I met up with Mr Yeo Hart Pong, the 2nd generation boss of Song Fa last week at his brand new restaurant in Changi Business Park. As you know, Song Fa is coming up with the Ultimate Bak Kut Teh for our Ultimate Hawker Fest on 20 October and we are talking about how to extract maximum flavour from the pork bones. I am very happy working with younger generation hawkers like Hart Pong because he has the kind of forward thinking that is not only going to preserve Hawker food for the next generation but will elevate it to new heights. He is very open to exploring new ideas and not afraid of employing new processes and cooking techniques to make a bowl of Bak Kut Teh for the next generation of Singaporeans. With people like him and other like minded young Hawkerpreneurs at the helm, our heritage cuisines are surely in good hands.
Now, if only we can find a savior for Char Kway Teow!
Hart Pong was showing me around his newest restaurant which was fashioned after a typical street scene in the 60’s. I must say it was done very nicely and the standard of the fixtures can rival any Ramen restaurants in Singapore. He understands that for this generation of Singaporeans, ambiance and comfort are very important factors in making dining choices. I too feel that this is the way to go, as long as the standard of the food is maintained. As you sit in the new Song Fa place, you can just imagine this kind of place in Tokyo or Taiwan. Surely this is the way that we will export of culinary heritage to the world! But as I said to Hart Pong, if he ever opens in Japan, the Japanese chefs would probably show us a thing or two about extracting flavour from pork bones, which may not be a bad thing as the technique can be replicated back here in Singapore. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they took on Bak Kut Teh like what they did with Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura and the like?
One of the best things about the restaurant is how it helps to preserve Bak Kut Teh culture by placing a strong emphasis on the Kung Fu Tea. The restaurant is cleverly divided into two halves by a row of taps and kettles where you can easily access boiling water to make tea and there are kettles found along the periphery of shops as well. Again this is the new way forward since gas cylinders are no longer allowed in restaurants. When you take into account the ambiance and the standard of the food, I would say that this is one of the best modern Bak Kut Teh experiences that you can have in Singapore. 4.5/5
To experience the Ultimate version of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, do join us at the Ultimate Hawker Fest! Not only are we having Ultimate Bak Kut Teh, there’s also the Ultimate Abalone Congee by Gen Shu, Pork Jowl Char Siew by Fatty Cheong, Scallop Da Pao by D’Bun, Abalone Poh Piah from Kway Guan Huat and many more! This week I will be traveling to Malaysia to find out how our specially bred Chicken for Tian Tian Chicken Rice are growing! Special thanks to all our hawkers who are donating all proceeds to Touch Community Services! Now we just need YOU to come and support!
Read about Song Fa Bak Kut Teh’s History here.
To buy tickets to the Ultimate Hawker Fest, please visit http://www.touch.org.sg/ultimatehawkerfest2012
Venue: Millenia Walk
Date: 20 Oct 2012
Time: 5pm to 10pm
Many thanks to Song Fa Bak Kut Teh who are donating all proceeds to Touch Community Services!