I often ask restaurant owners about what is their favourite eating places (other than their own :P ). So, when I asked a salt baked chicken restaurant owner this question, the first name he mentioned was 东肉骨茶馆 Restoran Tong Bak Kut Teh. And, the dishes to go for were chicken, steamed fish and bak kut teh, in that order.
The restaurant owner gave me detailed instructions on how to find Restoran Tong. You see, Restoran Tong is located in the deep corner of a sleepy industrial area in Skudai that is pretty out of the way. So, it is best to take a good look at the Google map before you proceed, or better still, lock on to your GPS.
We arrived at 12:30pm and the bak kut teh was already sold out. The waitress suggested that we try their chicken instead. I took a double quick scan at the tables around and saw that almost all had that large shiny steel dish with chopped chicken inside. Even from a distance, the yellowish hue of the chicken looked enticingly delicious. So, we ordered half a chicken (at RM22). As we were still full from brunch, we decided to save the steamed fish for another visit.
When the signature steel dish arrived at our table, we were greeted by the lovely aroma of the old style sauce and chicken. I unconsciously hurry as I took these photos, as the aroma made my mouth water and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the tender looking chicken.
Even the breast meat which is the healthier but least flavoured choice was juicy, tender and sweet.
When we finally got to taste the chicken, it was just marvellous. This chicken dish at Restoran Tong was made with free range kampung chicken. The tender chicken's natural sweetness was brought out by the sauce. Indeed, the savoury delicate sauce enhanced the tender chicken's natural flavours and juicy texture.
We tipped the steel dish and dipped every piece of chicken in this special sauce. Before we finished, I poured the remaining sauce onto my rice and ate up the deliciously wet grains :P
The boss MR Poh who had been running Restoran Tong for over twenty years, graciously let me photograph him at work. He was extremely busy yet cheerful.
The boiled chicken was chopped into large bite size pieces and then blanched and drenched in Restoran Tong's special hot broth.
MR Poh then threw in a scoop of their special sauce before serving the chicken to eagerly waiting customers. So, in that quaint steel dish was a magical blend of the chicken's natural juices, the blanching broth, and the special sauce.
Take a look at the crowd in the background.
MR Poh was also steaming fish non stop. I was amazed at the frenzied pace and super efficiency at which MR Poh managed the kitchen.
I am definitely coming back to Restoran Tong for their famous steamed fish.
->> I have not used this oft abused cliché in my blog so far, but I can't resist saying that Restoran Tong's chicken is a DDMT or Die Die Must Try. Love the sweet flavour and the juicy tender flesh.
In that corner restaurant with that faded signboard was a full house!
Restaurant name: Restoran Tong 东肉骨茶馆
Address: 41, Jalan Hang Lekir 10, Taman Skudai Baru, Skudai, Johor
GPS: 1.502524,103.638818 / 1°30'09.1"N 103°38'19.7"E
Hours: 9:00am to sold out (usually about 2:30pm). Opens at 08:00am on weekends. (Rest days are not fixed. Rest for a week every two months.) Call 07-558-5367 to check.
Date visited: 1 Nov 2012, 2 Apr 2015
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