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Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh in Johor Jaya Bakawali 顺利树下肉骨茶

Several Johor Kaki readers have suggested that I visit Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh 顺利树下肉骨茶.

Soon Lee is a typical no frills shop lot restaurant in the Bakawali section of Johor Jaya.

Soon Lee run by 林家班 Lim family is an old name in Johor Bahru bak kut teh. Its Chinese name 顺利树下肉骨茶 "Soon Lee under the Tree Bak Kut Teh" refers to the big tree at Jalan Maju Jaya where Plaza Pelangi stands today. (Another JB icon 榕樹下粿條仔 "Kway Teow Kia under the Bayan Tree" was in the same location.)

Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh was founded under the big tree at Jalan Maju Jaya in 1982. The push cart stall moved to its present location in 1990. So, Soon Lee has been around for 36 years in all.

My usual order for first visits to bak kut teh shops. Claypot of pig tail (RM13), small bowl of preserved vegetable (RM5) and rice (RM2).

Soon Lee's bak kut teh soup is unique in JB - you either like it or you don't.

The soup had a light watery body and was tea coloured. It had a savoury herbal taste with underlying spiciness. The spicy aftertaste was quite distinct and I liked it.

Uniquely, at Soon Lee, the soup is a blend of peppery whitish bone stock on the left and savoury herbal dark stock on the right. The order taker will also ask you if you like more or less spicy. For more spicy, they add chili padi to your soup. (The only other place where I tasted this kind of BKT soup was in Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia.)

Overall, the meat, fat and skin were all a bit stiff (though still tender). I still like the fat and skin for its soft firmness but the meat was a little chewy for me. Flavourwise, the meat wasn't as sweet as others I've tried.

The chili padi in the soup that gave it the spicy kick (something unusual in JB or the whole of Malaysia and also Singapore).

I requested for soup top up and the whole clay pot was refilled 👏 👏

The preserved vegetable was crunchy and tasted savoury sourish sweet. It was slightly greasy from the lard used to stew the vegetable.

The starchy sweet rice had savoury layers from the dark sauce and fried yam. The rice was slightly greasy.

Soon Lee also serves ikan bakar (spicy grilled fish) which I heard from buddies is very good. Shall try it next time.

Auntie so cute. When I requested for their business card, she turned around and asked me to take a picture 😄

👉 Soon Lee is an old name in Johor Bahru bak kut teh with its own following. It has a unique soup that combines savoury herbal stock with peppery bone stock. They even add chili padi to spice up the kick (if you like more spicy).

Soon Lee's soup reminds me of this bak kut teh in Tanjung Pinang 👈 click

Restaurant name: Restoran Soon Lee 顺利树下肉骨茶
Address: 8, Jalan Bakawali 38, Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru, Johor
GPS1°32'34.6"N 103°47'35.4"E | 1.542939, 103.793164
Tel: 019 779 3685
Hours: 6:00pm to 12:00 midnight (Weds off)

Non Halal

Date visited: 7 Jul 2018

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