Sunday, May 09, 2010

Hainanese Yut Kee

Yut Kee is probably one of the best known Hainanese coffee shop in Kuala Lumpur. It has been featured in many magazines and much has been written about it in blogs and websites. I googled it and the list was endless.

This makan place is located on Jalan Dang Wangi in KL. It is at the corner of a row of old shop houses. Getting there is easy, It is not too far and on the opposite side of the road from the Dang Wangi police station. Around it are ample parking places.

The proprietor (with dark t-shirt, white collar below) told me that his shop is 82 years old. It was set up in 1928 and apparently over the decades nothing very much has changed. 

It is a family business that has been handed down to him through several generations.

There are several things in the shop that are legacies of its historical past. Like this antique safe..

... and this fan and radio.

The place is often packed and sharing a table with some strangers is the norm.

The place serves a good variety of food. The choices are all written on the wall.

Perhaps their most famous and popular offering is the roast pork roll. It is pork belly, rolled and roasted with the skin to a perfect golden brown.

It was served with an apple sauce, in thin slices. The skin was absolutely fabulous - crispy and aromatic. The meat was soft and succulent and does not have too much fat. Roast pork par excellence. 

I had a bowl of beef noodle in soup (牛肉麵). It was good with plenty of beef together with diakon radish. The soup was just nice - very pleasant. The only problem I had was that they did not use the normal yellow mee. Instead they have the fat mee which really is not suitable for beef.


The roti babi (pork bread) was delicious. It was pork with onion stuffed in a baked bun. The pork stuffing was very well done and the bread was oven fresh.

We also ordered a plate of char siew rice (叉烧). Nothing much to write about. Quite ordinary.

The beef curry mee was rather oily. But it was delicious. The curry was thick and rich. The portion of beef was generous. Again, the mee was not suitable. The normal yellow mee would had been ideal.

The Hainanese mee was great. It was fried with good portions of pork, fish cake, vegetable and topped with nice big pieces of chu yaw char (猪油渣). The lard in the noodle was very evident and that made it really delicious.

We also had a plate of fried mee sua (面线). It was another plate of worthwhile delicious noodles.

No visit to a Hainanese coffee shop would be complete without the kaya toast. It was old coffee shop bread, served with a small tub of butter and kaya.

The place also serves a nice kaya roll. I like the rolls very much. It is soft and fluffy. The kaya complements the roll very well. But it must be eaten fresh. After a couple of days, its goodness diminishes. We normally tar pau it back whenever we go there.

Yut Kee is an heritage of sort. This is a true bred Hainanese coffee shop. There are not many places like this left in the country. While it is still around, it is to be appreciated and enjoyed. I hope it will be around for another 82 years.

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