From retail shops to hawker stalls, everyone has different opinions on which store sells the best Bak Kwa.
With Chinese New Year just two weeks away, the time to stockpile festive snacks and goodies, such as love letters and pineapple tarts has come. Of course, when you talk about Chinese New Year snacks and goodies, you can’t leave out Bak Kwa, a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky.
Personally my favourite snack, I would gladly eat any Bak Kwa I see regardless of the brand. But everyone has different tastes and preferences, so I decided to ask different youths to find out their favourite Bak Kwa brands.
The first brand name that comes to many minds when you mention Bak Kwa in Singapore is probably Bee Cheng Hiang.
Jovan Chong, 19, said: “Everyone knows Bee Cheng Hiang! It’s so convenient as they have stores everywhere. I have one just one MRT stop away from me so it’s easy to buy whenever I want to.”
Roxanne Tan, 19, added: “Bak Kwa from other brands can sometimes be too hard or oily, but Bee Cheng Hiang has a nice bite to it and is just right for me.”
Probably the most popular brand, Lim Chee Guan is known for their long queues. We all know what Singaporeans think about places with long queues – it’s probably something really good.
Toh Cheng Yee, 19, said: “After I’ve had Bak Kwa from Lim Chee Guan, I stopped eating the rest and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually eat Bak Kwa!
“They’re very consistent, have the right amount of sweetness and spiciness and you can tell their Bak Kwa is freshly cooked. It’s not oily, charred or tough to eat.”
Instead of retail shops, Kim Hua Guan is a hawker stall located at People’s Park Food Centre and Toa Payoh that grills your Bak Kwa right in front of you.
Britney Tan, 19, said: “I feel that the cut of the Bak Kwa meat isn’t too thick and dry, which makes it easy to snack on without feeling too surfeiting. As for taste, I like that it has a nice kick of char which I find lacking in other brands.
“You know Kim Hua Guan’s Bak Kwa is handmade because it’s organically shaped!”
Fragrance is another Bak Kwa retail store that can be found in almost every part of Singapore. If you’re late on buying your CNY goodies and need some Bak Kwa urgently, this is the place for you.
It’s also good for those on a budget because Fragrance is cheaper compared to most other stores.
Ruth Chan, 19, said: “My parents usually buy Bak Kwa from Fragrance as it’s cheaper than other brands. I like that it’s quite juicy, sweet, and tastes good when paired with other foods. However, what I don’t particularly fancy is how oily it can get.”
Another brand with long snaking queues of people waiting to get their hands on some Bak Kwa, Kim Peng Hiang, located along Changi Road, is known for their unique and authentic-tasting Bak Kwa that is sure to delight.
Ngo Yong Zhe, 16, said: “The meat is thick and chunky, unlike the usual thin slices of Bak Kwa. It has a smoky natural flavour and feels more homemade.”
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