That Famous Pasir Puteh Bak Kut Teh @ Soon LeeJune 8, 2013 | 5,002 views
They could have been in business for easily a decade and a half. Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh‘s the name, and the establishment is run by a bunch of pretty awesome people; friendly with no air surrounding them.
I used to study at SMK Jalan Pasir Putih for a good 5 years; the secondary school infamous for a variety of headlines-worthy reasons. If you are a baby of the 80’s, then you must have gone through the ordeal. And occasionally, when asked about my educational background, folks would go “What?! You mean you endured 5 years in that school?”
To which I would nod with a smug look on my face. So what? I was pretty darn proud to be a student from SMKJPP, really. And no, my head was not burst open by a flower pot, nor did I suffered from the wrath of gangfights, or led to a dark, damp tunnel of life courtesy of disastrously horrible teachers.
Claypot Bak Kut Teh; a comforting start to the day … or the potion that might put you to sleep. Siesta comes early?
Why the story of my secondary school? Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh is situated behind of the mentioned school. Widely regarded as one of the best bak kut teh restaurants in Ipoh (not that there are dozens of them in the first place), the place attracts fans especially on weekend mornings.
I have been contemplating on giving this a proper review since day one when this space on the web was born. Somehow or rather, we were met with unfortunate outcomes; either the restaurant was closed or something else cropped up at the last moment.
I don’t put extremely high hopes for bak kut teh in Ipoh; since this is definitely a Hokkien-thing and Ipoh does not excel in this department. Much like how Klang Valley’s fried Hokkien mee trumps the best of what Ipoh’s ‘dai lok meen’ equivalent (fried thick yellow noodles) can offer.
Tung Lok Hin was okay, with their yam rice and dry bak kut teh, while Good Taste Chef and Tan Kee tried their darn-dest to bring the flavours of Klang to Ipoh; to some considerable measure of success. And that also comes with an extremely liberal dose of optimism.
Anyway, long story cut short (it’s burning hot in Ipoh today and I’m sweating buckets just by seated in front of this computer) … Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh was decent, at best. Not excellent nor abysmal. Yet, somewhere somehow you would be wishing that the broth could be packed with a heavier punch; or the cuts of pork seeped with the fragrant tones from the herbs.
If you have been spoiled before by the sheer brilliance of Klang bak kut teh, (also, bear in mind that out of the hundreds of stalls, there are only but a handful that are worth trying) then this would be an anti-climactic affair.
Like how I did not enjoy Penang, Johor/Singapore or Sitiawan version of Teochew Bak Kut Teh that’s lighter, more peppery and with abundance of chopped coriander. But of course, there ARE fans of the other versions. Taste is still subjective, remember?
A meal for two with rice, optional plate of ‘you tiao’/yau char gwai (Chinese dough fritters/crullers) and herbal tea came to slightly below RM20/USD7. Small price to pay for a rather heavy breakfast. And interesting enough, the coriander came in a separate bowl for you to add in as an option, as I believe there are some who do not enjoy the rather strong taste of coriander in their soup.
SOON LEE BAK KUT TEH (non-Halal)
1, Jalan Temenggong, (junction of Jalan Temenggong and Laluan Temenggong)
31650 Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, Perak
GPS : 4.581473,101.080087
Please refer to Jason’s post for directions.