Friday, January 12, 2007
Yut Kee Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur
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.
They 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.
Digested at 12:46 PM
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