Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore based personal blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Hin Hock Bak Kut Teh - Chinese Liquorice Fans - this BKT is for you

I have eaten at Hin Hock Bak Kut Teh in Tampoi JB many, many times and written about them twice. But, I have been focusing on their boiled fish instead of their bak kut teh.

Hin Hock Bak Kut Teh started as a BKT shop as its name states. Business was OK but not great. So, Ah Hock took his friend's advice to expand his menu to include fish.

Ah Hock developed his unique way of cooking fish by dunking it in boiling water. The fish is served under a thick blanket of fried garlic and Ah Hock's own secret savoury sweet sauce. The rest is the stuff of Johor food lore - Hin Hock BKT now has three outlets run by Ah Hock, his wife and his 5 sons.

Ah Hock now runs the original shop in Tampoi with his third son. Bak kut teh is still on the menu though Hin Hock's signature boiled fish had long taken the limelight.

I didn't enjoy Hin Hock's bak kut teh the first time I tried it. The kum kum sweet taste of Chinese liquorice 甘草 was pronounced. (It tasted like too much dried orange peel.)

Taste is subjective. I am not sure how I developed a dislike for the taste of Chinese liquorice. Perhaps it was from my childhood. In the old days, Chinese liquorice is used as a cheap cure all for minor ailments like cough and fever. So, perhaps I associated the taste of Chinese liquorice with feeling unwell.

So, while flavours (sweet, sour, salty etc) are objective, our individual responses to it are subjective i.e. taste is strongly coloured by our own personal experiences.

(That bluish tint in the photo came from the blue table top and blue canvas behind me.)

So, when I come to Hin Hock Bak Kut Teh, I go only for their fish - I even said that on TV 😝

Whenever I visited Hin Hock, Ah Hock will always serve us a pot of bak kut teh, even after we reminded him that we were not ordering it as there was too much food.

"Just try... " Ah Hock would insist.

Ah Hock would never bill us for the BKT. "Just for you to try... " he says every time, patiently.

At times, the taste of Chinese liquorice was strong. Sometimes, it was milder and complemented the soup's savoury sweetness.

I asked Ah Hock about it and he told me that the intensity of Chinese liquorice taste varies from batch to batch. He agreed that sometimes it can be too strong.

But, the pork was always fresh and cooked to the right tender doneness. Hin Hock uses good quality local fresh pork, so we can taste the natural sweetness of the meat.

👉 Well, I am able to finish the whole pot of bak kut teh and enjoyed the fresh pig tail. Still not a big fan of Chinese liquorice but I know people who like Hin Hock's bak kut teh precisely because they have the most pronounced Chinese liquorice taste (that I know of in Johor, Singapore, Malaysia or Tanjung Pinang).

My earlier posts about Hin Hock's fish 👈 click to read

Restaurant name: Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock 兴福肉骨茶 
Address: Jalan Dato Mohammed Seth, Tampoi, Johor Bahru 
GPS: 1.496813,103.702429 | 1°29'48.5"N 103°42'08.7"E 
Hours: 08:30am to 3:30pm (Mondays off)  

Non Halal  

Date visited: 29 May 2018  

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1 comment:

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.