Friday, February 18, 2011

Klang BKT Under The Bridge

Klang is perhaps the bak kut teh capital in this county. Talk about BKT and inevitably Klang comes into the picture. They say the best BKT in Klang is found "below the bridge". I had always wondered about this place below the bridge. Heard so much about it and I hadn't the faintest idea where it was.

We finally got there one day. My nephew goggled "bak kut teh under the bridge" and found out that the name of the shop is Seng Huat. He read that the shop does business in 2 sessions - early morning to 12 noon and from 5 pm till 8pm. I could not believe that a BKT eatery would close so early at noon. Anyway, armed with my Garmin and with only about 45 minutes to spare before noon, we drove to Klang. We took a wrong turn and briefly got ourselves lost in Klang in spite of my GPS. We drove up the Jalan Tengku Kelana bridge instead of the side road below it.

When we finally arrived at the place just a few minutes after noon, they were just about sold out. The lady in the shop said she would dish out whatever she had. Later, I saw her turning away customers. Thus I guessed whatever she served us were really from the bottom of her pots.

Seng Huat is located on Jalan Raya Timur and is a short walk from the Klang railway station - co-ordinates N3 02.612 E101 26.895. It is at the corner of a row of shops adjacent to the Jalan Tengku Kelana bridge. The shop is not exactly below the Jalan Tengku Kelana bridge, but near enough.

The shop is very modest. It has a outside dining area which is below the pedestrian walk-up bridge that connects Jalan Raya Timur to Jalan Tengku Kelana. So I guess "under the bridge" is not an entirely wrong description of the shop that so many people refer to.

Along the wall were some newspaper cuttings and old pictures of food personalities and politicians, some of whom I could readily identify.

We sipped our tea....

... and soon after, the food arrived in a deluge. Bowls and bowls of mouth watering BKT inundated our table. Gosh, there were only 7 of us. Were we going to finish the lot?

And finished we did. In fact, at the end of it we wanted more. The BKT was not like any I have tasted. It was heaven. To start with, the soup was different. It was thick and so very delicious. It was in-between a gravy and a soup, not too oily yet so smooth. The herbs in it were aromatic and had a real nice aftertaste. The meat was not overcooked and still was tender and succulent. 

The trotters were simply great. Sinful? Recent reports say that pig trotters are rich in collagen and is a good anti-aging agent. Good reason to indulge more!

This BKT meal was easily one of the best I had - if not the best. This is what BKT is all about. The "place under the bridge" had indeed lived up to its reputation. And I hungered for more.

Before long, I was back there again. This time, I returned with a different set of nephews. And we made it a point to get there early. This second meal was even more satisfying. Simply because we had a better variety. Like this bone meat..

And the intestines and tripe.

The chicken feet was very good too.

I walked over the serving counter to talk to this nice guy (sorry, forgot to get his name). I asked him why he only served meat in the shop, and there was no vege, no mushroom, no fu chuk (腐竹), no tofu (豆腐) and other accompaniments in his BKT. He said they want to maintain the authenticity of their BKT. Adding the accompaniments would alter the flavor. He also said that the ingredients of their soup, which makes their BKT so very good, is a family secret and that nobody in Klang has been able to duplicate their recipe.

I pointed to a Chinese newspaper cutting on his wall that reported that they were the first BKT shop in Klang. He was very modest. He would not stake the claim. He just said that he was the 3rd generation in the business and that the shop was established by his grandfather. He estimated the business to be about 80 years old.

Wikipedia says that BKT was introduced to Malaysia by Chinese workers in the 19th century. Perhaps Klang was the place where they first introduced it. Was Seng Huat one of the earliest BKT shop in Klang or the country? So, did we had the original BKT? Yes or no, it certainly was yum!

So much BKT. This blog is killing me.

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