Yu Kee Restaurant is a speciality restaurant in Kota Kinabalu’s Gaya Street that serves a local, Chinese favourite called bak kut teh, which literally translates as pork tea.
Bak kut teh is a fragrant, clear herbal soup that forms the base of various pork-part dishes.
The 1st-timer might scoff at the herbal richness of the soup or the idea of eating pork organs, but to try bak kut teh is to love it – even if it is only after the 3rd of 4th time.
Although there are many places in Kota Kinabalu that serves the warming bak kut teh (for that reason very popular on rainy days), Yu Kee is one of the restaurants that serves small portions of individual dishes, as opposed to serving your entire order in one big pot.
There are various camps that champion the virtues of either approach, but SabahBah likes Yu Kee’s way for its simplicity in differentiating between what you’re eating.
Mushrooms, meatballs, pork ribs, pork belly and char kui (a savoury fried dough) are good accompaniments to bak kut teh, which is served with tofu on the side and goes great with rice.
For the more adventurous eater, perhaps pig ear or intestines might appeal. A bit of heart, lung and liver is also on offer for the more experienced foodie.
As with most Chinese restaurants, eating in groups work out cheaper than per person, but even with only a few people a full table of bak kut teh with a hot or cold Chinese tea, might set you back RM15 – RM20 per person.
My favourite Bak Kut Teh in Kota Kinabalu. Attentive service, fragrant bak kut teh, reasonable price.