Fang Xiang Bah Ku Teh in Setia Alam must be the only bak kut teh business I know that’s run by a young lady. And run it, she does, from A-Z! I couldn’t believe it myself when I met the owner and chef of this restaurant – a sweet and demure-looking young lady by the name of Syvonne Lee. Hair tied up in a ponytail, fresh-faced and ever smiling, she looks hardly 25, let alone owning and running a bak kut teh business!
“Ever since I was a little girl, I have been following my parents to eat bak kut teh and yes, you can say I really love it!” Syvonne enthusiased when we were chatting. Her father owns a butchery business and supplies her shop with the best cuts of pork. She gets up at 4am every morning to start cooking the herbal broths and when the first customers stroll in just after 7am, the pots of bak kut teh would be ready to be served.
I couldn’t help but notice that there are 2 types of bak kut teh soup served here. One is lighter and the other is a darker hue with a more concentrated herbal taste. Syvonne explains that she offers 2 different concentration of the soup to suit her customers as the younger set usually prefers a lighter soup while the older die-hard BKT fans go for the stronger version.
I enjoy the Bak Kut Teh here as the meats have been boiled thoroughly and fork tender. Every piece of pork has been totally infused with the BKT herbs, a slow boiling process which takes at least 3 hours. Declaring that her BKT is Hokkien-style, Syvonne has perfected her recipe after months of testing out countless recipes given by friends, family members and even people from the market she went to!
For those who like the Dry version of Bak Kut Teh, Syvonne also has come up with her own recipe for this. I’m not a fan of dry BKT but I could see that a lot of ingredients have gone into this pot. The strong aroma of Chinese herbs, dried chillies, dried cuttlefish, onions and garlic all come together in one hot fragrant pot.
I was happy as a lark when I saw that Fang Xiang serves “deng kia” – Hokkien for pig intestines that have been stuffed in many layers. These layered cholesterol-laden intestines have been boiled in the herbal soup till tender and they are a must-order!
The menu at Fang Xiang is multi-pictorial with photos of many cuts of pork available. The one must-have order is their “Signature Speciality” which is a superb cut of meat from somewhere behind the ribs of the pig. According to Syvonne, each pig only has 2 of these cuts, so you can see supply is really limited. The meat is finely textured with a thin layer of fat beneath the skin and it tastes really good. You can see there’s some kind of marbling in the meat, which when boiled with the BKT herbs, becomes really tender and delicious.
To provide a wider selection to her customers, Syvonne also serves other dishes like Black Vinegar Pig Trotters, Assam Fish, Tofu and Vegetables. My preference is to go for the Bak Kut Teh. Prices are reasonable, depending on the cuts of pork (which by the way are listed by their Hokkien names in the menu!), starting at RM10 per portion.
Fang Xiang Bah Ku Teh
13A-1 Jalan Setia Prima SU13/S
40170 Shah Alam
There’s another outlet in:
13 Lorong Batu Nilam 21C
Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2
Business hours: 7.00am till 3.00pm daily