This is my first makan outing with ieat and his gang (hey, I never knew that iwatch_ueat was a girl!) - unusual because I have never met other bloggers before. Normally I prefer to hide in my comfy hermit crab shell but I thought I would break tradition for once. I'm glad I did, for it was a really nice, easy-going makan session.
Anyway, Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh has been on my "to-eat" list for a while. Their version is a strongly herbal broth and appears darker and richer than its Teochew and Hokkien cousins that Singapore is more familiar with. I approached this with faint hopes that it would be a good representation of Malaysian style bak kut teh.
But it seems they had gone overboard with the herbs that day. One in particular. The bitterness of danggui (chinese angelica root) completely dominated the soup, masking any sweetness of meat there might have been. I have read that the herbal notes can be inconsistent. So maybe on another day, they may taste totally different. But I also realised the taste grows on you. I still much prefer the herbal formula to the clear Teochew versions.
Meatwise, the pork ribs were quite tender and slid easily enough off the bone. The taste however was just slightly marred by the herbs which may prove too bitter for some. The fried beancurd skin was lightly toasted (some burn marks were evident) but I secretly wished it was a bit more charred. Button mushrooms and fresh lettuce added bulk and garnish to the pot.
What was really good here was the stewed pork trotters. Where the bak kut teh and its spices tasted like they had been thrown together by a heavy-handed giant, the stewed pork trotters seemed like a brew cautiously concocted by a meticulous wizard. The magic alchemy of soy, garlic and spices produced a stew so delicious, and braised meat so tender, it was love at first bite.
I'm grateful they gave us enough lean cuts of this normally fatty meat. It's worthwhile coming back just to have this and rice alone. The single person portion for S$4.30 you see in the claypot is really good value for money.
Side dishes (fried beancurd and salty vegetables) were rather non-descript, although the braised peanuts were quite good. They had thoroughly soaked up the rich stock they were simmering in.This place also serves pig tail, intestine, stomach, liver and kidney as well as herbal mutton, herbal chicken and vegetables. Most items are S$4.30 for a single person portion. Rice is another 30 cents. Full menu and pricing in the pic (click for bigger version).
By the way, ieat's review is here!
P.S. They don't serve brewed Chinese tea...only teabags or canned Oo-long. *shrug*
LEONG KEE (KLANG) BAK KUT TEH
Junction of Beach Road and Sultan Gate
(opposite The Concourse and Park Royal Hotel)
Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 11.00am to 9.30pm