Johor Bahru has many bak kut teh shops (more than in Singapore perhaps because it's a bigger part of people's diet here than across the Causeway). There are many bak kut teh brand names and the best known one in JB is probably 顺发 (Soon Huat spelt various ways) with over twenty branches all over the city.
This is the mother of all Soon Huat bak kut teh shops dotting JB. It's the original parent shop along Jalan Sutera Satu opened by Mr 程 and wife Ms 孙 in 1975.
Forty one years on and 20+ branches (and counting) later, Ms 孙 still helps oversees operations at the Jalan Sutera Satu shop (Taman Sentosa) now run by her son Leong. All Soon Huat outlets are owned and run by family members.
The extremely busy lady boss graciously paused for a photo and quick chat :-D
The bak kut teh is finished with intense charcoal fire just before sending out to waiting customers. I love the smell of burning charcoal as it reminds me of my grandfather's kampung kitchen in old Potong Pasir on the muddy banks of Kallang River.
The restaurant is small inside, so it's packed during peak hours like Sunday brunch.
Customers spill over onto the five foot way outside.
Full house at the small air conditioned section too.
The price list is prominently displayed high on the wall inside. Shoon Huat's pricing is competitive.
The steaming hot broth was clear and watery. The savoury, sweet and herbal flavours were slight too. None of the pepperiness of the Singapore Teochew style. A lot less herbal than both the KL city or Port Klang style. So, for those looking for your kicks in the broth, it may be a little too mild, too neutral. Free top ups of broth were gladly provided - just ask any of the service staff who are very busy but will respond earnestly to customers.
I love pig tails. This was so very delicious. The pork was very fresh, so I can taste the porcine sweetness from the juicy fat, skin and meat. Everything was tender to the bite, and together in the mouth they form a creamy juicy sweet ball of meat, skin and fat.
The fall-off-the-bone tender (neither mashy nor stiff) pork ribs.
肉根 sweet lean meat with tendon was tender with bandy strips that were gummy and bouncy to the bite :-D
For sides, we indulged in a small claypot of fresh pork kidney and liver flash cooked in bubbling hot dark savoury sweet sauce.
Soft spongy crunch with kidney's unique flavour and savoury sweet sauce. Delicious :-D
We like Shoon Huat's preserved vegetables because it is crunchy and cooked in a sauce which is not overly salty or sour. It also has a nice porcine flavour from lots of lard. We could even enjoy this without rice because it is gentle without any sharp taste.
Our total bill came to RM57 for the bak kut teh, side dishes, rice and barley drinks.
->> Johor Bahru has very many bak kut teh shops. Check out this original 顺发 flagship shop in Taman Sentosa that has the most BKT branches in Johor. Fresh pork in clean tasting, mildly savoury broth with subtle herbal notes.
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Restaurant name: Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh 顺发肉骨茶
Address: 11, Jalan Sutera Satu, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.490861,103.767779 / 1°29'27.1"N 103°46'04.0"E
Tel: 019 778 0709
Hours: Daily 8:00am to 8:00pm (closed at 5:00pm on Monday)
Date visited: 9 Jan 2012, 13 Mar 2016
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