Saturday, 2 March 2013
Ah Loong Bak Kut Teh in Masai, Johor Bahru
Bryan (of Food & Fun Johor) brought Ian and I to Masai to show us Ah Loong Bak Kut Teh, his favourite BKT shop since his childhood.
Ah Loong BKT is located just at the edge of the Pasir Gudang industrial area, and had been here for over 20 years. In this part of Johor Bahru, Ah Loong is the most established and oldest BKT shop. The sun bleached signboard is testimony to Ah Loong's vintage in JB BKT genealogy.
The boss, Ah Loong, has many regular Japanese customers who work in the factories in nearby Pasir Gudang. I heard Ah Loong speaking with them in fluent Japanese!
If you are expecting BKT, the likes of downtown favourites like Ah Soon and Soon Huat, you are in for a surprise. Unlike the uptown boys, Ah Loong's BKT has only very slight herbal notes and has a distinct refreshing taste of fresh green vegetables. Uniquely, Ah Loong uses a lot of celery in his BKT broth. I would even describe Ah Loong's BKT as vegetable soup with pork ribs added. Ah Loong also added Chinese cooking wine to the soup. Though this is definitely not the usual Teochew BKT commonly found in downtown JB, I liked this.
Ah Loong took a lot of trouble to ensure his pork ribs are fresh, very well cleaned and cooked to perfection. Ah Loong personally handles all the cooking to ensure perfection in his BKT.
Fats are removed as much as possible so that you won't see much if any fat on the bone and the broth doesn't have that off putting, oily sludge.
Bryan loved this tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs so much that he ordered another serving which we gladly helped him finish without any invitation :P
The pork intestines were also very well cleaned and had all the fats painstakingly snipped off. Sweet, tender with savoury, slight bitter taste.
I loved braised dishes. I especially love Ah Loong's braised pork and radish.
The thick chunky radish slices, infused with savoury braising sauce had a squishy, melon like mouth feel. Each bite released spurts of savoury juices gushing onto the longing taste buds. I love this.
The braised meat too was no slouch in taste. The braised meat was tender, savoury, sweet and creamy when chewed with the fat and skin.
The crunchy preserved mustard was tangy, sweet and savoury.
I will plan trips to Ah Loong's BKT because of his unique vegetable soup BKT.
Restaurant name: Kedai Makanan Loong
Address: 32, Jalan Ara 2, Taman Rinting, Masai, Johor Bahru
Hours: 7:30am to 2:00pm
Date visited: 1 Mar 2013