One of Malaysia’s greatest strengths that REALLY needs rebranding is its food. We have some of the best foods in the world, and patenting them is going to do more harm than good. However, rebrand them and shout to the world that Malaysia’s the reason these foods exist, and watch the tourist arrivals soar.
Bah Kut Teh is one example. I know a few people haev said that the dish has its origins in China, but we’re the ones who’ve turned this soupy dish into an artform. Klang, for one, is known for their wet BKT (wet in this instance means it’s got a lot of soup, while dry BKT is more of a gravy pork dish). It’s legendary.
BKT isn’t a dish that’s hard to do. At it’s most basic, it’s pork meat in a dark brown broth (often salty) served with rice, chilli padi for the spicy people, and bitter Chinese tea. However, it’s so easy to get this dish wrong, because of so many factors.
I had BKT like I haven’t had in a long time (even if I do visit this shop from time to time). It’s the one they call under the Railway bridge (really, that’s what people know it as).
They’re stingy with the soup (most places give you free refills) and they’re a bit on the pricey side, but DAYUM! Do they know how to make a good BKT!
As I mention before, the basic ingredients of Bah Kut Teh are rice, soup and tea. Most places tend to focus on just one or the other, which makes the meal a bit challenging because most tend to gravitate to the shop with the best soup. After all, the rice and tea are merely so you have something to eat the soup with.
Not with this place. The rice, when taken plain, is hard. The cold tea, bitter. The soup, not that salty. Combine them together, and WOW! The hard rice absorbs the soup well, giving rise to this explosion of flavour in the mouth. The bitter tea cleanses the palate for you to ring it anew.
Now that’s what I call Bah Kut Teh. :D