Sudden moments of craving your home country's cuisine are likely to pop up while you are abroad. As for me, even though I love Japanese food and I'm in the capital of Japan, homesickness still gets to me. That's why I'm always on the search for foreign foods served authentically in Tokyo to keep up with these cravings for a taste of home. The first of my discoveries is Singapore's Bak Kut Teh in Tokyo (it's the actual restaurant name).


Bak Kut Teh is a popular traditional rib dish in Malaysia and Singapore; it is cooked by simmering pork ribs for hours in a complex herbal broth. There are 2 types of Bak Kut Teh: Teochew style Bak Kut Teh (clear broth) and Hokkien style Bak Kut Teh (dark broth). The difference between the two is that Teochew Style has a strong garlic and white pepper taste. Whereas for the Hokkien style, a variety of herbs and spices are used, along with black soy sauce, creating a more fragrant and darker broth. Different restaurants cook up a distinct combination of spices because of their different house recipes. 

Singapore's Bak Kut Teh specializes in serving authentic Teochew style Bak Kut Teh and was founded by Mr. Akihiro Takahashi. During his business trips to Singapore, Mr. Takahashi was able experience to Singapore's local dishes and as a result fell in love at first bite with Bak Kut Teh. He was deeply impacted by the duality of its simple appearance and the complexity of its taste. Unsatisfied with the Bak Kut Teh he found being served in Tokyo, he partnered with Mr. Tomori Susumu (F&B Specialist) and Ms. Hideyo Ishii (Food Researcher) to serve authentic Bak Kut Teh in Tokyo. It took them 3 years to achieve an authentic tasting broth that is enjoyable to both locals and avid Bak Kut Teh fans.


The beauty of Teochew style Bak Kut Teh is that despite its deceivingly simple appearance, it packs a powerful blow to your taste buds. It usually comes with either of two options, with bone or without. Often, locals prefer to choose the bone-in ribs to indulge in the Singaporean tradition of eating it straight from the bone.

Nicholas Narmada

Set Meal (¥1,380 / $12.20) - Comes with 3 sides of your choice (Choices are listed down below)

Ala Carte (¥840 / $7.50) - Just the Bak Kut Teh itself, for those who don't want extra carbs.

Both of these options come with soy sauce, and you can even ask for more of the Bak Kut Teh's herbal soup. It is especially nice to keep yourself warm and cosy during the cold and windy days. For first-timers, placemats also include a how-to-eat Bak Kut Teh guide in Japanese accompanied with easy-to-understand pictures.

Bak Kut Teh

Nicholas Narmada

This dish includes 2 perfectly cooked ribs that melt easily off the bone, served in their house-special blend herbal soup. As a bonus, included in the broth are two cloves of Garlic. Before beginning to eat, personally, I recommend mashing the garlic into the broth to make it more flavorful.


If you opt for the set, you can further complete your experience of eating Bak Kut Teh with 5 side dishes to choose from: 

Rice (¥200 / $1.80)

Fried Dough (油条) (¥200 / $1.80) - Chinese Fried Dough Sticks

Misua (¥300 / $2.60) - Soumen noodles with a peppery soup

Veggies (¥350 / $3.10) - Chinese style vegetables

Seaweed Soup (¥350 / $3.10)


Soy Bean Sauce - Thick soy sauce mixed with a pinch of chili. Dip your ribs in it and taste the savory side of the dish.

White Pepper - Add only if you feel like the broth does not have enough power to it.


Overall the Bak Kut Teh set meal is as complete as how you'd get it in Singapore. Not only does it taste authentic, it really hits me with a feeling of nostalgia. It feels almost as if I have come back home after a long day of stress. As someone who frequents Singapore, I really enjoyed it!

Nicholas Narmada

Restaurant Information

Singapore's Bak Kut Teh / 新加坡肉骨茶

5 Chome-4-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo / 東京都港区赤坂5丁目4 - 14 ベルテンポ赤坂 1F (Google Maps Link Here)

Opening hours:

Weekdays - 11:30~23:00

Weekends & Public Holidays - 11:30~21:00