Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eat to live, live to eat

The subject of food never fails to interest me - especially if it concerns new locations where you can find great tasting food. We Malaysians are willing to go to great lengths to search out that sometimes elusive motherlode of delectable delights. I mean I've heard stories of people who drive all the way to Ipoh early in the morning from Kuala Lumpur just to treat themselves to some dim sum there. That's a two-and-a-half-hour journey! Ridiculous? These people certainly don't think so.

While it is possible to get 'replicas' of those famous foods just about anywhere in Malaysia, there is nothing like the original. That's one statement I can heartily testify to. My in-laws live in the royal town of Klang, where a certain river that runs through Kuala Lumpur gets its name. It's renowned for a few things - like crows. Lots of them. It's also famed for it's seafood. But, as far as I'm concerned, Klang's most famous commodity should be its bak kut teh. It's simply second to none.

Now, you may snicker at this, but trust me, if you even have a slight liking for bak kut teh, even the tiniest, itsy-bitsiest fondnest towards that soupy herbal preparation, then you owe it to yourself to at least drive, fly,walk to Klang and try out the bak kut teh there once. It should be on the "100 things to do before you die" list. Every other bak kut teh I've ever tasted just pales in comparison.

So, when we had bak kut teh for dinner this evening, it was just a foreshadow of the real taste of the real thing when we go back there. My wife said that there was no satisfaction eating the bak kut teh here just now. And I agree. It's not like the bak kut teh was bad (after all, the shop we went to is one of the more famous shops here in town), it's just that we've tasted the best! So, every time the family goes back, my in-laws make it a point that we feast on bak kut teh at least once during our stay.

In case you're wondering, no, chicken just doesn't cut it.

Kota Kinabalu bak kut teh - good, but no where close to Klang's!

p.s. My wife also commented on how different people eat bak kut teh here in Kota Kinabalu and in West Malaysia. I think KK people generally eat their bak kut teh with big chilies, garlic, and a dollop of thick black soya sauce to eat with the dish. However, this doesn't happen in West Malaysia. There is chilli but it's the small variety, and there's not thick soya sauce - only the light one.

Sabahan-style eating with chilli (left) versus West Malaysian-style (right)


maslight said...

You can't get enuff of chili padi man

Miss Mathew said...

I agree tht BKT in Klang is still the best in Msia

chegu carol said...

Err...the BKT here in Keningau serves cili padi and light soy sauce. And thats how i like my BKT to be eaten with. Tiada kick gia tu kalau yg big chili.

Will make it a point to ask Leanne to bring Dwayne and I to this place if we are in KL.

Ann said...

Chegu Carol, it's Klang, not KL. :)

Perry, we shall have bak kut teh for breakkie on Saturday 22 September! Put that in your diary!

ALTing said...

you should give the bak kut teh in sandakan a go... kaw kaw punya ging... very very flavourful...aness

Anonymous said...

AL Ting: Been there, tried that. Still can't beat Klang's.