There are only so few telltales indicating the coming of the lunar new year; the decorated streets of Chinatown, the resounding loops of oh-so-common Chinese New Year songs in literally all the shopping malls, and last but not least, the snaking lines of every bak kwa outlets ever.
This is not your typical ‘Best Bak Kwa in Singapore’ cliche kind of post. Instead, we’re spicing things up with a list of posh and economical options for the same uninteresting pieces of barbecued pork (and other meats) we indulge in every. other. year.
Disclaimer: each person’s standard for what makes their best bak kwa differs. We will not dwell too much on the taste of the bak kwa, you decide for yourself which bak kwa tastes the best, you are the master of your own bak kwa.
Kicking things off we have things on the higher end of the spectrum. Whether your refined taste buds are seeking something out of the ordinary or you’re just looking to switch things up this year, these slightly pricier and obscure sorts of bak kwa are bound to satisfy the daredevil in you.
1. Hu Zhen Long 胡振隆 for the most luxuriously lobster bak kwa
With more than 60 years of history, this brand isn’t totally foreign to avid bak kwa lovers. 5 stars rated on travel sites like Tripadvisor, the endless commendations to this establishment is a testament to its signature good tasting bak kwas.
Its superbly tasting bak kwa isn’t the reason why Hu Zhen Long is included in this list. Priced between S$54-58/kg for their sliced pork bak kwas, it is one of the more luxuriously priced bak kwas in this list.
Hu Zhen Long certainly saw the potential in procuring their customers with exotic flavours when they introduced sliced lobster, turkey, and even crocodile bak kwas.
How different can barbecued meats that look exactly the same taste any different right? Well, you can try them out yourself and with the sliced lobster bak kwa priced at a whopping S$80/kg, you might want to grab a few friends to share in case you’re not a fan of this interpretation of the crustacean.
2. Kim Hwa Guan 金华源 for delicious minced pork bak kwa
Another established bak kwa landmark in many bak kwa lovers’ hearts, Kim Hwa Guan has been around for more than 50 years, garnering a loyal pool of customers since its early days.
Strategically situated in People’s Park Cooked Food Center; the heart of where people congregate to shop for Chinese New Year goods, customers queue as early as 4am for their renowned barbecued minced pork bak kwas. Priced at a similar S$58/kg for their sliced pork bak kwas, the slightly higher price point isn’t hindering their pool of customers from returning for their delightfully grilled and seasoned slices of pork.
3. Tunglok 同乐 for extravagant bak kwa to impress guests
Serving up probably the most exorbitant bak kwa on this list, Tunglok group is famed for their multiple top-tier restaurants ranging from family-friendly to upscale ones like ‘My Humble House’. Thus, it is no surprise that they produce one of the more extravagant bak kwas one can find on the market.
While I haven’t had the pleasure to taste this crowned piece of bak kwa, the audacity to price a Chinese New Year commodity so extravagantly says a lot about the company’s confidence in the product. Feeling fancy? Rest assured this S$70/kg honey glazed or spiced pork bak kwa is exactly the missing piece you needed to impress your guests this CNY.
4. Fragrance 香味 for the old and trusted bak kwa (or crocodile, if you are so inclined)
Almost a household name as outstanding as bak kwa brand Bee Cheng Hiang, Fragrance can be spotted at almost every turn of the street.
No matter the brand, Fragrance’s 30 over outlets in Singapore alone would always draw a crowd especially nearing the festivities this time of the year. At S$42/kg for their sliced pork bak kwa and an astonishing S$24/kg for the minced pork bak kwa, it is definitely both economically and conveniently available to the masses.
Similarly, Fragrance offers unique cuts of meat like the crocodile bak kwa and new to this list, the turkey bak kwa. For the hype hunters, you might want to be the first few to know about their Kurobuta bak kwa – shaped cutely like pigs, these premium slices of bak kwa are made from Berkshire pig, known to have a higher fat content, its guaranteed to be juicier and more tender than the average bak kwas. With premium quality, comes the premium price of S$68/kg for these little piggies.
5. Siang Ge 详阁 for bak kwa made with Brazilian meat
Relatively new to the bak kwa ball game, Siang Ge was founded in 2010, satisfying residents of Jalan Kayu and people from far alike with their assortment of barbecued meats and flosses.
Siang Ge prides themselves on using quality meat imported from Brazil, with each slice of meat being skillfully prepared by their head chef who has more than 20 years of culinary experience. Apart from the traditional pork slice rendition, they also have the sliced BBQ chicken flavoured ones. Pork slices bak kwa at S$42/kg, it has one of the more competitive prices in this list.
Get your bak kwa
In the midst of this gastronomically sinful festivity, it is important to be nitpicky about the calories of food we intake, we hope this list provides you with the best bang for your buck, or rather, the best bang for your calories. 😉
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