BAK KUT TEH
Bak Kut Teh is a typical Chinese Malaysian food. You can only find this in Malaysia. It is a rice dish usually served with pork, mushrooms, iceberg cabbage and loads of chinese herbs and spices. If you ask me, I believe Bak Kut Teh is not complete without "Ewe Jar Koay" - fried Chinese Crullers, or "Tau Hu Pok" - fried tofu. The taste of those 2 soaked in Bak Kut Teh's soup is simply heaven!
Who invented it? According to the most plausible version of the story, Bak Kut Teh was invented by a gentleman from Quanzhou of the Fujian province in China. The secret recipe was passed to a friend who later went to Klang and became the first person to commercialise and sell Bak Kut Teh. The dish went on to become a famous dish and was copied and improved many times over. So according to this version the Hokkiens were the inventors of the dish. The Teochews came later and the main visual difference between the Hokkien and Teochew version of Bak Kut Teh is that the Hokkiens use dark soy sauce and thus the soup base is characteristically darker in colour. It is up to the individual's taste buds which one tastes better.
You may find many shops in Klang selling "original" Bak Kut Teh. Don't ask me which is the most famous or original amongst them. Heck I am still sampling.
So this is my sample no 1: Kedai Makanan & Minuman Teluk Pulai (Pottery) Bak Kut Teh
Kedai - Shop
Makanan - Food
Minuman - Drinks
Teluk Pulai - Pulai Gulf
Bak Kut - Ribs
Teh - Tea
Location : Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Food rating : OK-lah*!
The shop has all the typical Hokkien Bak Kut Teh ingredients - dark soy sauce, dark soup, etc. Unfortunately, the shop was out of crullers that day :(
Anyway, the soup was ok. Not very fragrant but not tasteless either. Meat was ok. Not too hard and not too fatty/lean. The enoki mushrooms were different. They are fatter than the usual enoki mushrooms that you can buy in the market. The "fu chuk" - beancurd skin, that was added into the soup was ok too. Not too hard/soft and not tasteless, but not very fragrant either.
See... Now you know why I rate it as "OK-lah". Because it is simply ok-lah.
I will continue to try all the remaining shops in Klang, but not consecutively. Hell no! FYI Bak Kut Teh's herbs are very heaty (Asian's term for food that induce higher metabolism eg chilli).
Let's have some variety, ya?
By the way, sorry for the late posting (though I promised you 16 October 2006). Oh come on! Haven't you heard of Malaysian time? Due to our extremely strong ability to procastinate, Malaysian time tend to stretch for a long long long long long period. If they say dinner starts at 7pm, I suggest you have some food coz' it is really gonna start at 9pm. If you've been to Malaysian dinner, you'll know :). OK, enough about that, so I'll see you again next week? Till then, stay cool!
Note: * "lah" is a suffix used by Malaysian meant to add emphasis to a word/phrase.