One of our favourite places, and a good place to go if you don’t want that heavy a meal, is Founder Bak Kut Teh, along Balestier Road. Yes, I’m sure for die-hard foodies there are better bak kut teh joints in far-flung areas in Singapore, but Founder is pretty central and it’s good enough for us.
When we first started going, we were more impressed with the peppery soup, giam chye, tau pok, and pretty much everything except the bak kut, cos the pork ribs were pretty dry and quite bony. In fact, A would just pass on the meat completely and just have the side dishes. Which really are good, especially the tau pok and giam chye. The tau pok is stewed in a really rich salty gravy, and the giam chye is one of the best I’ve had – not very salty and loaded with chopped garlic.
After going a few times, we noticed other tables having proper pork ribs, i.e. long ones shaped like proper baby back ribs. I used to think it was coincidence, that they were just lucky to get those, but one day I just thought I’d ask, “wo yao na ge chang de bak kut, ke yi mah?” And lo and behold, they brought a bowl with 2 huge, proper long pork ribs. This brought our Founder experience to a whole new level, cos now EVERYTHING about it was great. The meat was soft, with just the right amount of fat, and slid off the bone easily. And even A has been converted. Vegetarian bak kut teh, no more!
The place is just plain fun to go to since you get the Founder founder’s face plastered all over in pictures with celebrity diners. Surprisingly, the staff are really friendly considering they’re one of the most popular bak tut teh places in Singapore. Other places might have the rude “want come, don’t done” mentality.
I used to be put off by the difficulty in finding a parking space until C decided we should just park in shopping centre across the road and cross the overhead bridge directly in front of it. Now, besides the long queues at night, there’s no reason not to go.