery, garlicky, sweet, savoury - even more peppery than back in Singapore's parent shop in Rangoon Road. The peppery heat lingers a while even after the meal. Even made a Singaporean (me) sweat a little. I like this for its boldness.

Founder's medium bodied soup tastes well balanced savoury herbal peppery sweet. Overall, smooth and mellow but sufficiently robust.

Song Fa's soup tastes mildly sweet, herbal, garlicky, peppery but the wateriness made it felt lacking in depth.

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

All three shops offer free soup refills. Song Fa and Founder have staff going around filling soup bowls. Song Fa is the most generous -  my bowl was refilled three times with hot soup without me asking. At Ng Ah Sio, customers have to take their own bowls to the counter for refilling, if they like more soup (note: NAS does not charge service tax).

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

There you are - the Three Kingdoms of Singapore bak kut teh in Taipei. Take your pick according your preference of meat texture, taste and flavour profile of the soup.

Which is your favourite?

Song Fa in Singapore 👈 click
Ng Ah Sio in Singapore 👈 click
Founder in Singapore 👈 click

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

Restaurant name: Founder (Taiwan) 發起人肉骨茶
Address: 信義區松壽路12號5F Taipei, Taiwan (ATT 4 Fun)
Nearest MRT station: Taipei 101 or Xiangshan
Tel: 02 77379905
Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

Restaurant name: Song Fa (Taipei) 松發肉骨茶
Address: 台北市忠孝東路三段300號B2 Taipei (SOGO Fuxing)
Nearest MRT station: Fuxing
Tel: 02 2773 2878
Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm

The 3 Kingdoms of Singapore Bak Kut Teh in Taipei - Founder, Ng Ah Sio & Song Fa

Restaurant name: Ng Ah Sio (Taipei) 黄亚细肉骨茶
Address: 110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songgao Road, 12號新光三越A8館,3F
Nearest MRT station: Taipei City Hall
Tel: 02 2723 7377
Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm

Date: 9 Sep 2019


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