Ah Peng Bak Koot Teh 亜平肉骨茶

ウートラムパーク(Outram Park)にある、ホリデーイン・エートリアム(Holiday Inn Atrium)に宿泊すると、たまに寄るのが、そこそこ美味いアーペン肉骨茶(Ah Peng Bak Koot Teh)。皆、このスペルに注目を是非してほしい。"Bak Koot Teh"だ。日本ではなぜ、バクテーという発音が主流になったのか不思議な限りだが、現地で耳をよくすませて肉骨茶(Bak Kut Teh)の発音を聞くと:バッ(Bak)クー(Koot)テー(Teh)又は、バークーテーだ。日本人がすきやきと発音するのに対して、アメリカ人がスキヤーキー、えだまめをエダマーミーというのと同じ感じだが、私にとっては耳ざわりにほかならない。余談だが、マンダリン語では肉骨茶の事をローグーチャー(Rou Gu Cha)という。マンダリン語はいうまでもなく、シンガポールのオフィシャル言語となっている(その他:英語・マレー語・タミール語)。バックーテーは福建・潮州語です。ちなみに、ここの肉骨茶は透明度が高く、ほのかに胡椒が聞いているが、あっさりとしている(当然、潮洲スタイル)。肉骨茶以外にお勧めなのが、湯葉煮込みと腎臓(豚まめ)だ。やはり、チープで濃目に出した鉄観音と良く合う!世界で最も旨い朝食だ!

Whenever I stay at Holiday Inn, Atrium at Ourtram Park (formerly known as Concord Hotel), I stop by at Ah Peng Bak Koot Teh at Soon Soon Huat Eating House (Seng Poh Rd)for a decent bowl of bak kut teh. It used to be at Thye San Huon Restaurant (Cantonment Rd.). The bak kut teh here is on the lighter side with slight sweetness (not so robust), although, Mankansutra claims it to be peppery (it is peppery but not as peppery as Ng Ah Sio or Outram Park). I love the fresh kidney and braised tofu skin for some change here and there. Now, I am aware that they sell the Teochew type bak kut teh but I don't come across too many of Hokkien types to start with. The bak kut teh places recommended by Makansutra is also Teochew style -Rong Cheng, Ng Ah Sio, Outram Park Rou Gou Cha, to name but just a few. Although, I love the Teochew style better than the Hokkien, do people in Singapore think Teochew style as superior? If this was a matter of democracy, I assume that Hokkien style would be more popular since Hokkien people dominate the Chinese community, so henceforth maybe Hokkien people approve Teochew style bak kut teh over Hokkien style. Compare this to the Japanese, Teochew is like Kyoto and Hokkien is like Tokyo, where the broth is always cheng and subtle in Kyoto and dark & robust in Tokyo -especially you'd notice this when you order soba noodles or udon. I also read in some of the food guides that there are also Cantonese herbal type bak kut teh. Where can I get them? Is it the cheng type with herbal note? Any garnishes other than pork ribs? Japanese people love bak kut teh but apparently, they have adopted the wrong pronounciation due to reason unknown -maybe because of ready-made bak kut teh packets, written in awkward Japanese. We pronounce bak kut (koot) teh as Backtay -two syllables. What's da matter with us.

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