Batam: Shuang Hong Bak Kut Teh

Meaning “meat bone tea” in English, Bak Kut Teh is a very popular dish in Singapore, Malaysia, and some quarters of Sumatra. Quite a number of restaurants in Batam offer this Chinese delicacy, especially since the island is part of Sumatra and in close proximity to both the aforementioned neighbouring countries.

I managed to drop by a few Bak Kut Teh joints while on the island, but Shuang Hong Bak Kut Teh was the only place that merited a repeat visit. Owner Acai informed me that his wife first learned how to make Bak Kut Teh when she was working as a waitress at an eatery. The couple then decided to open their own shop in 1994, and by 1998, they were handed an opportunity by a food court to open up an outlet. They now have three branches in Batam, with one more set to be launched soon.

bak kut the shuang hong bak kut the shuang hong

Twice I went there during my time in Batam, and the reason why I came back was for its Bak Kut Teh Indomie. It blew my mind that instant noodles could be combined with Bak Kut Teh to make for one incredible dish–although it’s a common delicacy here in Batam.

The dark Bak Kut Teh broth is made from garlic, star anise, cinnamon, and Chinese herbs. The mixture lent a delightfully bitter yet refreshing taste to the instant noodles, while the fragrant soup added a hint of herbal flavour to the tender pork meat.

Perhaps Shuang Hong Bak Kut Teh should consider opening up a shop down here in Jakarta. I reckon it’ll be a sell-out.

A2 Food Court,
Jl. Laksamana Bintan, Kompleks Gading Mas,
Batam, Riau Islands
Open daily from 7am-9pm
Rp.39,000/US$3 per person

Started her career as a food writer in 2012, Jessicha Valentina is the online editor of Good Indonesian Food. Jessicha has loved Sayur Asem since she was a wee kid and spends her free time trying to cook it.


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