In first-year university in the retiree capital that is Victoria, once the cafes closed at 9 p.m., you were pretty much out of luck in eating anything that was more substantial than chips or candy on residence grounds. That was a bit of a problem if you were a voracious studier who worked long into the night. Or if you ever engaged with a then-illegal substance that gave you a craving for food.
I’ll leave it to you to guess which category I fell under, but there was one option for those searching for an adequate snack: beef jerky, available at the cornerstore for $11 a pack. And hey, like many things back then, it did the job.
But it wasn’t until much later that I moved back to Vancouver and discovered what beef jerky could be. I smelled it first, right off the corner of one of the city’s burgeoning hot spots, Kingsway and Fraser: BKH Singapore Style Jerky.
Now, here’s where we run into a bit of a problem. Is BKH underrated? I’m not exactly sure. With people who like jerky and live in Vancouver? No, it’s been around for 30 years and has a well-earned rep in those circles. It also showed up in this magazine a decade ago in our 101 Things to Eat Before You Die feature and the owner even made an appearance and cut a deal on Dragons Den.
(Side note: the only time Kevin O’Leary has ever showcased a shred of vulnerability is in this clip when he tells owner Scott Lim that it’s the best jerky he’s ever had. You can literally see him being transported back to his childhood.)
But with people who don’t really know that they like jerky because the only jerky they’ve had is bad, bulk-packaged, meat-like rubber? I think yes. And the many times I’ve recommended it to people who look confused only confirms that.
It’s not cheap (about $17 for half a pound), but it’s made every day fresh with both beef and pork options (plus spicy for both if you want), and there’s a good chance it’ll be the best jerky you’ve ever had in this country. And any other, unless you’ve been to Singapore.