Food court Bak Kut Teh can be pale, tasteless stuff with flavourless over-cooked meat. Xin Chen is different.
Because the area for the Bak Kut Teh diners is sectioned off from the main Food Republic area, it means that you dont have the 'fight' with other diners for seating which is nice. And for the food court prices, they serve you at your table, which is extra nice.
You are first presented with a menu with a retro shanghai beauty on the cover. Choice of regular or premium bak kut teh, braised leg or organ meat soups, and a pageful of sides.
The soup is teo chew style, light coloured with a big peppery kick. Careful not to gag once the pepper hits the back of your throat. Once you get the hang of the spice, you may start to appreciate the 'umami-ness' or savoriness of the soup, that doesnt come at the end of a huge spoon of MSG.
The pork is springy and tasty, great with the dark sauce and chilli. The $6 regular bowl we ordered came with 4 pcs of spare ribs, which is a decent amount for a smallish eater like me. But i would recommend going for the premium, since youre already there.
We also ordered the fried dough and braised tofu + egg side dishes, which were ok.
We liked that the waiters were quick and attentive. Almost no wait to get a table, get our orders taken and next thing you know, the food is on the table. Extra dark sauce? no problem. Swoosh it's on the table. And they came around with little teapots to fill the soup bowls without asking too. An endless bowl of soup for $6, is NOT BAD...
Sit and enjoy the retro-ness of the surroundings, while you gaze out the window at sentosa and the kids running around on the sky garden, and wonder why it took you so long to discover this place.
I paid $6.50 for a bowl of 5 pieces (small cuts) of pork rib. Not even prime or premium cuts. NO green veggies or chinese celery (contrary to what they represented on photo), no garlic bits or bulbs. Just plain soup and rib.
I would rather they increase the price to $7 and give me a decent presentation. After all, how bloody much can one sprig of celery cost? It's really not about the money, i can certainly afford a meal but to cut it down to miserable size is an insult to any customer. After all, to "cut costs" you don't sell a customer one trouser leg and call it "pants" for the same price, do you?
The Xing Chen Bak Kut Teh is located in Food Republic @ Vivo City. It has it's own area for food consumption, and it's relatively cozy with its old school setting of wooden tables and seats.
Now to the signature pork ribs soup - The aromatic Bak Kut Teh is defined by its tender meat and generously spread pepper taste. The soup is not oily and is great for a good meal to go with traditional plain rice.
We had a side dish, of braised "tau pok", beancurd and egg which is delectable to complete a good Bak Kut Teh experience.
Go try it.
Not a bad place for bak kut teh at all. i love their pepperish soup. the only thing i dislike about this place is that the service is not up to standard. whenever we want to get the staff's attention, to order, or to add soup or anything at all, we would take a long time to get their attention.