J Tean Kitchen,
Lot G-58, Ground Floor,
SStwo Mall,
40, Jalan SS2/72, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7954 0819
Business hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily

EVER experienced using cutlery to eat bak kut teh? You can do that without drawing strange looks at J Tean Kitchen, a new concept restaurant in Petaling Jaya that serves East-meets-West Bak kut teh delicacies.

The famous bak kut teh that has become an integral part in the lives of many has been given a modern, refined image with all its goodness still intact.


Stylish decor: J Tean Kitchen’s tasteful decor to complete a modern Bak kut teh experience.

This is done using the culinary knowledge of restaurant owner James Tean, a hardcore bak kut teh fan from Klang who has been in the food manufacturing business for three decades.

Popularly known as Master Tean, he has developed various well-known products including Life chili sauce, Claypot Bakuteh spices and Tean’s Gourmet sauces for local delights loved by foodies overseas.

So, get prepared for one-of-a-kind creations such as the bak kut teh burger, grilled ribs in bak kut teh’s rich, herbal flavour and even bak kut teh soup with puff pastry.

These innovative delights are served in an exquisite environment that includes vintage Oriental furniture, basket-shaped lamp shades and a white backdrop. A balcony area featuring opium bed replicas as chairs also catches the fancy of many, especially the younger customers.

“I gather ideas from my extensive travelling, but no matter how far I go, I will still miss the bak kut teh joints of my hometown that I visit almost every week. So I thought, why don’t I put the two things together, create something fusion?” he said, adding that he took three months to perfect the dishes’ flavours.

Confessing that he is a perfectionist, Tean said he made sure that the creations impressed his friends, colleagues and church members before they were introduced to customers at the restaurant.

The ambitious entrepreneur has received invitations from malls to open more outlets. He is confident that he can also franchise the brand when the time is right.

No matter how innovative the creations are, all bak kut teh dishes need a strong foundation — a flavourful soup base. J Tean’s soup base is made with 17 herbs using high heat, and topped off with high quality dark sauce.


Special recipe: Curry Ribs Pasta cooked with J Tean’s home recipe.

“The best quality dark sauce we found is made in Malaysia,” Tean said proudly.

The pork is from a reliable source, he added, and is cooked fresh every morning as leaving it overnight in the freezer will affect the texture and quality.

Traditional dry and soup bak kut teh are also available, but the newer versions are J Ribs (stewed and grilled ribs marinated with bak kut teh herbs), J Knuckle (pork knuckle stewed with Bak kut teh herbs and then deep fried, served with homemade Thai sauce) and J Burger (bak kut teh-flavoured pork patty).

The dishes were delightful with rich sauce coating the flavourful meat. Salad and fries garnishing the dish provide a much needed balance to the meaty affair. The pork burger is an interesting way to lend oriental goodness into a perennial favourite from the west.

Puff pasty is used to lend a twist to bak kut teh soup and Spicy Dry Bak Kut Teh. The pastry’s buttery flavour may first seem to contradict the herbal taste but one will soon find it a harmonious marriage. The blend of textures is pleasant, too.

Other recommended items are Braised Pork and Bun, Lion’s Head (minced pork) and Curry Ribs Pasta. Chicken bak kut teh dishes are also on the way

Tea is a must for any bak kut teh meals. J Tean Kitchen currently serves tea supplied by a company based in Klang, it is also the supplier for many bak kut teh outlets there. Soon, the restaurant will bring in premium tea leaves to complement the refined bak kut teh experience.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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