The One With Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh – Authentic Malaysian Cuisine

I have been to Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh for a couple of times now; I even recommended it as part of the itinerary for a foodie day in Sheung Wan (guest post on Sparklette.net). However the few visits after my first one was some rather disappointing affair. They were just not as good as my virgin experience.

Was I blinded by my thirst for something from home? Or am I missing something here?

Unwilling to write off Yeoh’s as yet another faux Malaysian-eatery wannabe, I returned for lunch one weekend with my better half. And boy was I glad I did! The food quality has improved by leaps and bounds, perhaps my best experience yet at this somewhat small restaurant.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane – I ordered the very same set of dishes like my first time.

Black Fungus with Wasabi

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

A strange combination, I know, but it works. The black fungus (or mook yee in Cantonese) was served cold but crisp. Dipped in wasabi with soy sauce, it was deliciously refreshing. Every piece is crunchy to the bite, you can’t help but wonder… who would have thought a cold dish is served as appetiser in a Malaysian restaurant like this?

Soy Sauce Chicken

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

Yet another cold dish (at least, it wasn’t served warm, and it was the same at other places), but worked well too. Though the chicken was a bit too salty, the meat was fresh and succulent, and most importantly, juicy. I blame that to the amount of oil which must have been used, but it didn’t feel fattening.

Maybe my appetite for a satisfactory chicken overcame my better senses? In any case, I was pleasantly surprised.

Sambal Kangkung

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

Kangkong (commonly known as water spinach in English) stir fried with sambal belacan is a common dish among the Chinese and Malay. This dish in Yeoh’s, however, was somewhat localised for the local palate – not as spicy, with too strong a hint of sourish taste. I can’t describe it, but it just wasn’t right.

Bak Kut Teh – Pork Rib in Herbal Soup

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

The main star of the day, and the reason we were there. Bak kut teh is such a difficult dish to get right. The Singapore variety is peppery in taste, with meat cooked in a clear soup base. The Malaysian variety, like this one, is cooked in herbal soup. That, of course, is the magic ingredient. You could buy those pre-packed herbal mix to cook this at home, but the real thing must be some secret recipes handed down for generation. The smell itself is enough to make your mouth water. The pork rib was cooked to tender perfection and, when served with generous bits of button and shitake mushrooms, it made me miss home very, very much.

Bak kut teh, of course, is best served with…

Yao Ja Gwai

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

… yao ja gwai, of course! Also commonly known as you tiao in Singapore, it can be best described as a long, golden-brown, deep fried strip of dough. Many places often buy this outside, so what is served will not be fresh. The key is either the chef prepare this fresh in the kitchen (which is unlikely), or they re-fry the sticks. Which of course, is not healthy, but compared to the alternative, stale option I rather be unhealthy.

What can be better than these crispy bits of flour, dipped and softened in the herbal goodness of bak kut teh broth? Well, I thought there isn’t anything else, until I tried this bowl of “oil rice”.

Lunch @ Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh

Usually served as chicken rice, this bowl of yellow goodness adds another $5 to your bill, but goddamnit it gotta be the most fragrant bowl of “yao fan” I have ever tried in Hong Kong. Usually you have the normal white rice to go with your bak kut teh, but give this alternative a spin. You’ll love it till the last grain!

Or else, there are other options like yellow noodles, rice noodles (meen seen), beehoon… quite a couple of options to satisfy even the most choosy eater.

A set dinner for two like the one we had cost HK$138.

Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh is actually a chain restaurant originated from Malaysia. Having one here mere minutes from my house is indeed a blessing for that occasional pangs of missing home. Recommended for Hong Kong-ers who love all things Malaysian, and for Malaysians in Hong Kong missing that bit of home.

Yeoh’s Bak Kut Teh
Shop G61-62, G/F, Midland Centre
328 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan
2543 2181


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Comments

  1. HK Epicurus says:

    Can’t agree more with EVERYTHING you’ve described in this review Raz!   I swear that one day,  I ordered exactly the same things and came to exactly the same verdict : D   I used to live in Sabah as well and this is the only place in HK which reminds me of the paste taste sensations I used to get from there!  And that chicken rice is simply DA best in HK,  other shops can’t even compare!   Miss it now….  

  2. Razlan says:

    @ @14a5eb1a8a23eabef65b00f117b1c8ab:disqus – Did you find the sambal kangkong a bit too sourish too? I wonder where I can get real spicy sambal kangkong. Even though I am not a real sambal lover ;)

  3. Fatman Seoul says:

    Greetings from a fellow Malaysian (living in HK)! Found yr blog thru Jason’s Bon Vivant blog. Have added yr blog to my rss reader … looking fwd to plough through your entire blog eventually … lol.

    Anyway, just dropped in to say that this Yeoh’s BKT outlet in Sheung Wan is the last surviving outlet …. they’ve closed their other outlets in Jordan & North Point.

  4. Razlan says:

    Hello! Welcome to my blog! Always good to hear from a fellow Malaysian. Incidentally, what’s your fav Malaysian food place in HK?

  5. Fatman Seoul says:

    Thanks.

    A couple of places actually. First, there’s Sabah Restaurant on Jaffe Road (behind Luk Kwok Hotel) in Wanchai. Have u tried that? They serve pretty decent nasi lemak, roti canai and fish curry.

    Next up would be Prawn Mee Restaurant along Landale Street near Pacific Place in Admirality. They serve good prawn mee (obviously, duh! Lol) and curry laksa is so so.

    Then there’s Toast Box … Well that’s Singaporean actually.

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