This is review #9 out of a 13-Part Food Blog Post Series from my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from the 4th – 9th August 2011 🙂
Restoran Sun Fong Bak Kut Teh was just around the corner too, so we didn’t have to go very far at all. It was situated right in the middle of “Medan Imbi” where a lot of restaurants and shops are located in the Bukit Bintang area. It had a very local “feel” to it – like a kopitiam but more restaurant styled compared to individual stalls. In Malaysia, these restaurants are quite common – and most of the time you’ll actually find the best local cuisines are sold in these type of restaurants. You’re not quite eating in the streets – but you’re not quite dining in luxury either. It is a true Malaysian local restaurant experience 🙂
|Special Tasty Sugar Cane|
To start off with drinks, I ordered the “Special Tasty Sugar Cane” drink which surprisingly had a lot of floating things in it. I wasn’t sure what they were (except for the carrot) but I am guessing those “floating things” were meant to enhance the natural flavors of the sugar cane juice? I’m not sure… nevertheless it was a delicious and refreshing drink so I ended up ordering a second one!
|Bak Kut Teh|
Bak Kut Teh is a popular Chinese soup directly translated as “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. However, 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 (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, with varying amounts depending on the variant. Garnishings include chopped coriander or green onions and a sprinkling of fried shallots. Bak Kut Teh is generally served with steamed white rice. (Source: Wikipedia)
The Bak Kut Teh was absolutely spot on. The soup itself had all the flavors of the various herbs and it tasted perfectly authentic like any good Bak Kut Teh should taste. The restaurant staff were also pretty generous to continue to supply us with free top-ups of the Bak Kut Teh soup as we ran out. The meat (in this case mostly Pork Belly) was soft and succulent and have absorbed all the wonderful flavors of the soup. It was so yummy!!
|Dry Bak Kut Teh|
The Dry Bak Kut Teh is something I don’t usually have – but all it means is that you get all the meat without the soup and the flavors are a lot more intense and more of the soy sauce flavors are dominating in this version of the dish. I wasn’t the biggest fan (I prefer BKT with soup!) but as a different type of dish not to be compared to the original BKT at all, it was a delicious dish on its own. Just very different.
|Pig’s Tripe in Pepper Soup|
It requires me to be in a special mood to indulge in this Pig’s Tripe in Pepper Soup dish. The pepper soup itself could get pretty intense (very peppery!) and the thought of eating pig’s tripe don’t always appeal to me. Not a huge fan of a pig’s “spare parts” although I must admit I am not completely put off by it. After all, I’d happily eat parts of a pig’s head on a BBQ! So in this case, because I had other options for food to fill my belly – I decided to skip this dish and let the “older folks” enjoy it. Hehe.
|Steamed Lala (Clams)|
Again, surprisingly I decided not to even try this dish. Perhaps I was too busy eating Bak Kut Teh to really pay attention to this dish. I also just didn’t feel like having shelled seafood. Hey, I’m pregnant – I eat whatever I feel like eating and at that point in time I didn’t feel like having steamed lala. It looks really good now though, feeling quite hungry right now and would kill to have a bowl of steamed lala right in front of me!
|Bean Curd with Minced Pork and Spring Onions|
I love soft bean curd (tofu) especially cooked in oyster sauce with minced pork and spring onions so I was more than happy to indulge in this dish. By then, the BKT was quickly disappearing already anyway so I had time to move on to other dishes, haha! The tofu was delicately soft like custard and the minced pork and spring onions in the sauce was spot on. Absolutely delightful! Again wishing I have this dish sitting right in front of me right now…
Time for some simple stir fried green veggies to balance out the non-green dishes on the table. Fairly standard, nothing too fancy. Greens never really need to be overly fancy anyway as the natural flavors of the vegetables need to be retained in order to keep the nutrients in.
|STEAMED FISH HEAD / TILAPIA FISH WITH GINGER!!!|
Finally, here comes my special highlight of the evening – the STEAMED FISH HEAD / TILAPIA FISH WITH GINGER!! Sorry if I sound over excited, but you know how excited I get over fish head. This particular steamed fish head is my first steamed fish head dish throughout my entire trip to Malaysia too – so I couldn’t contain my excitement. Digging in, my taste buds took over and I was so very satisfied with what I can taste!
Tilapia fish is a locally farmed fresh water fish – so no way can I get this fish in Australia (not fresh anyway). It was perfectly steamed, beautifully soft and melts in your mouth. The sauce itself had a nice ginger flavor to it added with a slight saltiness of the light soy sauce and a hint of sweetness to balance it all. Again, I must stress on the absolute softness of the fish texture! I need to learn how to steam fish like this. I also need to farm fresh tilapia fish in my backyard!
To end my post and gross most of you out, I thought a picture of the delicious, gooey, ENORMOUS fish eye the size of a spoon (also shows you how big the steamed fish head really was) would be appropriate. Aahhh my favorite part of the fish head – as if the fish head itself is not gross enough for most of you! Hehe.
35, 37 & 39, Medan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03 2141 4064
Business hours : 5.00am to 12.00am (midnight) daily