Bak Kut Teh Yu Yi
88 Jalan Kepayang, Off Jalan Kuching
Taman City, Segambut
52100 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 40' 9.6" N3° 11' 43.8")
We are here for a reason, and that reason has everything to do with Brendan. Ever since coming back from his trip to Singapore, he’s been asking for curry every chance he gets. So it came as a surprise this evening when he specifically requested that we have 1Bak Kut Teh for dinner instead.
1A Chinese soup that literally means "meat bone tea", and at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours. Additional ingredients may include offal, varieties of mushroom, choy sum, and pieces of dried tofu or fried tofu puffs. Additional Chinese herbs may include yu zhu (玉竹, rhizome of Solomon's Seal) and ju zhi (buckthorn fruit), which give the soup a sweeter, slightly stronger flavor. Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup during cooking and garnished with chopped coriander or green onions and a sprinkling of fried shallots, and usually eaten with rice.
After a quick check online, we settled on Yu Yi (which means friendship) and made our way. Despite being situated along the very busy Jalan Kuching, the restaurant sits in a row of shop houses that is unusually quiet at night. This particular restaurant is apparently a branch with the main outlet headquartered in Jalan Imbi.
We ordered a large bowl portioned for three persons with a side order of Cha Kueh (a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough conventionally lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two). Since we were early, and with only two other families dining at the time, our large bowl of Bak Kut Teh was served in no time.
The verdict? To be perfectly honest we found the broth a let-down, as it was not nearly as ‘herbalistic’ as the ones we’re used to. To further compound things, we could not get over the overbearing flavour/fragrance of charcoal in the broth which drove us to distraction. And the damage? thankfully the total came to R50, at the absolute border of what we define as the everyday food for the everyday person. Leng Kee still has our vote as the best BKT shop in Kuala Lumpur, and still very reasonably priced at that.