Hing Kee Bakuteh

Hing Kee Bakuteh (兴记肉骨茶) is a popular bak kut teh (肉骨茶) shop at Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur. This open-air eatery occupies a peculiar lot at the end of several shops. Due to limited space available, additional dining tables are placed at the back of the kitchen. On occasion, there are also several tables along the alley.
Hing Kee Bakuteh is a family-run business. Bak kut teh is prepared using a traditional blend of Chinese herbs; the composition varies from stall to stall and is a trade secret. Unlike Penang's version, Hing Kee Bakuteh closely resembles the Klang delicacy. The soup is rich in medicinal flavors including an appealing sense of bitterness.
Our claypot of Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶, RM39.00) is served with raw pork ribs (生骨). Typically, pork is stewed for hours so that it absorbs herbal essences from the soup. However, this common approach tends to make the flesh tough and dry. Therefore, the use of raw pork ribs for a change is certainly welcoming. Indeed, the tenderer meat peels off the bones more easily.
Wok-Fried Bak Kut Teh (干炒肉骨茶, RM27.50) is made from the belly (花肉) section of the pig. Although this dish is also the stall's specialty, I feel that it is slightly dry and saltier than what I prefer. This is probably because the pork has been overcooked this round. Anyway, winged beans (四棱豆) are included in this dish.
My personal favorite item today is the Braised Pork Trotter (卤猪脚弯, RM27.50). Cut into cross-sectional slices, pork trotter is a perfect combination of lean meat, fat and jelly-like cartilage. The thick, savory gravy in which pork is braised in is nicely prepared too. Due to high demand for trotters, preordering is highly recommended especially on weekends.
Today's meal is eaten with rice with fried shallots (RM1.50 per bowl). Fried shallots help to improve aroma, but given the fragrance of pork delicacies, only plays a minor role.
As for condiments, bird's eye chili (小辣椒) and garlic are often used to accentuate pork flavors. Also provided are light and dark soy sauces. Of course, Chinese tea is an integral aspect of enjoying bak kut teh.
I am generally satisfied with the food at Hing Kee Bakuteh, although I feel that the waiting time for food (despite having preordered) is quite long. The staff is also slow to respond when they are overwhelmed by the weekend crowd. It has also come to my attention that Hing Kee Bakuteh has another outlet in Kepong which operates at night.
Address: 783, Jalan Ipoh Batu 4 1/2, Taman Impian, 51200 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 012-304-4499
Business hours: 7:00am-2:00pm, closed on Mondays

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