Bak Kut Teh (literally: meat rib tea) has been around for decades. It's a popular traditional thing for the Chinese to have because 1) there is different types of pork and 2) it is served in herbal soup. For most of the years before, Bak Kut Teh restaurants are usually always open-aired, ala coffee shop, but now J Tean Kitchen might just change all that.
With an interior that looks modern yet traditional at the same time, J Tean Kitchen is a place that's hard to miss when you're at SSTwo Mall.
I'll admit the round tables that look like old Chinese drums were what caught my attention initially. It always pays for restaurants to have something unique that attracts customers. =D
The tagline of J Tean Kitchen is 'The Fusion Bak Kut Teh', and that is exactly what you'll see lots of when looking at the menu. For first timer's, the best option to give everything a try would be J Tean's Bak-Kut-Teh, Combi 1 (RM 20.90) which consists of ribs, pork belly & pork stomach. For those of you who feel squeamish eating the entrails of animals, no worries - the pig stomach can be substituted for more of the ribs and belly pork (as seen in picture above. There's also some big ol' juicy mushrooms in there as well!).
Price-wise, I think J Tean Kitchen is actually quite comparable with other open-air bak kut teh stalls, which is not what you'd expect since this place is fancier and in a shopping mall. Portion-wise, I'm glad to report that J Tean really does make an effort to deliver quality. Twice I've been there now, and both times the bak kut teh combo has come out looking like that picture above. If you choose to substitute the pig stomach, then you will get 3 long ribs that are quite meaty and very tender. The pork belly also has a good ratio of meat-versus-fat (about 80-20%; the way I like it!), and is consistent with all other pieces. If you're a mushroom lover then this will be triple joy for you because the mushrooms are really big! And finally, the soup is mild without a strong herbal flavour. Whether you like it stronger or milder is a personal preference, but I prefer it mild. =)
But J Tean Kitchen doesn't just rely on plain old bak kut teh. One of their other signature dishes is called The J-Ribs (RM 34.90), and it is served in a very western way, complete with wedges and coleslaw as sides. 3 ribs is the standard amount, and they are usually quite meaty too.
|Please excuse the focus on the bone! The waiter came to cut the meat off the bone before we could snap a pic.. =(|
Cooked in this style, the ribs are given a sweet-ish flavour, very much like char siew at chicken rice stalls. The meat is tender and falls off the bone easily. However, the meat was quite dry, and if you are eating this with rice (as I did on both occasions) then you might find it a bit difficult to eat together. We also have to be critical of the 2 sides, especially on the wedges because it came with some funky sauce that neither of us could decipher. Since we were only interested in the ribs, paying the price we did felt a bit too much, and we were left wishing the ribs could have been ordered as a dish on its own. That would be a much more attractive option for us.
Of course, a balanced meal can't be complete without the vegetables! At J Tean, vegetables are okay-priced: for RM7 a plate, this kind of price is comparable with many other restaurants out there, and is in fact cheaper than most. Nothing to complain about this - the sauce wasn't too salty and the lettuce was fresh and juicy. Definitely worth having again amidst all that pork.
I guess I should mention that J Tean Kitchen has a membership system that can be obtained for free, and there are always ongoing promotions right now. So although SSTwo Mall looks bereft of any major activities, there are some good eateries that can be found there! This is one of those places that you'll probably catch us eating at on a weekday after work. =)
J Tean Kitchen | Facebook
Lot G-58, Ground Floor,
No. 40, Jalan SS2/72,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7954 0819
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun; 10am - 10pm