Hawk & Fish @ TTDI & Sum Hou Bak Kut Teh @ Desa Sri Hartamas

February 8, 2015

Checking out two new claypot bak kut teh specialists that have sprung up in surprising locations, starting with Hawk & Fish, which has chosen Taman Tun Dr Ismail for its base, followed by Sum Hou BKT, hidden on a Desa Sri Hartamas backstreet.

First up, Hawk & Fish, where the results rate reasonably for both the herbal, soupy 'Ancestral Original Bak Kut Teh' & its dry, sweet-savoury counterpart - neither is very intense in flavour, but they're probably punchy enough to please. RM15 nett each for fairly hearty portions with plenty of tender pork belly & ribs. Rainy-evening soul food, finally available in this neighbourhood.

Rice wine chicken broth (RM15), a bit more of a love-it-or-loathe-it proposition, thanks to its tell-tale fermented flavour. These Chinese favourites are personally prepared by Uncle Chee, a reticent chef whose image is emblazoned on Hawk & Fish's wall.

We're not sure what the 'Hawk' in this restaurant's name is all about, but the 'Fish' is explained by its other speciality - beer-battered fish & chips, constructed with a choice of dory (RM20 nett) or red snapper (RM30; sufficiently fresh & fleshy, with a crisp batter that's not too heavy, not incredibly light). Hawk & Fish is located under The Pound pub & seems to share the same management; customers here can order The Pound's grub, including a huge plate of hot-&-crunchy tater tots (RM12).

Next up, Sum Hou Bak Kut Teh, which recently opened in Sri Hartamas to complement its original outlet in Kuchai Avenue.

Regular bak kut teh starts from RM12 for the smallest serving, which still proves substantial, while dry bak kut teh clocks in at RM15. Customers who choose the smallest serving can select two of the following options: Pork rib, soft rib bone, tail, tendon, belly, knuckle meat, intestine, stomach, liver or kidney. No surprises; fares well, but might not be the repeat-visit sort of BKT.

Perhaps a little more distinctive: Stir-fried pork fallopian tubes (RM20) - springy, not rubbery - slathered with dried shrimp, pork lard & fiery chillies for a death-defyingly greasy late-night snack. We'd have happily finished this but it was way too spicy for us.

Yellow wine surfaces again, not for the chicken this time but for the egg (RM10) - probably not our favourite way to serve an egg, since we're not fans of the wine's inimitable flavour. Other potentially crowd-pleasing options at this friendly restaurant include bowls of pork meat balls (RM8), chicken feet with black mushrooms (RM10), vinegar pork leg (RM15), asam petai prawns (RM28), otak-otak Muar (RM15), clams in superior broth (RM20) & ginger steamed fish head (market price). Phew!

Hawk & Fish
50 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-11pm

Sum Hou Bak Kut Teh
7-G, Jalan 22A-70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 12pm-3am. Tel: 03-6211-0785

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