Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh

Feigning fatique, blaming the low water supply in the taps, and wearing my best 'weary and stressed housewife' look, I told Hub that we have to eat out tonight (he prefers home-cooked meals). Men are so gullible. He didn't know that I was at City Mall the whole day, having a great time with a friend at Starbucks and (window) shopping while Wey was sent into some cyber cafe. Of course I came home just before he did and there was nothing on the table.

Syarikat (yes, syarikat) Yu Kee, located in front of Jesselton Hotel on Gaya St., is one of the oldest and most popular bak kut teh (pork ribs in herbal soup) restaurants in KK. There is another good BKT restaurant one block up, called Restaurant Kim Min which was quite good but I wasn't sure if they served veg with their BKT, which is what I wanted. I think we went to the wrong shop. Although Yu Kee was packed onto the sidewalk, I found their BKT hardly tasting of any herbs and the soup was warm instead of piping hot. BKT lovers will tell you that BKT must be served boiling hot. The main reason for the lukewarm soup is because they do not serve the BKT in claypots, which Kim Min does. And the reason Yu Kee doesn't serve their BKT in claypots is when you have customers spilling out onto the streets and standing behind seated customers preying on their tables, there's just no time to heat up those claypots. I think BKT tastes so much better in claypots but it looks like most KK people eating at Yu Kee don't think so.

If the following photos look pale and boring, it's because Yu Kee has these bright warehouse flourescent lights and also Wey and Hub attacked the food so quickly I had to use auto mode to take the pics.
Pork ribs in herbal soup, about RM5 per tiny bowl which is the standard price for most of their BKT dishes.

Belly pork in herbal soup.

Pork liver and kidney in rice wine-herbal soup. Yums.

Pork-dried cuttlefish balls in herbal soup.

Tofu 'boks' .

At last, a plate of greens.

My hub mentioned that West Malaysians disdain Sabah BKT for reasons he can't comprehend. I wondered about that too. After tonight's dinner, I know the reasons. We have grown up eating watered-down BKT. We are used to that standard and can't complain if we can't compare. We also don't get all the trimmings like beancurd sticks, enoki mushrooms and seafood BKT. We can only get BKT for dinner while in West Malaysia, BKT is available even for breakfast (which seems really odd to me), which shows how seriously they take their BKT. I'm not a BKT aficionado so I'm okay with Yu Kee's BKT even though I know a true BKT lover will not approve. Does anyone know of a better place than Yu Kee for BKT in KK??