Friday, January 12, 2007

Yut Kee Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur

Chicken Chop

My co-workers' description of this place (36 Jalan Dang Wangi, 2698-8108) was a bit confusing at first. They said that their chicken chops (apparently the main reason for coming here) were very authentically Hokkien and yet also prepared for Westerners. That didn't seem to make sense to me, and they told me that I had to come down myself to see what they meant. I hope they weren't taking me to some tourist trap.

It definitely wasn't any tourist trap. This hole in the wall was packed at lunchtime with local office workers, and turned out to be a Chinese place (which meant pork being listed a the top of the menu despite being in a Muslim country). So what was this Western/Hokkien thing all about? I was told that the local Chinese used to cook "Western food" for the British colonialists...hence, the potato wedges and sides of peas and carrots here. And yet when the local Hokkien wanted to eat the same thing, they preferred to douse gravy all over it, as that was what they were accustomed to. I got a bit worried about bastardization as a result, but fortunately, I didn't mind it too much. The meat was tender and generally tasty, and the gravy wasn't too intrusive. Sure, it reminded me a bit of cafeteria slop from elementary school (so I'm pretty sure that I won't make my own way back here again), but I'm glad I came as I guess it was an "authentic" representation of what the local Hokkien population would eat when it came to such things. It was a bit of an interesting history lesson too.

Kaya ToastThey also had some kaya toast here, although it was more brown in color than the green stuff I'm used to seeing. Apparently the green color comes from the use of pandan leaf, which was not used here. I suppose this was a bit less fragrant as a result too, although I really couldn't tell the difference. This still tasted fine to me. Don't bother getting the char siew at this shop though...unless you prefer yours to be very lean and thinly cut. I prefer to save my char siew time for Meng Kee on Tengkat Tong Shin instead.

6 comments:

Kng Suan said...

FYI, the brown colour of the kaya comes from frying the sugar, ie. Caramelising it. Brown kaya is otherwise known as Nonya Kaya, while green kaya is known as pandan kaya.

Anonymous said...

Hokkiens don't make Western food for the British. The Hainanese does it.

poach said...

The Hainanese tend to be the cooks and Yut Kee should be a Hainanese rather than Hokkien place, if I'm not wrong. I really liked the Hainanese noodles here.

Still, "Westernised" food is a Hainanese specialty alongside Hainanese chicken rice.

bma said...

Yeah, I think you guys are right. I probably heard one "H" and mistook it for the other. Thanks for the correction!

Anonymous said...

Yup, that's definitely Hainanese Chicken Chop. I should know, I'm Hainanese!

andresloft said...

yup. it's a hainanese style, and i've been there myself.

if you ever go there again, try their hainanese noodle. it's almost like the lor mee, malaysian style.

also, try the roti babi...