Restaurant: Kedai Makanan Seng Huat
Last visited: April 24, 2010
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Klang)
9 Jalan Besar (Under the bridge, near the fire brigade station)
Price Range: RM 7.50-10/person (about $2.50-3.30CAD/person)
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 6 (for bak kut teh if you know what it is, but 4.5/6 if you’ve never tried it)
Ambiance: 4 (for what it is!)
Overall: 6 – for authentic bak kut teh
- THE place for the best Bak Kut Teh
- Famous for homemade Bak Kut Teh
- Authentic & traditional Bak Kut Teh
- Only serves Bak Kut Teh
- Hole in the wall
- Extremely local
- Local favourite
- Popular and best for breakfast/brunch
- Not touristy
- Indoor/outdoor seating
- Cheap eats/Budget friendly
- No English
- Open 7:30am-2pm – breakfast/brunch/lunch
- Open 5pm-8pm – dinner
**Recommendations: Arrive early for breakfast or lunch. Bak Kut Teh set meal – RM 7.50-10/person (about $2.50-3.30CAD/person)
Kedai Makanan Seng Huat is the best restaurant to try the best authentic Bak Kut Teh in Malaysia. It’s a popular local favourite and has been around for ages. It’s the most famous place serving the best Bak Kut Teh for Malaysian locals.
Bak Kut Teh is traditionally eaten for breakfast or brunch so we arrived at 10am and it was already packed with locals. I had locals immediately bring me here after specifically requesting authentic and traditional Bak Kut Teh – without hesitation it was the only place for them to go for this local Malaysian specialty.
What is Bak Kut Teh?
Bak Kut Teh is “meat bone tea” but it’s always made with pork so it’s actually pork bone tea. It’s made from meaty pork ribs that are simmered for hours in a herbal Chinese soup broth.
The tea broth or soup is made from tons of garlic, dried dates, ginseng, dried gogi berries, a variety of dried Chinese herbs, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise and fennel seeds.
Chinese dried herbs in bak kut teh include: Angelica sinensis (Chinese herb), Fructus jujubae (dried Chinese dates), Polygonatum ordoatum or Scented Solomon’s-seal (dried flower petals), ginseng root, Rehmania glutinosa, Rhizoma lngustici and other herbs I can barely say let alone spell. They all have powerful medicinal value and health benefits.
It’s one of the most famous authentic Malaysian meals that originated from China. If you’re looking for traditional Malaysian food then Bak Kut Teh is a must try while visiting Malaysia. It’s most commonly and traditionally eaten in the morning (in the olden days in China to give the workers energy).
On the table:
This is the standard Bak Kut Teh menu (Servings for 4)
- Everyone is served a standard portion of steamed rice.
- It’s pretty amazing rice with lots of flavour from the deep fried shallots in it.
- This is a must with bak kut teh because the rice soaks up the soup.
What does Bak Kut Teh taste like?
Bak Kut Teh tastes like a combination of garlic flavoured soy sauce and tea laves. It has a strong tea flavour with so many dried herbs brewed into it. The dried spices add a licorice flavour and the dried dates and gogi berries give it sweetness.
The dominant flavours are salty sweetness from the soy sauce, licorice, followed by a slight bitterness from the herbs. It’s not sour or spicy at all. It’s very aromatic with a rich and bold flavour. It’s delicious with the rice and you can drink the soup by itself.
You are served Bak Kut Teh in 3 forms.
- Bak Kut Teh with pig’s foot.
- This is definitely acquired and not for everyone.
- The meat is actually really tender like pulled pork. It was hands down the most tender of the 3 pork parts they served. The meat just shreds away easily from the bone.
- I just didn’t like the soft and slippery fat around it. It wasn’t that tender but it did add flavour. If you’re a real meat eater than you’ll like the pork from this bak kut teh the best.
- The people who eat pork’s hock at the table did love it!
- Bak Kut Teh with pork spare ribs.
- This one was pork rib with lots of fat. It was quite tender, but not falling off the bone tender like baby back ribs. Spare ribs in this case won’t really do that though.
- Bak Kut Teh with lean pork spare ribs.
- This one was spare ribs with leaner meat and less fat. They’re probably not as flavourful as the other 2, but the slippery fat just doesn’t suit my palette.
- Eggs that are hard boiled in soy sauce and tea leaf base. The flavour absorbs throughout the egg as the egg shells crack during the boiling process.
- I love these things. They’re a popular and traditional side with Bak Kut Teh.
- The sauce the eggs soak in is different from the Bak Kut Teh broth. It’s saltier, sweeter and not as herb tasting or meaty in flavour.
- These are firm pieces of tofu that soak in the same broth as the soy sauce tea eggs.
- See… they DO take care of the vegetarians! Another staple when eating Bak Kut Teh.
- You can add this to your set meal, but we didn’t. I took this picture from someone else’s table with my camera zoom… so excuse the random arm.