The coming of the Lunar New Year marks the start of many things for the Chinese, with excessive feasting and snacking ranking the highest among our list of priorities. Among the popular mainstays such as pineapple tarts, love letters and other confectionery delights, the one we always go berserk for, is bak kwa—otherwise commonly known as rou gan or barbecued pork jerky.
Starting out from humble roots, turning his interest into passion and passion into a business, founder, Mr Teo Kim Tee began his own signature brand—New Eastern (Kim Tee) Dried and Minced Pork—back in 1976, setting up shop in the heart of Serangoon Gardens. They’ve remained at the same location ever since and have now grown to become a popular name among many.
Their bak kwa is unique in that it is made considerably thinner than most, allowing the complex smoky aromas and sweet, porky flavours to melt on the tongue. Priding themselves on producing bak kwa that is 100% hand-made, their products begin the traditional way, cooked in a charcoal oven before subsequently grilled over a charcoal stove.
As of today, the family heirloom that is Mr Teo’s bak kwa is run by his two grandchildren who not only aim to ensure that his legacy lives on but to give the brand itself a breath of new life through contemporary approaches—all while maintaining the stellar standard of their traditional handmade bak kwa.
OVER 40 YEARS OF TRADITION
Boasting more than 40 years of tradition in the way that they select and prepare their barbecued pork jerky, one can expect nothing short of pure deliciousness from its lovely sweet glaze, to the smoky and charred exterior that gives the bak kwa its signature taste.
Every batch of fresh pork undergoes a careful inspection process to ensure that only the best quality products are used. In addition, they also take the extra step in trimming off excess fat, making sure that their bak kwa is kept fairly lean—great news for all of you health conscious folks.
No preservatives are added, which also means that the average shelf life of their bak kwa is only about 1 to 2 weeks if stored properly. Although, if you’re a sucker for bak kwa like us, chances are they won’t last more than 5 days.
SLICED BAK KWA
If you’re new to their products, then you surely won’t go wrong with their Sliced Bak Kwa. Considerably thinner and sweeter than other brands, every strip melts delightfully on the tongue, creating a different experience altogether.
Allowed to roast in a massive charcoal oven, their bak kwa is laced with a strong smoky aroma as well as a crispy, char-grilled exterior. We particularly enjoyed this version as it has a nice chew to it, a vital quality when it comes to any meat jerky.
SIGNATURE BAK KWA
If you prefer an alternative with a little less chew, we highly recommend their Signature Bak Kwa that features finer bits of minced pork.
This version is much softer and pulls apart much easier, which is also great for the older folks or even young children who struggle with chewing. Boasting the same aromatic qualities of its chewier counterpart, one will find it hard to stop at just one piece.
CHILLI BAK KWA
Fancy a bit of heat? Their popular Chilli Bak Kwa comes with a decent amount of spice that does well to tease the tongue without leaving you sweating buckets. Speckled evenly throughout with chilli seeds, every bite promises a sharp kick of chilli that nicely complements to sweet barbecue flavour of the jerky.
GOLD COIN BAK KWA
Designed to look like coins, these bite-sized discs of bak kwa are especially good for kids who are never able to finish one whole square of bak kwa on their own. Think of them as little edible coins packed with smoky, meaty flavour that not only bring luck but serve as a tasty treat on-the-go.
A savoury-sweet snack that resembles the texture of cotton candy—if cotton candy were made of dry, fluffy, finely shredded savoury-sweet pork—is pork floss. A versatile product with several applications, we absolutely love this atop a bowl of congee, in a salad or simply scattered over buttered toast.
The folks here specialise in two varieties—crispy and soft. The crowd-favourite crispy version delights with the crunch that it gives, especially when some of the pieces clump together and get even crunchier.
The soft one takes on a much lighter hue and is much fluffier in comparison. Just as delicious, the soft pork floss melts easily on the tongue and, like a fine powder, delivers a massive flavour punch that coats the entire mouth.
Sweet, savoury and oozing with a flavourful barbecued pork aroma all in one, we can already see ourselves piling this onto everything.
New Eastern Kim Tee Bak Kwa (Flagship)
22 Maju Avenue
Tel: +65 6283 2829 / 9138 6665
Daily: 10am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Serangoon
New Eastern Kim Tee @ Toa Payoh
210 Toa Payoh Lorong 8, #01-69
Tel: +65 9738 8458
Nearest Station: Braddell
New Eastern Kim Tee @ Old Airport Road
51 Old Airport Road, #01-112
Tel: +65 9028 4606
Daily: 7am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Dakota
New Eastern Kim Tee @ Potong Pasir
147 Potong Pasir Avenue 1, #01-85
Tel: +65 8783 5762 / 9011 7743
Nearest Station: Potong Pasir
New Eastern Kim Tee @ TANGS Orchard
310 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 9138 6665
Daily: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
This post was brought to you by New Eastern Kim Tee Bak Kwa.