Thursday, March 25, 2010

rou gu cha KING

We arrived in Penang one hot afternoon at about 2.00pm feeling rather hungry and decided to drive straight to the Queensbay Mall to look for food, since it was nearest from the bridge and provided air conditioning comfort. Parking can be a problem at QBM at that time of the day, but we were lucky. A young Malay lass was just leaving and we slotted in nicely.

We were not too fussy that day and spotted this bak kut teh place on the lower ground floor and decided to settle for it. The name of the place was rou gu cha KING (王) - with some additional strokes above the English names. It is the Mandarin pronunciation for bak kut teh.

The place is rather small but comfortable, with a contemporary Chinese decor.

But we were more interested in the food. The menu offers set meals. There were 5 of us. We ordered a BKT set for 4 people and some side dishes to complement.

The set came with 2 pots of BKT - one with soup and the other was dry. Ah... dry BKT! I did not expect to find this in Penang. I still have not returned to Klang for some real nice dry BKT.

Both the wet and dry BKT were just so-so. Cannot match Klang's. Klang is the capital of BKT, so I guess it is not fair to make any comparison or expectation. They were really not too bad but lacked the oomph that we find in Klang. Perhaps it was the hunger, but I did enjoy both the pots.

The set also came with taugeh (which was rather pathetic), yew char kueh, stewed eggs.....


.... and some deep fried dim sum (点心).

The ginger duck was a side dish we ordered to complement the set. It was somewhat salty but otherwise, not too bad in taste. There were 2 duck drumsticks. I found the duck meat rather soft and soggy. I would prefer firmer meat with some texture.

The tofu with braised meat sauce (also a side dish) was OK. Not fantastic. Good enough.
Dessert was gui ling guo (龟苓膏) or Chinese tortoise jelly. They came in 4 little plastic containers. Part of the set meal. It was rather bitter which they try to mask with some sugar syrup. I am no fan at all of this queer Chinese dessert. And that day was no exception.

Lunching at the rou gu cha KING was quite a pleasant experience. It was not so much the quality of the food which was just OK, not fantastic. It was more the variety that they offered with the set meal. I would not had expected stewed eggs with BKT, let alone the deep fried dim sum. The variety did add some colours to the meal.


rou gu cha KING is a small chain of BKT outlets based in Penang. They have a website here. They currently have 3 outlets on Penang island and plan to have outlets in Seberang Prai and Shanghai.

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