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.
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