Normally associating good Bak Kut Teh with Klang, or Subang Jaya, or even Kepong, (OK, don't throw tantrum yet if your favourite BKT is not mentioned. Where else?) one wouldn't even think of savouring hearty Bak Kut Teh in good old Ipoh.
But things started to pick up recently. Remnants of shattered BKT fairytale seems a little distant now (you should hear, or rather, read some of my previous mishaps, in some of Ipoh's BEST BKT .... but more on those in later posts. Or in the next life. Hah!).
Anyway, on June 20th (if I'm not mistaken ... very hard to memorize conversations nowadays. grey matter seeping out like no tomorrow), Good Taste Chef Restaurant opened its doors to the fidgety/choosy community of foodies in Ipoh.
Shades of the original BKT from Klang, with dark soy sauce as condiment. But sadly lacking in terms of oil drizzled on the rice.
The restaurant is located at the glitzy new Glamour Square in Bercham of Ipoh. The dining area is separated into two sections, the air-conditioned indoors which can seat a sizeable crowd, or one can choose to dine al fresco on the outside. Not a very smart choice, considering the warmer than usual weather, paired with the unsuspecting rainfall.
Brimming with ingredients. ... almost overflowing. The soup can be replenished for free without limit, hence no worries if your claypot runs dry.
Priding itself to serve Klang's authentic BKT, they are in fact a branch from the original at Jalan Kapar, Klang, and another branch at Kepong.
The menu (yes, a MENU) is extensive, covering the usual claypot style of BKT, whereby you can choose your favourite cuts of meat (there is even a diagram of a pig, with different parts highlighted and labelled! how cute & educational), OR you can choose to have your BKT in a bowl (remember Seng Huat's, anyone?), with a serving of BIG bone, or SMALL bone.
No idea what they are? Don't fret, every single item is vibrantly photographed and displayed in the menu, so you don't have to guess what in the world they are.
They're running a promotion now, slashing prices off their set meals. A set for 2-3 pax is priced at RM25.50, which includes a claypot of Bak Kut Teh, a claypot of curry fish, a serving of blanched vegetables, rice and Chinese tea.
Let's see how the BKT at Good Taste Chef stacks up against the REAL Klang Bak Kut Teh. The soup is thicker, wholesome and more flavourful (with heavier tinge of herbs) than the average watery, diluted BKT commonly cooked up elsewhere. The cuts of half fat-half lean pork meat, and ribs were complemented with sides of 'foo chook' (beancurd sheets), lettuce, and the optional You Tiao/Yau Char Kwai/Cruellers (RM1.50). Other than the You Tiao being slightly salty, the entire claypot of goodies came out pretty satisfying. And extra brownie points for the omission (or extremely low level) of MSG, or flavour enhancer. Least we did not reach for our tea like thirsty camels at the end of the meal .....
The curry fish was piquant, sour and resembled assam curry in stead of the usual lemak version. But equally as good, though they could improvise on the annoying boney bits. Almost every chunk of fish came with a tiny (or not so tiny) piece of bone. Hmm ... I wouldn't want to spoil my dining experience with spitting out bones every few seconds.
Good Taste Chef also offers various side dishes, from vinegar pork trotter to meat balls, as well as braised chicken feet, and pig's offals/intestines in BKT soup base. The chicken feet was delicious, the gelatinous parts seeping into the dark, slightly spicy broth, resulting in a gooey and thick gravy. Too much gravy for the rice ensued, with the BKT, and curry already drenching my bowl.
And a plate of compulsory greens. Else you won't be running to the washroom anytime soon. ;)
Verdict? STILL a notch below my favourite Teluk Pulai's Bak Kut Teh , but definitely one of the better ones in Ipoh. This place CAN go far, if only their promotional sets continue. Hehehe, I'm all for cheap foods in Ipoh, hence don't laugh ......
Note : The Bak Kut Teh comes in DRY version as well. So, another reason to throw caution to the wind, and pig out at Good Taste Chef!
Location : Good Taste Chef @ PT187104 (8G and 9G), Glamour Square, Persiaran Selatan 20, Taman Bercham, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel No : 05-547 1219.
Opening hours : 10.00am - 3.00pm, and 6.00pm - 10.00pm.
Closed on Mondays.
Here's a GOOGLE MAP of the place.