Despite its moniker, Old Street Bak Kut Teh hasn't been around all that long. A young-ish franchise that recently set up shop at Alexandra Retail Mall, the casual diner serves up bak kut teh in comfortable air-conditioned digs. I'm usually a skeptic when it comes to franchises, but Old Street Bak Kut Teh appears to hold its own compared to illustrious heavyweights Ng Ah Sio, Ya Hua or Founder. Their fare is commendable, and surprisingly, consistent in quality, which is no mean feat for a franchise. Add to that set meals that give you maximum bang for your buck, and you've got quite the winning formula. Clearly, the lunchtime crowd, mostly office types from the commercial hinterland, concur, resulting in a full-house at mealtimes. The downside: service was frazzled and frenzied. It's quite apparent they are short on labour.
A novel concept, the Dry Bak Kut Teh ($9.10) was really just pork ribs stewed in a spicy oyster-based sauce and laden with lady's fingers and beancurd. This was tender, robust and nicely smoky.
The Oyster Sauce Kai Lan ($7.20), vividly green and still crunchy, and topped with lashings of fried shallots, was homestyled and delicious.
I'd recommend getting the set menus, they really give you your money's worth. We had the Set Menu A ($11.10), comprising regular 'ol Pork Ribs Soup, heady, peppery but not overwhelmingly so, and decadently juicy. Never mind that half the ribs were coated with fat. Yums.
A staple of bak kut teh, Fried Dough Crullers make the best dunks into the peppery soup.
There's also dessert of Soya Bean Pudding, smooth as silk and wobbly as a baby's bottom.
Old Street Bak Kut Teh
460 Alexandra Road #01-30
Alexandra Retail Centre
Tel: 6250 5753
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 9pm