If there is one famous food from Singapore that I didn’t try last time I was here alone, it would be Bak Kut Teh, which literally means “Meat Bone Tea”; and one of the more popular places to have this dish is Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha; which is on the outer ring of the city and frankly a bit out of the way.
We got there at about 2:30pm and the place was still packed – so it feels like there’s never a time when this place is not busy. Unlike most other food courts in Singapore, it looks like “Ya Hua” (as this place is more locally known); has dibs on most of the seating in that area so you just sit down and there’s even table service.
The menu is pretty simple and the most famous is obviously the mean bone tea, where the focus is more the soup base – and then you select the meat you want.
To keep things incredibly simple, I went for the liver + kidney soup whilst Ms. Buddha went for the traditional pork ribs. The wait for the soup to come was long, but what was even longer was getting the attention of the staff – who seem to be operating in constant chaos.
The Liver + kidney came with a dash of fried onion and shallots, which added to the taste. To be very honest, even in the outdoor heat of Singapore, the soup was packed with flavour and very delicious. The pig kidneys had a good texture to it although the liver were a little overcooked.
Ms. Buddha’s ribs soup had the same soup base, and she said it was amazing, although the heat on the day was really quite difficult to bear to have hot soup. The staff came around with more soup but we declined (you can have as much as your heart’s content).
With our bellies slightly filled, we were ready to leave, and that’s where the problem started, we asked for some fried dough sticks to soak up the remaining soup to one of the staff – and because there seems to be next to no system in the chaos – we waited for quite a while being assured that the fried dough sticks were coming multiple times (even tables that ordered dough sticks after us got theirs); in the end – we just finished the soup and paid (which was even more chaotic) – bye bye dough sticks.
The quality of the soup were great, but Ya Hua would really hit my must visit if things were just a little less chaotic.