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May 24, 2011 09:24 AM

Kuala Lumpur - Bak Kut Teh at Seng Huat, Klang

Klang township, about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur, is the mecca for bak kut teh (herbal pork-rib soup), and Seng Huat, better known as the "Under the Bridge" bak kut teh restaurant is rated #1 in Klang amongst many aficionados of this Hokkien breakfast specialty.

Seng Huat's bak kut teh soup is piquant but not too strong in its herbal taste, the meat cuts (pork-ribs, trotters, shank) are tender & fall-of-the-bone. Usually served with fragrant onion oil-scented steamed white rice, and sticks of you-tiao (Chinese crullers).

Address details
Seng Huat Restaurant
No.9, Jalan Besar
Klang, Selangor
Tel : 03-3371 265
Operating hours: 7.30am – 2.00pm, 5.00pm – 8.00pm daily

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  1. Looks very good!

    In practice I myself have always preferred the non-medicinal variety of BKT, although I have eaten the medicinal-soup stuff too. I've never been too fond of tong kwa. When I make it myself I use just garlic, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Oh, and a light soy sauce. As for those crullers, I've always known them as "yow char kwai" [ 油炸鬼 ] rather than as "you-tiao" [油條 ]. How widespread is the use of the latter term nowadays?

    1 Reply
    1. re: huiray

      Oh, it's still pretty much called "yàuhjagwái" in Cantonese-speaking Kuala Lumpur, and "you char kway" in Hokkien-speaking Klang, Penang or Singapore. I used "you-tiao" as its Mandarin monicker seemed more recognizable in the official media in Singapore, and also when we spoke in Mandarin amongst colleagues back in Singapore. I'm still trying to make the transition to speaking Cantonese here in KL (I used to live in HK for a few years in the 1990s) but keep lapsing into Mandarin whenever I opened my mouth :-(

      Interesting write-up on the humble "you-tiao" on the Wikipedia:

      "The Cantonese name yàuhjagwái literally means "oil-fried devil" and, according to folklore, is an act of protest against Song Dynasty official Qin Hui, who is said to have orchestrated the plot to frame the general Yue Fei, an icon of patriotism in Chinese culture. It is said that the food, originally in the shape of two human-shaped pieces of dough but later evolved into two pieces joined in the middle, represents Qin Hui and his wife, both having a hand in collaborating with the enemy to bring about the great general's demise. Thus the youtiao is deep fried and eaten as if done to the traitorous couple. In keeping with the legend, youtiao are often made as two foot-long rolls of dough joined along the middle, with one roll representing the husband and the other the wife"


    2. Back to Klang to try another popular bak kut teh restaurant last weekend. This one's located in an area which the locals call Batu Tiga Lama. Weng Heong's bak kut teh is served in large claypots, and usually comes with an interesting mix of pork ribs, pig's intestines, pork balls, golden needle mushrooms, button mushrooms, tofu puffs, beancurd sheets, beancurd sticks & lettuce leaves, with the requisite yau char-kwai and lard-flavored rice on the side. I like this way of enjoying bak kut teh more, as I'm not really a "meat" person & preferred non-meat items in the claypot. The soup stock was herbal, but not overpowering.

      My friends also ordered an interesting side-dish - stewed sea cucumbers - small ones were used here, but very tasty as it's been slow-cooked in pork-flavored sauce for long hours till the flavors intensified.

      Address details
      Weng Heong Restaurant
      28-30, Jalan 5, Kawasan 16
      Taman Intan
      Klang, Selangor
      Tel : 012-382 4408

      5 Replies
      1. re: klyeoh

        Very interesting, thanks.

        Hmm, not much actual soup actually given, according to the pics. Is this usual in the BKT places nowadays? I would be upset if I didn't get lots of soup (whether medicinal or not) to drink/slurp.

        1. re: huiray

          Yes, it does seem to be a practice in Malaysia these days to fill the vessel up (whether claypot or large serving bowl) with meats & other ingredients these days, but not much of the soup itself. But one only needs to ask for replenishment of the soup, which any restaurant will give free-of-charge anyway.
          Apparently, bak kut teh has evolved to become more of a "meat dish" than a "soup" these days!

          1. re: klyeoh

            That's specific only to the Klang style which is more like a braise and the soup more like gravy. If you go to some of the KL ones in Imbi you get more soup with a more medicinal taste.

            1. re: mikey8811

              Come to think of it, mikey8811, you're right with regards to the "medicinal taste" - I found Klang's bak kut teh to be a bit lacking in that particular characteristic which I'd associate with Hokkien-style bak kut teh.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Back in the 60's/70/s there was a stall on one of the upper levels of a car park in KL that my father & I frequented, which sometimes had two pots of BKT, one medicinal and the other not at all (i.e. no tong kwai etc) and sometimes just the non-medicinal BKT would be available if memory serves me right. Good stuff. Lots of soup. You could order just pork ribs (pai kuat), or meaty ribs (yook kuat) with or without tofu puffs - and you would get said meat cut alone, in a clear, clean-tasting broth (lots) fragrant with just the requisite spices & garlic without any medicinal overtones. Plain rice served, if you wanted it. In fact, various other places around KL also served the soupy non-medicinal variety. Many people did not like the medicinal-tasting variety from what I remembered the vendors saying and thus they prepared the appropriate variety for their clientele. You found this simpler variety in Klang too. The multi-component BKT with everything but the kitchen sink was around but not overwhelmingly so by any means, and often the non-meat stuff (intestines, etc) if you wanted it was served separately in its own bowl of soup or on a plate - both in KL and in Klang, IIRC.
                (p.s. We went down to Klang frequently on account of family, at least twice a month)

      2. Like all Klang bak kut teh spots, this outlet serves up the flavours of Hokkien cooking from Yongchun County, Fujian province. The Yongchun-Hokkiens (in Minnan dialect, they call themselves "Eng Choon") also make the most flavoursome yam rice which goes well with the bak kut teh.