Bak Kut Teh is the Hokkien name for the Chinese pork rib soup cooked in either herbal ingredients or peppercorns. The name can be loosely translated to meat bone tea and you might wonder why pork ribs soups is being referred as tea. This is mainly because in the early days, migrants who eat this pork soup usually finishes the meal with a cup of Chinese traditional tea to help wash away the grease of the meal. There are 2 main kinds of Bak Kut Teh, the black soup base which originated from Klang has heavy traces of Chinese herbs and the white soup base which has a strong pepper taste.
There are many bak kut teh stalls in KL since it is quite near to Klang where the herbal soup version is invented. Ban Lee might not be the best but is the only one that is opened till late for those who crave for a bowl of hot soup for supper.
Ban Lee occupies 2 units of the shop house and is very basic in settings with simple round tables and chairs. Each tables has bottled soy sauce, dark soy sauce and pepper as well as a holder for clean chopsticks, spoons and saucers.
The moment you sit down, the server will bring over bowls of raw minced garlic, cut green chilli and cut red chilli for you to customise your dipping sauce.
As with traditional, the best beverage to go with Bak Kut Teh is hot Chinese tea.
Ban Lee is so popular amongst Singaporean that they even opened outlets in Singapore.
Some of the basic to order is the fried bean curd skin which comes soaked in the braised sauce.
They will also bring the braised bean curd pockets which are soft and thoroughly seasoned with the braised sauce.
The main pot comes with all the ingredients cooked together. When you order, you can tell the server what you want to customise in the pot. If not, you will be given the standard pot which is a mixed of everything.
You can also choose to add on ingredients halfway through your meal. The soup at Ban Lee is very dark and thick and this round, I find that the soup was slightly too salty and they might have used a tad too much MSG as I was extremely thirsty throughout the night after the meal.
One advise for customer heading there, if you arrive later than 12am, be prepared that a lot of items have ran out and only the more basic ones like pork ribs and bean curd skin is available. So if you want an entire bowl of pig stomach soup only, you might not get to satisfy your craving.
I have visited Ban Lee countless times and I can say this latest visit was truly disappointing so I would continue to search for the best BKT in Kuala Lumpur.
Address: 222, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating hours: 5.30 am to 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm to 3.30 am