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Monday, 26 October 2015

[Media Invite] Dinner at Lian Peng Bak Kut Teh @ IMM

2 Jurong East Street 21, IMM Building #02-38, Singapore 809081
Tel: 6425 5208

Lian Peng Bak Kut Teh is the new kid on the block at IMM, serving traditional Teochew-style bak kut teh (pork ribs soup) with a clear, peppery soup, as well as other Teochew delicacies, helmed by Chef Lian Peng himself.

The eatery is furnished in a vintage, traditional olden-days coffeeshop, complete with white marble-topped tables and wooden chairs. One may choose to sit inside or outside, at the vast air-conditioned space of IMM Mall.

Service here was impeccable. The moment any guests walked over, the friendly "aunties" would smile warmly and ask "table for how many" in Mandarin. Throughout the meals, they would circulate the tables to clear plates or refill soups using kettles! (should have grabbed a photo of that).

This was a media invite attended by representatives from Hungrygowhere and hosted by Ronald.  We took our seats and pondered over the menu, asking for recommendations from Ronald - rather extensive menu. Please note that food served was in tasting portions and does not depict the more generous portions when eaten on a normal basis.

They started us with some appetisers - may also be eaten as sides to the mains.  There were Salted Vegetahles (SGD$2.50 small / SGD$3.50 large) which thankfully were not too salty, Peanuts (SGD$2.50 small / SGD$3.50 large) and Beancurd Sheets (SGD$5.00), which may be known more commonly as "tau gee".

A special mention would be the Spicy Sambal Dried Shrimps (SGD$6.00), more commonly known as "hae bee ham".  An appetite-whetting condiment-type dish that rings deliciously of the shrimp's luscious flavour combined with spicy notes of the sambal chilli. We finished the entire plate between 5 of us.

We were each served a bowl of their signature Loin Ribs Soup (SGD$9.50) - tender and lean fresh flesh cooked in a delicious peppery broth with garlic. It was not too peppery or spicy, just the right note of flavour - perfect for all members of the family, I would think.

We also tried the Pig's Kidney Soup (SGD$6.00), loving the chewy, crunchy texture of the pig's kidney absolutely.

The Pig's Stomach Soup (SGD$6.00) was another favorite of the group, comprising of a soft but springy texture to it.

My personal favorite was also the Pig's Liver Soup (SGD$6.00), containing pieces of coarse-textured, saccharine and succulent pieces of liver. We noticed that the soup was darker, and tasted of hints of Chinese wine in this as well, boosting the taste up another notch.

While some of us paired the steaming, sumptuous soup with Rice (SGD$0.50 small / SGD$0.80 large), we also had the You Tiao (SGD$2.00) - pieces of fried doughstick as well as Vermicelli Soup (SGD$3.00). The latter was very fine and smooth.

Besides Bak Kut Teh, there's also an array of other delicacies here at Lian Peng that we tasted.  The Braised Duck (SGD$15.00 quarter / SGD$28.00 half) was an excellent and tasty dish with tender meat flavoured by a thick dark sauce that was slightly sweetish in nature.

Then, the Braised Pig's Trotter (SGD$8.00 small / SGD$15.00 medium) was very, very tender and soft in flesh. Many people disregard the skin - but the bouncy, collagenic skin is the amazing part of eating trotters IMHO.  The thick gravy was a little sweet for my liking though.

Next, this platter of Braised Pig's Big Intestines (SGD$6.00 small / SGD$8.00 big) was a delicacy too. Drenched deliciously in a dark sauce that also contains sweet notes, these intestines were springy, chewy and crispy (some of them were fried before braised). It is an exotic dish that not everyone eats, but if you do eat innards, the beauty of this dish is certainly not lost on you.

Finally, allow yourself to indulge in their homdmade Barley (SGD$1.50) - warm or cold, wafting strongly with barley's natural maltish flavour and the drink is concorded to the right amount of sweetness.

Thank you Lian Peng and Ronald for hosting us and the brilliant recommendations; and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite!

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