Thursday 18 February 2016

Yut Kee Restaurant ~ Jalan Kamunting

Here's a sad fact: I had never been to Yut Kee before I wrote this post as much as my parents are convinced that I've eaten at the old shop before. I must had been very young then, mum and dad. I have no memory of the shop whatsoever. Hearing this, LC and his mum were very determined to bring me there that I was picked up, driven there for lunch then returned to my office on a Friday afternoon.

We arrived at 12.00 noon and LC's mum made a beeline for the last table in the shop. Score!

For the uninitiated, you tell the counter your name and the amount of people in your group then wait out in the terrace for your name to be called when a table is available. This method has been used ever since they set up shop on Jalan Dang Wangi and it ensures a smooth seating allocation.

A quick glance outside at 12.05 noon and the waiting area at the porch was starting to fill up.

I've been told that most of the original shop has been recreated or preserved in this new shop with tiles from the previous shop, the oven for their baked goodies, old photo frames and of course, their way of cooking.

Zoom in to have a better look the menu

Roast pork is only available on Fridays and weekends which explains the crowd and plates of roasted pork slices at every table.

Kopi ping is a reasonable RM1.80 unlike some kopitiams which are charging RM2.40 per glass now! No complaints at how kaw it is.

The star of the show, the roast pork, has a very western herby stuffing with pistachios and peach unlike the Chinese style siew yoke. The flavors from the stuffing had absorbed into the meat ridding it of any 'porky smell' and the skin was crisp.

Despite not having a 'juicy' fat layer between the layers of meat and skin, the pork was moist and done just right that you'll still see patches of pink. No fats also meant a happy me! The apple sauce served on the side gives the siew yoke a slight twist in flavor, balancing the sweet, sour and savory.

The roast pork rests open-air next to the counter so you'll be getting whiffs of roast when they come out of the oven by the tray.

It's also chopped out in the open so as long as you hear a chopping sound in the restaurant, there's still stock of siew yoke being served.

I'm a fan of the comforting and wholesome Hainanese chicken or pork chop and the Hainanese pork chop at Yut Kee doesn't disappoint with its unique eggy and stringy batter coating the pork and the Worcestershire-flavored sauce. It may be missing baked beans but here's a plus - no porky smell here either!

Yut Kee's French Toast is a must order - evidence was on every table. Their version is probably deep-fried, cooking the strands of the same eggy batter leaving strings of it dangling from each french toast. The stringy bits are always the best! The kaya is the curdled kind unlike the smooth ones spread on bread. If you can forgive the texture, you're rewarded with a creamy and eggy flavor of fragrant coconut jam.

The Roti Babi, a very Hainanese dish made of a Hainanese bread sandwiching a pork filling then coated in batter and deep fried.

It was not very good this particular round - the bread was not crispy and the filling rather bland.

The ever popular Butter Cake was moist and buttery with hints of cocoa powder when you hit the brown bits. We had to bring home half a loaf each. Based on LC and his mum, there has been hits and misses so best to try a slice while you're there before deciding whether or not to buy a loaf.

We were in and out of the restaurant in 30 minutes and the 12.30 noon crowd had filled up the entire front terrace waiting for a table. This is a classic example of the early bird gets the worm.

Yut Kee is a must-visit if you've never been to this antique establishment. As Hainanese cuisine takes a backseat in the trendsetting city's modern cuisine, it's good to know that it's very much alive and still thriving at Yut Kee.