You may have tried many different renditions of Bak Kut Tehs in Singapore – ones with herbal soup bases or ones with spicy white pepper stock. Well, for those who love this homey, heart-warming clay pot of soup, we have great news for you – Restoran Kota Zheng Zong Claypot Bak Kut Teh has opened in Singapore at Holland Village!
This popular Johor Bahru-based restaurant started from humble roots, beginning as a mere push-cart. With over 40 years of experience and cooking their special herbal Bak Kut Teh over a charcoal flame, they are undoubtedly one of the best Bak Kut Teh restaurants in Malaysia.
We had a taste of their dishes including their Signature Claypot Bak Kut Teh, Braised Pork Leg and their White Pepper Pig’s Maw Soup. Check out what are the dishes you can look forward to at the new Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh Singapore.
The broth at Kota Zeng Zong Bak Kut Teh is made with a secret blend of 18 spices and Chinese herbs, boiled for over an hour with offal including pork belly, tripe, tendons, ribs and innards. Once the pork is added, the broth is simmered for another hour to imbue the soup with umami from the meat.
Each part of the pork is removed from the main broth so it can be portioned out and added into each individual clay pot to order.
SIGNATURE CLAYPOT BAK KUT TEH
The Signature Claypot Bak Kut Teh is served according to the number of portions ordered. You can order the standard mix of Pork Rib, Pork Belly, Pork Tail and Pork Leg or choose any of the above to add into their signature herbal broth. Each clay pot is topped with a generous helping of Fried Beancurd Skin.
You can choose to add some Enoki Mushrooms, Button Mushrooms, extra Fried Beancurd Skin or intestines to the dish. It’s boiled over a charcoal fire till it’s bubbling vigorously, then served piping-hot to the table.
Our favourite of the pork cuts was the Pork Belly. The meat was fork-tender and the fat was super succulent and juicy. It added so much umami flavour to the broth as well!
If you prefer leaner meats, the Pork Rib would be your go-to. The absence of fat did not omit much flavour as the ribs were almost falling off the bone. Each rib had been infused with the broth so well that we couldn’t stop our chopsticks for seconds and thirds!
Less seen in Bak Kut Teh, especially in Singapore, would be the Pork Tail. This fatty part of the pork is a must-try. It has a chewy texture, offering a different mouthfeel compared to the rest of the meat portions. It also adds richness to the broth!
If you want extra flavour, you can add some Hua Diao (Chinese Rice Wine) or Martel Cordon Bleu to the broth. It may sound a little daunting but once the stronger kick of alcohol is boiled off, the faint aroma of wine is rather addictive. It adds such a different dimension to the Bak Kut Teh, pairing well with the 18-herb blend that makes up the broth.
BRAISED PORK LEG
If you’re a fan of deep-dark gravy and super indulgent pork trotter, Kota Zeng Zong Bak Kut Teh’s rendition of this dish will have your mouth watering. Thick cuts of pork leg are simmered in a soy-based gravy till they are impeccably tender and juicy. Just a few pokes with your chopsticks and the meat simply pulls apart.
What we loved about this dish was how delicious the gravy was. It was so rich, savoury and had a hint of sweetness that brought a great balance. The pork that was braised in this gravy had been thoroughly infused with the complex flavours.
This is a great dish to pair with rice – remember to soak the rice with that delectable gravy. Definitely a must-try when Kota Zeng Zong Bak Kut Teh opens in Singapore!
WHITE PEPPER PIG’S MAW SOUP
If you like peppery Bak Kut Teh broth, this is the soup for you. The soup is rich with that spicy pepper kick but it’s less fatty. Inside the soup are a mix of pig’s intestines, white cabbage, abalone and mushrooms.
While we liked the signature broth, this was a nice contrasting flavour and when enjoyed with rice, it’s super addictive too!
Bak Kut Teh is never complete without some sides to cut through the fatty meat. Choose from an array of side dishes to complement your soup and rice.
Of course, with Bak Kut Teh always comes the You Tiao (fried dough fritter). These crispy bites soak up the rich soup so wonderfully and yet still hold that satisfying crunch! Bak Kut Teh would not be the same without a side of these.
Order a plate of fresh Vege (lettuce of leaf lettuce) topped with soy sauce, sesame oil and deep-fried shallots. It is the perfect green accompaniment to the braised meats and rice.
Something more unique is their version of Tau Kee which is somewhat of a cross between Tau Pok and Tau Kee. It’s super “QQ” and has a lot of flavours, soaking up the broth as you eat it alongside your Bak Kut Teh.
Our favourite side dish had to be the Spanish Mackerel Fish Otak. It differs from the Singapore otak you find as it’s twice as meaty and has actual fish chunks strewn inside the mildly sweet-and-spicy dish. It’s best eaten mashed into rice, mixed in with a little bit of the braised pork gravy!
We hope you’re excited for this new Bak Kut Teh store in town because we definitely can’t wait to have this special broth and tender pork again! It’s even better when you don’t have to cross the causeway just to have it!
Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh
15A Lor Liput
Nearest Station: Holland Village
This post was brought to you by Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh Singapore.