Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yut Kee - a tribute to pigs

"Roti babi, roti babi, roti babi", the words roll deliciously off my tongue.

It feels almost illegal to say it. I wonder if I should call it roti khinzir instead, but sanitizing a word doesn't change its substance.

Despite having lived in KL for over 20 years, I was only just about to make my first trip to Yut Kee. Shedding the virginal blood, you might say. An almost sacred trip. I say almost, because there is usually nothing sacred about a pig. A cow, yes, but a pig...those poor animals that feed us every part of their bodies are treated like the dirt they wallow in. Then again, isn't there a saying - as happy as a pig in a wallow?

yut kee

Established 1928. That's what's stated on their card. Definitely before I was born. Before dad was born. Probably about the time granddad was born. But then, granddad would have to be 13 when he had my dad if granddad was born in 1928, so I shall have to dispel that absurd thought from my head. Although people did get married at an early age then. Think Elizabeth Bennet. Then again, Elizabeth Bennet met Mr Darcy when she was...hmmm...20? She was already afraid of becoming an old maid.

Yut Kee and its famous roti babi. Literally translated: pig bread. I suppose I should call it pork bread, but somehow, pig bread feels more...unclean.....

roti babi

Imagine a soft bun filled with a concoction of fried pork, sliced onions and lup cheong (chinese sausages) and subsequently fried so that it has a crisp epidermis while the insides are still soft and fluffy. Sprinkle some Worchestershire sauce on the roti babi and you'll be as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.

pork chop

I wasn't as ecstatic with my hainanese pork chops. The pork chops are served with a brown sauce cooked with mixed vegetables, onions and tomatoes and potatoes on the side. I found the pork chops too dry and the sauce too watery. The chicken chop, on the other hand, despite lacking in flavour, had a moist texture.

I hear that the roti served with kaya is really good too, so perhaps in future, I shall not expect too much from the omnivores swines.

Other reviews:

Yut Kee Restaurant

35, Jalan Dang Wangi, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2698 8108

Business Hours: 8.00am - 5.00pm (Monday off)

23 comments:

tigerfish said...

Heehee...the roti babi is like the pulled pork sandwich I've eaten in the US recently. OInk oink!

sc said...

wah, the last time i had roti babi was like, 5 years ago! lip smacking stuff i must say. i do think that the hainanese chop is over rated, my experience of the chop is similar as yours, plus i got some semi cooked potatoes :(. a group of my frens love yut kee's kaya roll, maybe u should try that next time ;)

Robyn said...

The pork chop is definately not their best item. Then again, pork chops are hard to do well. My mom's were always dry too. Yut Kee's lamb chop is much better. And the belacan fried rice, the hailam mee dry, the mee sua, the assam fish, the kaya toast....

Thanks for the link!

tankiasu said...

This is one of my personal favourite. Been eating there for the past 20 years at least (yes my dad brought me there often). Then omly last year I found out that the boss' son is my secondary schoolmate! :-P Small world after all.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

tigerfish: I'm sure there must have been some western influence in the roti babi.

sc: thanks for the tip. I'll try it the next time!

robyn: I should have visited your site before going there as your pics of the other dishes look really good. It's a pity about the pork chop though. Hopefully my next experience will be better.

tankiasu: cool! Do you get special treatment? A nice window seat, perhaps? Free kaya rolls? :-D Btw, I can't leave a comment on your blog unless I sign up for xanga, huh? All I need is another account. lol.

Precious Pea said...

Roti babi looks good. Hubby suggested to explore KL (YEAH!! finally) this weekend since you and boo always features on KL areas. Hehe..i wanna have that claypot chicken rice, prawn me, roti babi, then hop over to sg wang for tong sui!!

Pink Elle said...

Do try their kaya swiss roll the next time you're there too. It sells out pretty fast together with their butter cake and if you catch some freshly made ones, they're really drool-inducing! :)

Paprika said...

Mmmmm that picture of *slurp* roti *drool* babi looks goooooooood... Can you believe i still haven't been to this place? I always get sidetracked. Will definitely check it out this weekend!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

precious pea: Cool! I'm so happy for you! Your choices are great..I hope you will have enough stomach space to eat all that food! Btw, regarding tong sui, I still think the stall in front of TMC in Lucky Garden, Bangsar sells much better tong sui.

pink elle: you're making me crave for swiss roll and butter cake now! Definitely not good for the waistline. Sigh. :-P

paprika: join the club! There's parking just down the road around the corner. Remember to try the swiss roll,butter cake,belacan fried rice, hailam mee, mee sua, assam fish and kaya toast and tell me how it went. :-D

jason said...

Wow.. never imagine that KL still have such exotic coffeeshop! The roti babi - I can imagine how it feels to sink my teeth on it :P~~

Tummythoz said...

Crazy crazy crowds on weekends! Takeaway fresh hot swiss roll beats ambipur (spell?) anytime.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason: I'm glad some of these old coffeeshops still exist in KL. Modernisation isn't always good.

tummythoz: lol! Yup, nothin' like the aroma of food!

tankiasu said...

No free stuff, but special treatment abit got la. ;-)

Oh you should try the Bodhi Tree Cafe & Restaurant, just behind Yut Kee. Belongs to Yut Kee's owner's wife. They serve good & hearty meals. :-)

Yea, Xanga is not very friendly to non-Xangans. You gotta register first before you can post message. :P

team BSG said...

V really believe they share some heritage with the Coliseum both being not particularly outstanding in anything else except being old ( not worn out?) and smack of genuine nostalgia (at least the modern revised official textbooks dun try to distort this part of old historical KL, since u can always have yr trusty Grandpa & then some for authenticity) .
So if sommore u stick on to da unsacred villaneous pig as main draw surely 'real' connoisseurs ( or wannabes) will come from far and near to re-xperience their roots, done it had it hahaha !

kat said...

Roti babi!! Is this the only place in KL that sells it?? I sprinkle Lea& Perrins on every single forkful!!

You must try their hokkien mee too. Much better than their pork chops, which tastes very mass produced, as if it's been fried earlier and they just spoon hot gravy over it whenever there is an order.

There is another hainese coffeeshop in Kuala Kubu Baru which has pretty good chicken chops. Freshly prepared too, based on the waiting time! But this one is halal, so no porcine delights, I'm afraid. :D

jason said...

lyrical lemongrass: That's right. For me, such establishment is part of the history and culture and it would be a pity to lose it.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

tankiasu: If knowing the owner gets u a seat in the extremely crowded restaurant, I'm all for it. :-) Shall try Bodhi Tree and let you know how it went.

team bsg: that's what you call good marketing. :-)

kat: I was just thinking the same thing about the pork chops! What's the name of the Hainanese place in KKB ar? Next time I go to Fraser's, I could drop by there.

Jason: It's interesting to contemplate on what we really stand up for - preservation of old buildings for its historical value, or for a distant life that we crave for. Either way, you're right...it would be a pity to lose it.

boo_licious said...

Think this is the only place in town with roti babi. Yums! It definitely makes bread so interesting with all that sinful fillings.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Boo_licious: I wonder why more people haven't copied this recipe. The roti babi's very good.

fatboybakes said...

its quite bizarre. if you look at the face of the young boy at the counter, (presumably your reader's classmate) he bears an STARTLING resemblance to the ancestral portrait on the wall...like chop chop exactly. i mean, he is the descendant la, but to look so startlingly similar....

i hear the eclairs at bodhi tree are good. still good ah? love the belacan fly lie at yut kee.

paprika, you are a disgrace to KL-ians dahlink....howwwww can u not have been

ka..t said...

Dang! I can't recall now. I was there last about 3 years ago! KKB is not that big, so if you drive around you may be able to find the shop. It's an intermediate shoplot, typical kedai kopi but with no stalls. There are some certs hanging on the wall, some kind of gahmen sijil penghargaan belonging to the chinese owner. Hope this helps!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

fbb: that's an interesting observation. next time ask the boy at the counter lar. maybe there's a story to be told..

ka..t: thanks for the description! will keep that in mind.

KampungboyCitygal said...

Yes..I wana venture into KL area too..thanks to ur killer roti babi shot..:)