Photo lifted from the internet....thank you to the source, whoever you are. (I think its asiansupermarket.com)
Now a household name, the next natural step was to open an outlet where the public can sample the innovative dishes prepared by the master himself, James Tean (almost like James Dean).
I had heard about the legendary bak kut teh burger, a day before I was due to attend the food review, and was rather excited by the prospect of such an interesting sounding dish. SS2 mall is still new, so parking was easy enough. It was nice to see some old faces, like WMW of UGWUG. We were warmly greeted by Angeline of Integrated Public Relations, the PR company handling J Tean's Kitchen, ...and later on I discovered that Angeline is actually the sister of a good friend of mine. How small is this world.
Lunch reviews are always very decadent, the idea of sneaking away from the office, to stuff your face, and return in a zombified comatosed state of over indulgence. And this time was no different, if not WORSE!
We started off with a couple of soups, a pumpkin soup and a vegetarian bak kut teh (by definition that sounds wrong, maybe just a vegetarian kut teh, bakless), which come served in a dome of puff pastry. Actually puff pastry though delicious, really makes the dish a bit too filling.
Braised Pork buns for starters. Fluffy mantaos (plain buns) with deliciously seasoned pork. Very easy to eat, and hence running the risk of overeating. It's like a deconstructed pao, ...since deconstructed dishes seem to be the craze these days.
The creamy pumpkin, with lots of golden needle enoki mushrooms. My favourite ingredients. And surprisingly, Master Tean says there is no dairy added to the soup, despite its unusually creamy texture.
The Master himself slits open the puff pastry to show us what lies beneath.
The bak-less bak kut teh... a strong flavoured soup, as bak kut teh is meant to be.
Special J Ribs, which have been seasoned and braised for a long time. Moist succulent flesh falling off the bone.
J- Knuckles.... a familiar take on a familiar dish. The crispy skin makes it the selling point, and the chunk of meat is accompanied by a deliciously refreshing coleslaw. This dish actually screams for a beer to accompany it.
J Curry Ribs, with Spaghetti. I'm not sure if I liked the idea of Spaghetti, I would have preferred it with our usual yellow noodles. But the curry ribs itself were good regardless of the accompanying carbo partner.
J-Porky Pie.... he does love his puff pastry. It's quite rare for what is essentially a chinese restaurant to use so much pastry. Slabs of pork belly lie encased in this shell, ...it tastes a bit like the belly pork with salted vegetable, (mui choi kau yoke) in a pie.
The piece de resistance, J Tean's Bak Kut Teh. Actually its served with rice, but I don't have a pic of the rice. Lovely fatty pieces of pork, lean ribs, some pig stomach thrown in for good measure, swimming in a gloriously herbal stock. It's almost comfort food. But as you can imagine, by this time, some of us were starting to oink.
Chicken & Pork Burgers. It was decided during the course of the meal that the burger buns could be replaced with the deep fried man taos, like the signature BKT burger.
The BKT burger. Well, certain to put an end to any immediate craving for a pork burger. I love the fact that the meat in the pate still retains some chunks giving it a nice texture, reassuring you you are not eating some processed gunk. Kidney of a horse, liver of a cat, that kinda thing. Good unadulterated pork.
A cross section of the BKT Burger.
For the non pork lovers, respite is given in the form of this Chicken in Chinese Wine. Confinement food, but hey, isnt confinement food yummy? 4 kids later, I find myself yearning for Vinegar Pork Trotters and Chicken Wine sometimes.
Fried Radish cake... not really my thing, though the batter is nice and flaky.
The pumpkin dessert is almost a sweet version of the savoury soup, with the same rich creamy texture. It's called Golden Beach dessert....conjures up images of its distant cousin, the cocktail names S** on the Beach...
Malacca Rainbow....a bit too sweet for me. But if you have a sweet tooth, go for it.
A bright cheery alfresco area for those wishing to enjoy our tropical weather.
And as of press time, apparently there has been some new items on JTean Kitchen's menu, as shown below:
So head over to SS2 mall for your BKT fix, or pork burger fix. I don't mind going again soon. Any takers?