The Place Located at the new mixed development Kensington Square along Upper Paya Lebar, Ah Guan Sapo Bak Kut Teh is a relative new restaurant serving up traditional Malaysian-styled Bak Kut Teh. Ah Guan is the name of celebrity-chef-owner Peter Neo’s son, and this is his second restaurant in the vicinity, with casual Italian restaurant Blend It Up just across the road from Ah Guan.
The space at Ah Guan is rather small space, with just approximately 30 seats. The decor is simple and no frills, with many pictures of the chef on TV programmes and his selfie with other celebrities who have left their mark at the restaurant.
The Food The Bak Kut Teh served at Ah Guan is the Malaysian-styled, which the chef emphasized is based on the Kuala Lumpur rendition. Using more than 10 types of herbs, the Claypot Bak Kut Teh (S$12.80 for small, S$14.80 for Large) is a rather satisfying pot of black broth of goodness. That said, it would have been better if he steps up even more on the herbs used here, which will lend the broth a stronger flavor profile.
Having said that, the claypot packs much ingredients including pork ribs, tau pok, fried bean curd skin, mushrooms and greens, giving diners a rather satisfying wholesome meal.
Recommend you to go for the Braised Pork Belly (S$8) here, if you love the tender juicy pork meats as this is how it is done here. Chef Neo ensures that the meat texture is moist and soft, avoiding the usual pitfall of this dish.
Another side to go for here is the Wu Xiang (S$7.50), which are handmade in the store. As these are freshly made daily, the meat rolls remained juicy. Perhaps the kitchen should rest the fried items on a kitchen tissue before plating, since the coat of oil is not that enticing.
Other sides we tried include the Oyster Sauce Xiao Bai Cai (S$4) and You Tiao (S$1.50), rather reasonably priced. The restaurant does not over-charge on drinks too, with the Hot Chinese Tea and Hot Chrysanthemum Tea only at S$1.30 each.
Rants It is a relatively small space, with just about 30 seats. There is probably some flexibility in re-arranging some of the tables which can potentially free up more seating capacity.
Will I Return Again? I am surprised to stumble upon this restaurant and realised that it is managed by a familiar chef. Having met Chef Neo on other occasions and am confident that he will not disappoint, and gladly, he didn’t. I will be back for more of the herbal Bak Kut Teh for a comforting meal in the east.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 2.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Ah Guan Sapo Bak Kut Teh
2 Jalan Lokam #01-56
Tel: 6584 0748
Daily: 11.30am to 3pm; 6pm to 10pm
Ranted by The Rantee