The Chinese New Year (CNY) madness is upon us once again. ‘Tis the time of the year when Singaporeans — aunties and millennials alike — set aside time to jostle with crowds and queue long hours for “branded” bak kwa from Lim Chee Guan, Bee Cheng Hiang and more.
We scope out the best places to get delicious slices of bak kwa in Singapore just in time for the Chinese New Year festivities.
1. Kim Peng Hiang
People love Kim Peng Hiang for its pineapple bak kwa. Generous chunks of pineapple are mixed in together with the meal. Some claim the pineapple makes it sweeter, some claim it makes it more tender. Either way, it is really delicious!
Kim Peng Hiang is at 465 Changi Rd, Singapore 419886, tel: 465 Changi Rd, Singapore 419886
2. Kim Hwa Guan
It’s a small little hawker store selling bak kwa all year round, but come Chinese New Year, the queue explodes and the small hawker centre it is in becomes uncomfortably tight. People enjoy these bak kwa cause they claim it is a lot more tender and soft than other bak kwa.
Kim Hwa Guan is at People’s Park Food Centre, 32 New Market Rd, #01-1022, Singapore 050032, tel: 9006 2026
3. Kim Joo Guan
If you’re a sucker for traditional bak kwa, try Kim Joo Guan. Their barbecued pork slices is apparently made from a secret family recipe, passed through 4 generations.
Avaliable at 257 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058806, tel: 6225 5257, and Royal Square@Novena, 103 Irrawaddy Road, #01-25, Singapore 329566, tel: 6251 5748
4. Kim Hock Seng
It might look dry, but these thick slices are pillowy and tender when fresh. A couple of days down the road it gets a little chewier but is still just as tasty! This one is good for people who don’t like too fatty bak kwa.
Kim Hock Seng is at 570 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389515, tel: 6221 4882
Fragrance bak kwa, or more affectionately known as “Xiang Wei Rou Gan”, is another major bak kwa seller in Singapore with more than 40 outlets islandwide. You definitely won’t have a problem finding one near your place or office.
6. Bee Kim Heng
Bee Kim Heng’s bak kwa are chewy and smoky. The owner has been operating the little stall in People Park’s Food Centre for over 50 years and personally grills the bak kwa until today. Reportedly, the taste is on the sweeter side.
Bee Kim Heng is at People’s Park Food Centre, 32 New Market Road, #01-1010, tel: 6535 0735
7. Bee Cheng Hiang
Bee Cheng Hiang is a household brand thanks to the many celebrity endorsements that it has secured over the years. From being featured in 2002 film “I Not Stupid” to various bus and TV ads featuring Christopher Lee, Fann Wong and Zoe Tay, Bee Cheng Hiang is the largest bak kwa brand with many outlets all over Singapore.
8. Kim Hock Guan
Kim Hock Guan is an old bak kwa brand — their logo is the black-and-white photo of their founder (Kim Hock Guan himself, probably) — which makes it seem just that bit more legit.
Their bestsellers are Traditional BBQ Sliced Pork and Spicy Sliced Pork and they take pride in not using minced meat. They only use sliced lean meat of pork hind. Their bak kwa don’t contain artificial preservatives, colouring and flavouring.
Kim Hock Guan is at Fook Hai Building, 150 South Bridge Road, #01-02, tel: 6535 2536 and The Bencoolen, 180 Bencoolen Street, #01-25, 6835 7118