Monday, April 23, 2007

Throw Me a Meaty Bone

Leong Kee Klang Bak Kut Teh
Coffee Shop @ junction of
Sultan Gate w Beach Road

Driving around recently, I had noticed that a new version of Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs in a Spiced Broth) popping up in town and around the suburbs. It is known as Klang style Bak Kut Teh and curiously my wife N and I checked out randomly one of those outlets along the small cluster found in the Beach Road/Sultan Mosque area. While most of us are familiar with the 2 types (Hokkien and Teochew) of Bak Kut Teh found here locally, the Klang version has its own merits too. Its profile is not too far away from the local versions but has enough attributes to be called a kind of its own.
Here at Leong Kee, they offer the Klang version of Bak Kut Teh. The pork ribs are simmered in a broth enriched with dark soya and Chinese herbs like Dang Gui, Anise, Ginseng and Cinnamon. Pork skin minus the fat are also added in along with fried beancurd skin, giving the broth a slight toasty aroma. When the ribs are well simmered, not only it gives a rich flavour to the broth, the addition of pig skin gives the broth a slight gelatinous flow and adds complexity to the palate. To many people, this is the difference that distinguishes Klang style Bak Kut Teh with our local version, making us feel that we are drinking a richer fuller and tastier broth. Mushrooms are also added to the broth for garnishing as well as fresh lettuce. This makes the whole dish look more balance and complete that just soup and bones. For the pass three occasions that my wife N and I were there, the herbal notes though were inconsistent, but still kept the soup pleasant. First time we had stronger notes of anise root, second time we got a larger dose of danggui and our most recent visit found cinnamon and star anise fronting the bouquet of herbal aromas.

What N really likes too is to dunk the pieces of pork ribs with the superior dark soy sauce. Far better than most commercial dark soy that I have tasted, the lovely dark soy serve here as a dip could be just a Malaysian artisan backyard version that nonetheless delivers an excellent taste with the meaty pork ribs. Pair with cut chili paddies, N can just eat the combination off over plain rice. Leong Kee also does a very good pork trotter stew. What I like is they never reject a request to have a leaner cut of meat. The trotters are always well stewed to a lovely tenderness in superior soy, garlic and spices. Having the rich gravy mixed with rice just makes me go ooh la la! N also got hooked onto this dish ever since experiencing Koo Kha Moo or Thailand’s version of stew pork trotters over rice with salted vegetables and eggs when we first traveled together.

The side dishes were well done too. U can go for side plates of oyster sauce vegetables that come dressed with oyster sauce and fragrant shallot oil. A generous sprinkling of shallots and few crispy cubes of fried pork lard adds a more sinful dimension to the whole dish. The other options are pretty standard like braised taupok, soy braised eggs and pickled vegetables. Another good idea is to get a side portion of dough fritters to dip into the broth of the Bak Kut Teh or gravy of their Stewed Pork Trotters. Pity is that most Bak Kut Teh stalls always serve stale cold cut dough fritters. Anyway, what really deserves a special mention should be their braised peanuts which I found to be very flavourful and delicious. I could just eat a whole plate by itself! Its was very well braised with the nuts absorbing the soy, garlic and streaky pork flavours, making it really rich and tasty with a lingering umami sensation on the palate.


Camemberu said...

Hi coolchef,

Great blog! I tried this Klang bak kut teh today. Very herbal indeed! Do you mind if I link to this entry on my own blog post?

Coolchef said...

Hi Camemberu,
sure,please go ahead. Appreciate your compliments.Thank you. u have a cool blog too!