Fragrance not only sells barbequed meat, but also a wide variety of products that are adored by both the young and the old. Widely referred to as Xiang Wei Rou Gan, Fragrance bak kwa is carefully cooked with special ingredients, which makes it so delicious and Xiang Wei bak kwa is the only bak kwa in the market that contains BBQ meat with the natural goodness of ginseng & other herbs. With the freshest pork, strict quality control and state-of-the-art equipment with the perfect blending of the 18 different types of traditional herbs, our Bak-kwa is able to retain its freshness without any use of preservatives. Apart from Bak Kwa, Fragrance Foodstuff also boasts a spread of Oriental delicacies for the whole family including Hong Kong Style Sausages, Meat Floss, Cuttlefish and Mooncakes.
- < $10
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Porky smell puts one off.
Fragrance Foodstuff has built up its name over the years, with its stores being a common sight in any neighbourhood these days. Priced affordably with frequent discounts, it is no wonder why business is flourishing. To get the freshest barbequed meat, make your way down to the shop in the early afternoons when they are just done with their first batch of meat for the day for your fill of pipping hot BBQ meat.
The bak kwa from Fragrance is best eaten on the spot and recommended not to be kept for days as its porky smell becomes more apparent and this smell really puts me off from eating it. As compared to its other competitors out there, its meat is softer as compared to the rest but lacks flavours and complexity in the taste.
One of the weaker brands of bak kwa but is priced more lower than the other brands out there.
I like it
Last time it used to be only Bee Cheng Hiang and Lin Zhi Yuan, and when Frangrance came about, my family got plenty of it as CNY gifts.
I find it softer than BCH and tasted less sweet. It has more of the meat flavour so I somehow feel it was less processed.
Since then I have preferred Fragrance and didn't buy from BCH again.
While I fancy eating Bak Kwa (barbequed meat) especially during the lunar Chinese New Year (CNY) period, I tend to control how much I eat due to the heatiness (supposingly).
Sad to say, I tend to find both the famous brands, Fragrance and Bee Chiang Hiang, to be over-rated. The best thing about Frangance Bak Kwa is their multiple locations, making it more convenient for purchase and perhaps due to the spread of crowd, queues tend to be a little lesser during the CNY period, especially if you go for the more isolated branches.
Don't get me wrong either for I do find Fragrance Bak Kwa to be delicious for they are juicy (I hate Bak Kwa that's all dried and hard) and the slightly charred meat improved the taste, well, at least for me although some people claimed they are bad for health and tend to avoid them. However, I find their Bak Kwa to be too old-fashioned, having been a reputable brand over the years and by old-fashioned I meant that they lacked creativity and couldn't diverge much from the original type of Bak Kwa.
In recent years, I've tasted really novel Bak Kwa from different shops and the newer "invention" really provided a different concept of Bak Kwa. Some of the Bak Kwa I've tasted are with barbecued with pineapple meat or with full almond slices on them. The one with pineapple meat provided a sweet fruity taste to it and pineapple is a good omen, especially during CNY for the Chinese. The one with almond topping allowed the Bak Kwa to be crunchy and often leaves my family and me fighting for the slices with the most almond topping.
A CNY must have!
Every year without fail, my relatives will never fail to get some Bak Kwa from fragrance and sharing them around. It is also the only time I will be more than willing to eat as much Bak Kwa as possible. Too tasty to resist!
Although they can be hard to bite at times, the sweet taste of the Bak Kwa compensates for it. I make sure to drink lots of water after since they can get really heaty at times. No time to fall sick during the festive period.
Occasionally, some of the pieces can get really burned too. This brings down my eating experience a little. Sometimes, the size of the Bak Kwa can be too big to finish too. I refer to eat mine in smaller chunks. It's lesser of a mess this way.
Meat floss and bakkwa!
This is one of the places to get your meat floss and BBQ-ed meat from. Besides selling them, they also sell a variety of other snacks to pack into your basket as you shop for your chinese new year goodies.
One thing i don't like about these places are that they would always increase their prices 2 to 3 fold nearing Chinese New Year, during the festive period. i recommend to get them months earlier when the price hasn't hiked and freeze it until it's time for it to make it presence on the dining table.
I've tried a variety of bak kwas, and honestly i can't really tell the difference between them all, but for me the best would have to be lim chee guan's ones. Though this is not bad either.
Watch out for good deals
Fragrance is unlike popular house brands which advertises aggressively to the public through media. During Chinese New Year, I received my first bag of Fragrance Bak Kwa. Surprisingly, the bak kwa was rather soft and not overly charred. In fact, it is not too bad!
Once, I was at the outlet at IMM and they were having a promotion where everything was going at 50% or more. I bought a bag of Bak Kwa and a bag of pork floss for about $20, which was a steal! Maybe I am not a bak kwa analyst, hence, I am unable to tell the difference between Fragrance bak kwa and bak kwa from other brands like Bee Cheng Hiang.
My favourite Ba Kwa brand!
What seems to be really unfair for Fragrance is that it is pretty underrated, where, in contrary, Bee Cheng Hiang is overrated. Of course, that is my opinion.
So, what's so great about Fragrance Ba Kwa that gave me the impression that it is underrated? Well, I've got to tell you, the Ba Kwa that they serve can be preserved for a much longer time than that of Bee Cheng Hiang's. Besides the preservation time, the Ba Kwa served at Fragrance is also less tough and much juicy than that off Bee Cheng Hiang's.
To be fair though, the pork floss at Bee Cheng Hiang tastes better than what Fragrance offers. If you're up for Ba Kwa, head down to your nearby Fragrance store for some! Really worth the money!
My favourite brand
Bee Cheng Hiang has a strong competitor - and that is none other than Fragrance, even though Fragrance's history may not be as long as theirs. I love how their barbequed pork is never overly charred (ie. black) at the edges, and it is oily, full of juice, tasty, unhealthy, but oh so yummy. The slices are also always thick, not thin, dry and hard to chew and swallow. Another plus point: It is not as expensive as some other brands! You can get 1kg worth of bak kwa for less than $30 most of the time, obviously excluding the Chinese New Year period.
Why the bad reviews!
I really really love bak kwa, and this branch at IMM does it really well! The branch at IMM always have discounts and promotions for different items (think $14 for 500-600g of bak kwa strips), and I always end up buying these cheap and good bak kwa whenever I go to IMM. I do admit that it is not as fragrant as its name, but it really does taste good. In fact, it is just slightly inferior to bee cheng hiang (in my humble opinion), because they both have a thick sweet syrupy exterior
If you are a fan of barbequed sliced pork that, quoting my father’s words, get more flavour the more you chew it, then you probably wouldn’t like the bak kwa from fragrant because from what I can tell, its the minced pork version (or maybe its just the kind that I buy). To me, it is not as overly sweet as mentioned in the other reviews, and it does have the taste of meat to it.
But to be frank, I only get bak kwa from them to satisfy my cravings, and not for any festive or gift occasions.
Probably my least favorite bak kwa store in the whole of Singapore. It is a new bak kwa brand in Singapore and compared to the well-established brands like Lim Chee Guan and Bee Cheng Hiang, it definitely has a long way to go. The barbequed meat is nowhere near succulent and perfection. I know that nothing in this world is perfect, being near to perfect is highly-respectable. This barbequed meat is not even 1/10th of perfection.
Meat is hard, tough and overly-sweet. I did not take a third bite of it. First bite was initial taste, second bite was to confirm that the riot going on in my mouth was not a hallucination. Third bite? I'll pass because my second bite confirmed that it is nothing more than reality. I can't deny that the smell is alluring though. From my observation, all barbequed meat smells good, unless it is burnt. But the smell really does not tell you much about the taste and quality of the meat itself. You have to taste it to know it.
I hate to say this because barbequed meat is one of my favorites when it comes to Chinese food but this is really bad. There is nothing I would recommend buying from here. If you insist on buying something from here, try something less damaging like meat floss?