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If Bak Kut Teh (literally: Meat Bone Tea) is your thing, then you will love this. We took a day trip to Batu Pahat (Johor) in Malaysia specially to eat Bak Kut Teh (BKT) from my favourite BKT joint last Sunday.
To the uninitiated, Bak Kut Teh (Chinese: 肉骨茶) is a popular Chinese soup served in Malaysia and Singapore comprising meaty pork ribs simmered for hours in an intensely flavoured broth of herbs and spices. Despite its name, there is no tea in the dish itself; the name refers to a strong Oolong Chinese tea which is usually served alongside the dish in the belief that the tea dilutes or dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in this pork-laden dish. Bak Kut Teh is usually eaten with rice or sometimes as a noodle soup, and more often than not, it is served with youtiao /yau char kway (strips of fried dough) for dipping into the soup.
The shop I patronise in Batu Pahat is called Shi Wang Bak Kut Teh (食王肉骨茶), within stone’s throw away from Square One Shopping Mall. Featuring very astute interiors, the shop is located in a row of shop-houses facing an open car park. The first thing you will see is an open cooking area with several stoves where Bak Kut Teh dishes are prepare a la minute.
There are generally two versions of BKT broth: peppery or herbal. This version leans more towards the peppery version which doesn’t have an overpowering herbal taste. Also, their signature offering includes pieces of pig’s stomach and intestines. It is also worthy to note that in Malaysia, BKT is served with golden mushrooms, Tau Kee (tofu skin) and black cloud ear fungus, which is an edible jelly fungus, unlike in Singapore where the soup comprises only pork ribs.
I enjoy the food here at Shi Wang Bak Kut Teh (食王肉骨茶) because I find the flavours exceedingly satisfying since the food isn’t too salty or laden with MSG. The broth is infused with a hint of herbs and its slight briny taste comes from having simmered the meaty pork ribs in the soup for hours. The soup’s meaty taste is also nicely contrasted by the chewy Tau Kee pieces and the crunch of the golden mushrooms & fungus, once paired with a bowl of fragrant white rice, makes for the perfect combination of streetside epicurean pleasures.
Also available in the menu is a small selection of a la carte dishes of which we ordered the Fried Sweet Potato Leaves and a Cold Tofu dish.
I am always happy to eat here because of its natural tastes and fresh ingredients – definitely a highly recommended place for anyone who might be in the area or looking for new place to try. Shi Wang Bak Kut Teh (食王肉骨茶) is located at No 8, Jalan Setia Jaya 2A, Taman Setia Jaya,83000 Batu Pahat, Malaysia.
After we topped up our stomachs, we decided to venture in search of the Batu Pahat beach which we found 17km away from Taman Setia in Kampung Minyak Beku, a small seaside village famously known for its chiseled rock – a big rock measuring almost 3metres in size, situated just beside the police station. Legend has it that this big rock was chiselled by the Siamese (Ayudhya) when Siamese soldiers came here by boat to attack Malacca but were defeated by Tun Perak in the 15th century. The chiselled rock then became famous when it replaced the name Bandar Penggaram to Batu Pahat. I didn’t get a picture of the rock but here’s one of three random small rocks. >.<
The road from Batu Pahat town ends aburtly at Kampung Minyak Beku with a series of twisties, perfect for the Triumph Street Triple. But that’s another story for another day. We noticed factories along the way and some 3 or 4 random shops selling basic refreshments. At the jetty there was one stall selling local food and drinks where we ordered a dessert of shaved ice named ABC, acronym for Air Batu Campur (literally Mixed Ice in Malay).
After that, we took the car offroad for a few metres and found a nice spot for a photo opportunity: the perfect end to mark a perfect day trip.
Thanks for reading!