Bak Kut Teh is one of the MUST-EATS in Kuala Lumpur and even better if you have the time to venture down to Klang.
The name literally translates as “meat bone tea”, and, at its simplest, consists of fatty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong guai, fennel seeds and garlic) for as long as possible , i.e. days if possible! However, additional ingredients may include offal, varieties of mushroom, choy sum (vegetables), and pieces tofu puffs. Klang of course is the mecca of this meat bone tea.. but we KL folk like to think that even this part of the world can produce magical pork wonders in a pot. Cumi & ciki personally have the highest regard for BKT at ‘Restaurant Yik See Ho’. This place is situated in the vicinity of the Pudu Wet Market and is a hot favourite amongst KL as well as PJ folk. Some may beg to differ or have their own favourites but most of the time, we bring all our friends there for a great Bakuteh chow-down.
So it is always with great excitement and anticipation with we see signs that read, Klang BKT in the heart of Petaling Jaya or KL for that matter.
A Chinese obsession- washing tea cups with tepid water that will not kill any germs except the imaginary ones in your head
wash wash wash.. !
Having said that , I am still alive and well and residing in Malaysia so this act of “disinfecting” must work.. somehow
Malaysian’s obsession with Killing Vampires and warding away evil
If that garlic does not kill vampires, it will certainly maim the person you talk to after lunch
It is only polite to pour tea for everyone at the table, yourself last
Malaysians must be terrified of vampires.. garlic guzzlers unite!
Refills of garlic, chili-padi (baby chili – super cathartically hot) and dark sauce, several times throughout the course of the meal are not uncommon.
Another weird obsession – Malaysians dousing their rice in black sauce that goes with the meat-bone-tea oh, so well!
My colleagues says that you can NEVER have enough black sauce on your oily rice!
Youtiao or you tiao (Mandarin) or Yau Char Kway (Cantonese) is a MUST.
This Chinese elongated doughnuts (or you could call it a savory skinny beignet) , is a long, golden-brown, deep fried strip of dough that is usually eaten for breakfast with black coffee, or even as an any-time of the day snack. These can be easily torn lengthwise in two and are chopped up and used to imbibe the BKT sauce. As the golden, crispy Yau Char Kway sucks up the sauce, you will find yourself in that ‘middle-earth’ state of crunchy-soggy, that can only be described as Bakuteh Utopia. Many people who find themselves in that place, refuse to leave.
That complex indulgence that is Bakuteh. You need ALL parts to make a WHOLE.
Klang is famed for its dry Bakuteh. Read about Cumi & Ciki’s exploits in Klang here.
mushrooms soaked in BKT sauce.. a healthy balance to the unhealthy meat heavy meal
Apart from this pseudo-healthy mushroom dish plus the oily vegetables that go with BKT, the Chinese also believe that the Chinese tea we drink, dilutes or dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in these pork-laden dishes. This is not dissimilar to the Vampire myth of warding away evil with a strong garlic breath. Yes, tea or no tea, you have your gym work cut out for you, I tell ya.
So how did this place fare? Let me just say, the BKT here is not as good or as herbal tasting as the Pudu one, nor as spicy and flavourful as the dark, dry one we had on Klang, but… it will suffice.. for Kota Damansara area anyway. What we liked about the place was that the soup was less oily than a lot of Klang BKTs but the flavour and the texture of the pork was definitely somewhat lacking. If Klang’s best BKT is a 8/10, then this place might be a passable 6/10.
Good but not great.
A tall order
Load of mirrors for good Fengshui