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Bhai Sarbat: The Tale Behind Kampong Glam’s Traditional Teh Tarik

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Cheng Sim  •  Jun 22, 2019

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[Updated 29 October 2019] In a caffeinated city of flat whites and mocha lattes, you can still find nostalgia at Bhai Sarbat, a Singaporean gem that is only a minute’s walk from Masjid Sultan.
Credit: @bhaisarbat on Instagram Serving thirsty passer-by since 1977, they've been called the ‘No Name Teh Sarabat Stall’ for a long time. Thanks to the support from taxi drivers who slowly brought in customers, the stall thrived without ever needing a name. That was until two years ago when the current name sticks.
Credit: @bhaisarbat on Instagram Step into the queue at Bhai Sarbat to meet the owner Mohammad Asgar who is likely to prepare your drink of the day. From the jam-packed menu of old-school coffees and teas, there’s no guessing that teh tarik is the most well-loved.
Credit: @bhaisarbat on Instagram
Credit: @bhaisarbat on InstagramA frothy pulled milk tea that warms the soul, catch the tea master pour from one stainless steel mug to another in mid-air. It’s a skill that he learned from his predecessor and uncle, Mr Kabiruddin, who handed over the business after suffering a bad fall. "When my uncle got sick, nobody else can take care of thestall here. Then, I had to take over,” Asgar shares about how he continues the second-generation family business.
Credit: @bhaisarbat on Instagram Despite some customers who prefer seeing the senior bhai in action, Asgar continues to attract old and new customers to Bhai Sarbat. The growing popularity drew his son to step up and master the art of pulling tea. At the same time, his friend helped to create an Instagram account for Bhai Sarbat. “What is this?” Asgar asked when introduced to the social platform for the first time. “[Then, my friend explained] with Instagram, you can make friends and your business can increase.”
Credit: @bhaisarbat on Instagram And it did. Coupled with a chill atmosphere, many customers would hang out at the stall over a cup of teh tarik. “At night, youngsters will come and continue drinking. If I can open for 24 hours, they will sit for 24 hours. We have such people,” he jokingly shares. Part of the crowd also comes from tour guides who introduce this traditional teh tarik shop to tourists. “They buy mostly teh tarik, teh masala and teh halia (ginger tea).”
Credit: @bhaisarbat on InstagramWhen asked about the future of BhaiSarbat, he only has one wish. “I hope I can open more branches,” Asgar aspires. “If you struggle, then you can get something, right? God can give, In Shaa Allah. Allah can help.”Watch our candid interview with Bhai Sarbat's owner, Mohammad Asgar Halal Status: Muslim-owned Average Price: SGD1.30 Opening Hours: Open daily; 6AM - 12AM Address: Bhai Sarbat, 21 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199442 Contact: +65 8263 4142 Directions: Alight at Bugis MRT station and walk for 7 minutes to Bhai Sarbat. Facebook | Instagram