Friday 26 August 2016

[CLOSED] Lau Hock Guan Kee Bak Kut Teh – A Taste of Home A Taste of Tradition

Lau Hock Guan Bak Kut Teh

A Taste of Home, A Taste of Tradition; a phrase that I use to describe this historical restaurant. It was one of LD's Akong favourite place and her family as well. It was also one of the first traditional restaurant that I dine in during my first visit in Singapore, before I married LD.

I return countless time to dine here since 2002, as the food here is just sublime. During lunch and dinner, this place will be packed. Don't be surprise if you see lots of a lot of luxury cars parked in front of the shop, and lots of Tow Kays eating here and sipping their gongfu tea. Lau Hock Guan Kee Bak Kut Teh ('LHG') run on two shift, where each of the brothers will helm the kitchen during each shift. Note that each brother has their own signature dish to cater to their own crowd.

The Bak Kut Teh ($12 - $25) is actually nicer in the morning than the evening. It is served in the big claypot for sharing, and you can order the kidney or liver if you want. The soup is the clear and peppery type, infused with the sweetness of the pork bone. The black seaweed and lettuce are added to absorb the robust broth. The ribs are about the length of you fingers, always with the perfect balance between the meat and fats. Yum Yum. Unfortunately, they don't serve youtiao here like other bak kut teh places.

Bak Kut Teh

To go with the BKT, we normally order Teochew Steam Fishtail ($28 - $40). LHG normally will use the tail half of a threadfin for steaming. When the fish is served on the table, it exudes the freshness that fish lovers will die for. The broth infused with tomato, salted vegetables and plum, will just accentuate the flavour of the fish. A must try dish if you are here.

Teochew Steam Threadfin Fishtail

Curry Fish Head ($22 - $28) is definitely better in the evening. Rated as Die die must try by Makansutra, this nyonya style curry fish head is a 'rice thief' dish here. The curry packs the punch, combining the aromatic spices with its lip-smacking spiciness. The snapper fish head is fresh, making it a perfect combination with the curry. Normally, when we are done with this dish, you can see nothing but clean bones on the table as our tribute to the chef.

One of LD's favourite dish here is their Ginger Sesame Oil Chicken ($12 - $24). Served in hot pipping claypot, the fragrant aroma is just a delight for your nose glands. The chicken is tender and succulent, while the sweet dark sauce gravy filled with ginger definitely addictive. Another dish that made you go for a second bowl of rice.

 Ginger Sesame Oil Chicken

Fish Belly Fried with Bitter Gourd. One of off the menu dish, only the regular will know. The fish belly are deep-fried, then stir-fried with bitter gourd and black bean sauce. I personally like the crisp and collagen part of the fish belly. Not the fan of bitter gourd, however I will look pass it just for the fish belly and black bean sauce.

Fish Belly Fried with Bitter Gourd

Of course, there are other simple yet crowd pleasing dishes that are well executed. Such as their Fried omelette ($6/$8) with shrimp / minced meat/ onion / silver fish or chai po; steam minced meat with salted fish ($8); or Fried potato leaves with sambal chilli. ($6/$8/$10 – applied to other vegetable dishes as well). Nothing fancy, but comforting and homely.

Fried omelette

Located in Joo Chiat stretch of shop houses, there is limited car park in front of the shop. Not to worry, there is a huge open car park less than 100 metre. The set up of this place is like regular eating house that remain intact from the 1980s. Service is the old style way. They can unpredictably smiley to gloomy, but good quality food will definitely be served.

Fried potato leaves with sambal chilli

Overall, this is definitely a memorable place that we will continue to visit. Traditional and comforting food with the freshest ingredients. Definitely a place to bring your folks, the older the better for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and be a part of the tradition since 1973. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.75/10
Value: 8.75/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6//10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25

Lau Hock Guan Kee Bak Kut Teh
328 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427585

T: +65 6440 4928
Morning: 08.30 – 16.00
Evening: 17.30 – 23.00
Closed on Thursday

Note: I wrote the 1st edition of this review in HungryGoWhere in Sept 2008. Gosh time really flies and I am glad that the food here remain the same. This is the updated version and we hope readers can experience this place as well.

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