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Song Fa (IAPM) 松发肉骨茶

Song Fa (IAPM) 松发肉骨茶

IAPM Mall,
LG2/F, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu,
near Shanxi Lu

Xuhui District

淮海中路999号B2楼,
近陕西路路

Inside: IAPM
5436 5217
2 mins walk from  South Shaanxi Rd
Web: -
Daily, 11am-9.30pm
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Editor’s Description

Last updated: Feb 20, 2020
Famous Singapore brand specialising in Bak Kut Teh, which translates to Pork rib tea.
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  • Quality Bak Kuh Teh Minus the Authenticity The best soup you'll find in a mall?
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    • The famous Song Fah Bak Kuh Teh chain of Singapore has expanded their presence internationally, with store fronts opening-up on the bottom floors of Shanghai’s high-end shopping malls. Needless to say, the experience of dining at these mall-based chains are far from the experience of dining at the original chains in the Singapore street-side. They do try and make an effort though, by lining up the restaurant walls with a drawing of the original street-side restaurant, as well as descriptions of how the bak kuh teh (pork ribbed broth) is made (brewing in a mix of spices for 8 or 9 hours apparently). Authenticity aside, let’s talk about the food.

      You can’t come in here and not order their signature bak kuh teh, and luckily, the place offers free refills of broth once you’re down slurping in your fill. Other than that, there’s also a selection of porridge, broth, and noodle dishes, along with some side dishes that would go well with the main course. Thus, I ordered the bak kuh teh along with a plate of marinated tofu. What erks me a bit about this chain in Shanghai though, is that they charge an additional 10rmb for a small plate of tough fritter (though not much, is still overpriced for what it’s worth), which is usually offered for free at the chains in Singapore to go along with the broth.

      I have no complaints about the tastes of the broth, as they probably use the same ingredients as the ones in Singapore, but it’s the display and artificial atmosphere of the store that I do not like. I guess once you’ve had the original, you can’t compare replicas of it against it.

      This place is definitely on the affordable end of the restaurants you find in these high-end malls and service is top-notch.

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    • Song Fa is a Singaporean chain that specializes in Bak Kut Teh, a complex pork rib soup that has roots, I believe, in the Chinese communities in that country and Malaysia. At Song Fa they do versions with various parts of the pig, the classic being the ribs. They also serve up the broth as the basis of a bowl of noodles. Any of these will set you back somewhere between RMB 55 and RMB 70.

      The broth is soothing, rich, and delicious, packing all the richness that comes from having gotten to know the bones of a pig very well. It also packs a massive whack of pepper that startles on the first sip but really cuts through that aforementioned richness. It’s really well done. If you’re a couple, you can split a couple of soup dishes with some sides. The fried tofu, pictured, is particularly tasty. The broth tastes great spooned over a bowl of rice, too.

      What takes it over the finishing line is that they do free refills of that soup. Whether you’ve ordered the pork rib soup or just a bowl of noodles, the wait staff are constantly circling with hot kettles of the stuff ready to be added to your bowl. I get excited about free refills of anything. When it’s delicious pork rib soup, then I’m guaranteed to be almost inappropriately pleased.

      Atmosphere is – mall. Not what you come for. Service is great.

      Food-wise, there are some quibbles. The meat clearly hasn’t spent quite the ideal time cooking – it tastes great and is tender enough but doesn’t fall off the bone the way you would hope. Also, when I asked a Singaporean friend about Song Fa she said that they’re a respected chain, but also mentioned some elements – mostly tasty-sounding condiments – that I didn’t see at this Shanghai outpost. Those are minor issues to me though. All in all, it’s a great place to get a well-priced, very soothing meal in this part of town.

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