Bak Kut Teh: have it your way

WHITE or black? Singapore-style or Malaysia-style?

You don't have to choose, when you can savour your bak kut teh both ways at the newly opened New Man Lee Bak Kut Teh at Clementi Mall.

The renowned, long-standing traditional bak kut teh brand hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has finally been brought to Singapore after 40 years by Japan Foods Holdings.

The 19-year-old leading restaurant chain in Singapore manages 45 restaurants with 11 other well known Japanese food concepts such as Ajisen Ramen, Menya Musashi, Fruit Paradise and Osaka Ohsho. This is the first time it is diversifying and taking a non-Japanese concept under its wing.

Prior to its Singapore opening, New Man Lee only operated in Malaysia - where it has three shops - and Taiwan, where it has two.

The restaurant serves two versions of the aromatic bak kut teh soup, beloved for its choice of pork spare ribs, lean meat, pork stomach or pork belly meat slow-cooked and flavoured with garlic and other spices.

There is the common Singapore-style (or Teochew) white peppery soup, as well as the thicker, cloudier Malaysia-style (or Kuala Lumpur) black herbal soup - a rarer find locally.

The black soup is served with crispy fried beancurd skin.

Both are reasonably priced at $10.90, $21.80 and $32.70 for one, two and three people respectively for the Signature Bak Kut Teh (black herbal soup); and $9.90, $19.80 and $29.70 for one, two and three people respectively, for the Premium Pork Rib with Pig's stomach Bak Kut Teh (white peppery soup).

As a unique twist and a nod to its franchisee's nearly two decades of success in the Japanese food scene in Singapore, New Man Lee has also infused its bak kut teh dishes with Japanese accents.

Instead of the usual white rice and tea, you can enjoy your New Man Lee bak kut teh served with Japanese rice, as well as the group's iconic tasty udon noodles, which are manufactured at its central kitchen daily.

Other must-tries on the menu include a dry, slightly spicy bak kut teh dish and succulent braised pork trotters. Dough fritters and salted vegetables are other side dishes you can order to complement your soup.

Visit New Man Lee Bak Kut Teh at Clementi Mall, #B1-34/35, or call 6659- 5380 for details or reservations.

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