Get In Me But Don’t Make Me Fat! – Kiang Kee Bak Kut Tea Restaurant 强记早市肉骨茶

We started our journey at dawn and were now in Johor on the way to Kota Tinggi.

We started our journey at dawn and were now in Johor on the way to Kota Tinggi.

Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh is located along the main road from Kota Tinggi town to Mersing. It's just about 1.6km before the junction to Sedili Besar.

Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh is located along the main road from Kota Tinggi town to Mersing.
It’s just about 1.6km before the junction to Sedili Besar.

You start the ball rolling by placing your order here.

Kev started the ball rolling by placing our order here.

They start to heat up your orders over charcoals - a rare sight in Singapore.

They started to heat up our orders over charcoals – a rare sight in Singapore.

The place may be in the middle of nowhere but they sure are well organised.

The place may be in the middle of nowhere but they sure are well known.

All the staff wear uniforms except for the bosses who also serve, talk about hands on.

All the staff are dressed in Kiang Kee’s logo-ed Tees except for the bosses who also serve, talk about hands on.

See the guy in yellow sleeveless T? The way he ate inspired me with great expectations!

See the guy in yellow sleeveless T? The way he ate inspired me to have great expectations of my meal.

After this fellow in green T started snapping away, I felt better clicking too ;-)

After this fellow in green T started snapping away, I felt less awkward standing up to click at my food.

Let's check on my order.

Let’s check on our order.

Bah Kut Teh - what I came for!

Bah Kut Teh – what I came for!

Almost boiling... let's look at other patrons' dishes on the stoves.

Almost boiling… let’s look at other patrons’ dishes on the stoves.

Claypot galore.

Claypot galore.

Bean puffs.

Beanpuffs fast stewing process in dark soy based herbal stock.

Pig's tripe (stomach) in white peppery soup.

Pig’s tripe (stomach) in white peppercorns soup.

Coming to a boil soon...

Braised pork knuckles coming to a boil soon… Are you excited yet?

Braised pork knuckles at boiling point. Time to serve this dish.

Braised pork knuckles at boiling point. Time to serve this dish.

Breakfast is served... Yay!!!

Breakfast is served… Yay!!!

More dishes to come.

More dishes to come.

Now this is what I call BIG breakfast.

Now this is what I call BIG breakfast. Stand aside MacDonald’s…

Bah Kut Teh - pork ribs in strong herbal brew.

Bah Kut Teh – pork ribs in strong herbal brew.

Bah Kut Teh in Malaysia is dark in colour with the addition of more dark soy sauce and Chinese herbs.

Bah Kut Teh in Malaysia is dark in colour with the addition of more dark soy sauce and Chinese herbs.

This dish has been slow cooked until the herbs are infused into the meat and bones.

This dish has been slow cooked until the herbs are infused into the meat and bones.

Can't make out what is this?

Can’t make out what is this?

They are chewy pieces of pig's stomach.

They are delicious pieces of pig’s stomach. Nothing to yuck about!

You can never forget to order "you char kway" aka Chinese cruellers aka "youtiao" when you eat BKT.

You can never forget to order “you char kway” aka Chinese cruellers aka “youtiao” when you eat BKT.

Stewed salted vegetables or mui choy is also a must with BKT meal.

Stewed salted vegetables or mui choy is also a must have side dish with BKT meal.

This is not standard fare in BKT meal but what the heck! Malaysia is known for their chunky fish meat otah and I love otah otah.

This is not standard fare in BKT meal but what the heck!
Malaysia is known for her chunky fish meat otak and I love otak otak.

We seem to be missing something.

We seem to be missing something…

Ah yes! Chinese Tea! We ordered Cha Wang (Tea King) aka Tea King Monkey Chief, Tea King Monkey King, Tea King Monkey Tea. The taste is wonderfully complex. It has a smooth mouthfeel, taste nutty at first sip and the sweetness of this tea slowly reveals itself as you continue to drink it. The liquor also has a lingering, sweet aftertaste with a hint of flowery overtones. Am I describing wine?

Ah… yes! Chinese Tea! We ordered Cha Wang (Tea King) also known as the Tea King Monkey Chief, Tea King Monkey King or Tea King Monkey Tea.

The taste is wonderfully complex. It has a smooth mouthfeel, taste nutty at first sip and the sweetness of this tea slowly reveals itself as you continue to drink it. The liquor also has a lingering, sweet aftertaste with a hint of flowery overtones. Am I describing wine?

The taste was wonderfully complex. It had a smooth mouthfeel, taste nutty at first sip and the sweetness of this tea slowly revealed itself as I continued to drink it. The “liquor” from the fermenting process also had a lingering, sweet aftertaste with a hint of flowery overtones.
Am I describing wine?

Because I am always busy clicking away and not eating. My dear friend put something on my bowl before the goodies are gone.

Because I am always busy clicking away and not eating. My dear friend put some of everything on my bowl before the goodies are gone.

I love it when my bowl runneth over ;-)

I love it when my bowl runneth over 😉

More please :D

More please. Now I sound like Oliver Twist 😀

All gone...

All gone…

Had our second round of tea and it's time for us to journey on to Malacca.

Had our second round of tea and it’s time for us to journey on to Malacca.

A satisying meal indeed!

A satisying meal indeed!

Don't take my word for it... Look at his face and judge for yourself. Don't you think he's eating orgasmically?

Don’t take my word for it… Look at his face and judge for yourself.

Look at his face and judge for yourself. Don't you think he's eating orgasmically?

Don’t you think he’s eating orgasmically?

This place operates from 7.30 am to 12 am or until sold out, whichever comes first.

This place operates from 7.30am to 12nn or until sold out, whichever comes first.

A haven for BKT lovers.

A haven for BKT lovers.

The sign read: Kiang Kee does not have any branch. They are closed on Mondays.

The sign read: “Kiang Kee does not have any branch. We are closed on Mondays.”

The cost of our meal in Malaysian ringgit.

The cost of our meal in Malaysian ringgit.

Recap of what we had for MYR46.

Recap of what we had for MYR46.

When my friend told his friends that he was going to Johor, a fishing enthusiast told him we must stop by Kota Tinggi to eat the famous BKT (Bak Kut Teh). We had no idea how famous this place was until we witnessed the continous turnover of local (Malaysians) and Singaporean patrons that morning!

Kiang Kee Bak Kut Tea Restaurant 强记早市肉骨茶 is located along the main road from Kota Tinggi town to Mersing. It took us about 45minutes to an hour to reach here from Singapore. For this ocassion, the owl (me) turned into lark 😉

We nearly missed the “restaurant” when I casually highlighted to Kev that “there’s a BKT to your right” and he smoothly manouevered his car to a stop. He checked his iPhone text message and informed me that this was our destination. Obscured by trees and cars, we could have easily missed this place without a second look had I not been on the lookout.

We were the only Singaporean car that morning but I noticed quite a few from Johor Bahru (from their number plates). As this was our first visit, we had a little trouble with the ordering procedure. Luckily, the friendly lady told us we should proceed to the counter to place our orders.

We a took a corner seat for about 10 minutes before the food started to stream in piping hot! A strong whiff of Chinese herbs scented the air as the server laid the BKT on our table. Later as I was snapping away, Kev took a sip of the herbal broth and exclaimed he has never had it so good! So what’s the big deal I asked before tasting the broth… I think I felt the earth shook!

Firstly, the meat was cooked traditional style. The ribs had just right amount of tenderness with enough texture for me to chew on. The herbal fragrance was strong but not bitter. We had an extra order of crispy deep-fried beanskin (fu chok) for this dish. Kev asked if I have had this kind of soup before and if they were comparable. I told him I had herbal BKT (Singapore’s BKT is clear broth with lots of pepper and very little herb, if any) in Kuala Lumpur and this was comparable to those in Pasang or Klang’s BKT. In fact, on retrospect as I write this post, I think I like this a teeny weeny bit better.

I’m regarded as an unhealthy eater; I like organ meats, fatty stuff, all the high calorie foods you can think of. To me, fat is flavour. I am learning to eat in moderation so I may live longer in order to enjoy more goodies. Our next dish the pig’s tripe (stomach) soup was not too peppery (unlike the Singapore version) but the soft yet chewy texture was something I could die for. One could treat this as facial exercise and look a few years younger without any cosmetic refreshment.

The youtiao was nothing to shout about yet not one to loathe at. They were not crispy like those served for breakfast with kopi-O but firm enough to serve its purpose. These are dunking “donuts” to be dunk into the soup before popping into your mouth. We almost finish everything in this bowl too but I had to restrain myself from too much carbohydrate consumption.

Kev asked what’s the brown cube in the salted vegetables. I scrutinised it from afar and told him nonchalantly, pork fat. He had to ask why… because it’s flavoursome that’s why.

Chucking a big piece of the spicy otak into my mouth, the heat of the spice stung me at first. As the sensation on my tongue recovered, I could taste a rich aroma of the spices and smooth coconut egg custard with meaty pieces of fish. Definitely one of the best otak I have eaten, enhanced with a slight springy texture. I have to get the contact of this supplier, Otak Otak Ah Boon! Where are you?

The Chinese tea we had was not the finest crafted tea leaves but they did a good job “washing” away the fatty meal (Chinese believes that drinking tea helps metabolise fats in diet and hence the popular craze of green tea [long jing – dragon well] sold as slimming tea especially in USA).

To say that Singaporeans eat to live is an understatement. Singaporeans are one of the most passionate when it comes to food. The proof is in the driving!

Was the long and winding drive from Singapore to Kota Tinggi to eat at this attap dwelling (wooden houses with nypa fruticans or nipa palm known as attap [Singapore], nipa [Philippines], buah atap [Indonesia] and buah nioa [Malaysia] with early 1900s kampong architecture) worth it? Kev gave a resounding YES!

Happy day tripping 🙂

To compare Malaysia and Singapore’s style of BKT, click here.

Do you know the way to Kiang Kee BKT? It's N1.82772 E103.95845

Do you know the way to Kiang Kee BKT?
It’s N1.82772 E103.95845
Click on this photo to be navigated to Google map.

Kiang Kee Bak Kut Tea Restaurant 强记早市肉骨茶
Batu 8 ½, Jalan Mawai,
Kota Tinggi.
81900 Johor.
Malaysia.
Operating Hour: 7.30am to 12nn (or until sold out).
Tel : +607 8821290

I revisited Kiang Kee after 5 years!
See post here: KIANG KEE BAK KUT TEA (TEH) 强记肉骨茶 – STILL YUMMILICIOUS AFTER 5 YEARS!

Comments
15 Responses to “Get In Me But Don’t Make Me Fat! – Kiang Kee Bak Kut Tea Restaurant 强记早市肉骨茶”
  1. Passion says:

    Wonderful post my friend 😀

  2. Peter Archbold says:

    I think I have a face like that guy when I eat BKT as well!

  3. Laura Lynn says:

    Ohhhhh, I want a plane ticket! You make me feel like I was there but I can’t taste THE FOOD! ( I tried licking my iPad but nothing, nada…) great post! Keep them coming, I love every one!

  4. lignumdraco says:

    Looks like very good value for the money.

    • Sam Han says:

      Malaysian street restaurant cuisine is always value for money but their hawker centres are not so much in comparison. I love eating in these set-ups, nostalgia welling up, hehehe…

  5. johorkaki says:

    Very loving post about this great place. Really enjoyed your post. Need to revisit and redo my own post after reading this. :))

  6. renxkyoko says:

    With all that super amazing food, how come asians are not fat?

  7. Geez it looks so good, how could you be taking pictures instead of eating? I’d salivate all over my lense.

    • Sam Han says:

      Took the pictures before the food came and after devouring them, lol… The crowd keeps coming and so plenty of chances to take photos 😉

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