Friday, October 12, 2007

Grandma's Bak Kut Teh

There are actually quite a few places that serve very good Bak Kut Teh in Kuching. Bak Kut Teh literally means Meat Bones Tea. It's a mixture of different cuts of pork and its other internal edible parts claypot-cooked in herbal soup (would have a range of chinese herbs).NEE: The taste of the soup very much depend on the balance of the herbs.

One similarity I share with Nee is that I am as lazy as she is when it comes to going out driving under the hot sun (11 to 2 pm) to find food. (NEE: CK would not have this prob cause his eyes are small). I know there's something called aircond inside the car, but we are just beyond help. If there is a shop next to our house, we will go there. If they can bring the food to our bed, even better.

Therefore we usually frequent two places for Bak Kut Teh only; one in BDC and the other at Rock Road. Personally I prefer the one at Rock Road. It is easily one of the best Bak Kut Teh places in Kuching. But the signboard can be deceiving.

Grandma say very good, cham pulut!

From the signboard you'd think that Grandma can cook really terror noodles . But they're actually so so only. It's the Bak Kut Teh that rocks!
The first thing that you'd notice about this shop is the strange white board with graphs.

Just in case you're beginning to feel like you're in a Grandma bingo parlour, the white board actually indicates what is sold out and what is not. This is ingenious! The waiters now do not have to do ping pong shouting with the kitchen everytime you order something.

Before white board system:
Greg: Got ribs or not?
Waiter (turning to kitchen): WHEY!!!!! GOT RIBS O NOT?!!!!!!!!
Kitchen: DON"T HAVE!!!! FINISH LIAO!!!!
Waiter (turns back to me): Soli. Finiss liao.

After white board system:
Greg: Got ribs or not?
Waiter: don't have.
Greg: How about the san-chan meat?
Waiter: don't have.
Greg: How about the lean meat?
Waiter: don't have.
Greg: How come everything oso don't have?
Waiter: Aiya. You come earlier next time mah. You come early everything oso got. If don't have, I chop mine for you!

The Bak Kut Teh here has a lighter feel as the herbs are not overpowering (NEE: Less dang gui and more dang shen). The ones at BDC would have a little bit more of a stronger herbal taste, but still nice in its own way. NEE: The Alphabets represent different cuts of the pork, from big bones to soft bones, spare ribs, lean meat to 3 layer meat (pork belly) and the internal parts like stomach, big and small intestines. For a standard one person bowl of bak kut teh, you can choose three items from the alphabets and the dried beancurd, button mushrooms and vegies are complimentary. Per person RM 6.50. Rice with onion oil is separately charged.

They are a few types of side dishes, prices ranging from RM2 to Rm 4. Items like liver, kidney, stir fry vegies and bean sprouts are side dishes. Usually we would order items yew char koay (yu tiao)

and also the skinny string mushrooms. (NEE: Needle mushrooms la)

This time around we also tried the special steam chicken. I don't know what you call it. Nee HELP! (NEE: Baked Salted chicken (Yen Che Zi). Grandma's version is on the herby side. Guess it is to go in line with their usual product). RM 12/half a chicken.

We ordered it because the waiter seemed to be promoting it so confidently. It turned out to be excessively salty. The texture is perfect. The herbs are well balanced. It's actually an excellent dish except that it tasted like it fell into a bucket of salt. See, this is exactly the reason why most of the time we just stick to the same things. (NEE: Yeap, salty side. Baked Salted Chicken is not suppose to be salty. The salt should be separated from the chicken and the smoke from the salt suppose to smoke the chicken and give it a nice flavour. Think they let the salt touch the chicken a bit too much).

And not forgetting the Teh-C-Peng Special Report. ). This is something that I order at every shop that I go to.(NEE: Seriously my hubby is sooo predictable he ordered only Teh C Peng, Teh Tarik or Teh C Peng special wherever he goes). It's basically a magical brew of 3 layers of potion (Atap sugar, Milk & Tea) which manages to stay afloat on top of each other.

Not too bad. Smooth texture. Not too milky, not too tea-ish. Good balance. I like.

One advice when you're eating here: Never order a set for two or three. They'll give you less meat & stuff. Order separately!

Directions: Grandma's noodles is located along Rock Road. It's at the last row of shophouses, next to an apartment building, just BEFORE you reach the junction to Jln Ong Tiang Swee. You can't see it from the roadside. It's in the inner block of shophouses.

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