Yut Kee

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yut Kee
35, Jln Dang Wangi
Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 0322988108

Taste 7
Ambience 4
Service 4
Wait Time Busy Mornings
Seating Time Ample
Price RM 5.00 upwards per person
Cleanliness 4
Parking Difficult
Table Comfort 3
Enjoyment 6


When you enter Yut Kee, it's like a blast from the past. Think round marble tables with rickety chairs. Old fashioned wooden shutter windows and winding wooden staircase. The wall is adorned with a simple hand-written menu while an old portrait of the founder hangs over the counter. Casually dressed waiters running round the shop like clockwork ferrying dishes fresh from the kitchen to the hungry customers' tables.

Yut Kee is a traditional kopitiam situated smack in old KL that's a legendary institution for Hainanese style western or local fare. Historically, many of the colonialist families in Malaya hired Hainanese chefs for their homes. This was where they were exposed to Western cuisine and adapted them to our local ingredients and cooking style. Til this day, the Hainanese are still well known for their versatile cooking prowess, most notably chicken rice, noodles and Malaysianised Western food.

Arriving at 11.30am, the place was packed with patrons waiting for their turn. We got our seats immediately though we shared the table with another couple. First to arrive was the soft-boiled eggs (RM2). I remember taking this during my schooldays. My granny will use this yellow plastic contraption and the eggs always came out perfect each time. Soft and smooth white with yolks cooked just right, Yut Kee's no exception. From the texture and the way it moves on the saucer, I know it's super fresh and top quality. With a dash of pepper and soy sauce, simply slurp it from the saucer til it's all gone. It slides down your throat and sits warmly in my tummy. Wonderful comfort food this!

Next up was the roti babi (RM6.50) which was a staple of my childhood. I remembered relatives packing my house during CNY for her killer roti babi! Yut Kee's version is a paler comparison though it's still appetizing. The bread is thicker and not as crispy, but the filling is not bad. For those blur ones, roti babi is basically fried bread in egg batter that's filled with meat stuffing consisting of fried minced pork, onions, carrots, crab meat and spices. Eat it with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and you're in crispy seventh heaven!

Fancy Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM7) Chicken fillet fried in a batter with a mix salad of onions, peas and potatoes. Top that off with a savoury Worcestershire based sauce. It really complements the dish so well. Mmmm… just wonderful! However the best of the lot has got to be the Stewed Beef with rice/noodle (RM5.50). It came with tender beef slices and soft tender radish pieces to soak up the beef broth. Deeply aromatic with spices, the beef chunks went well with the sambal for that spicy zing. Really yummy and tasty, yet not too overpowering.

Looking around the shop, you feel like you're in a bygone era. I felt like the Back to the Future character who went back to his parents' youth! Fyi, Yut Kee also sells takeaway pastries, coffee powder, kaya and belacan for you to just pop in, collect and pay!

So for all things Hainanese, you know where to go! Service is efficient though somewhat mechanical. With the constant flow of customers coming in and out of the shop, you can't really linger over your meal at Yut Kee. I truly enjoyed this walk down memory lane and the simple honest grub it offers. Definitely a feast for our nostalgic senses....

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