PETALING JAYA, May 21 — With some items, I tend to prefer to get them at source if I can. For instance, if I could it should be bak kut teh from Klang. However with the travel restrictions, that is not always possible.

For some time, a friend had been asking me to try the bak kut teh at Cookhouse. The cloud kitchen housed inside Seventeen mall is a hybrid concept: Part kitchen and part food court. However with the rising number of cases, I admit I was wary of dining out, hence that bak kut teh date never happened. Nevertheless, it piqued my interest so I decided to check out the place.

A quick check with a friend from Klang also confirmed its authenticity. The place is owned by Lily Lee, the granddaughter of the famous Lee Boon Teh. In a 2016 article by The Star, Lee is credited as the man who started the herbal broth back in Klang. His legacy has been passed on to his vast family (he had seven sons) which sees the third generation running various bak kut teh shops in Klang. Lily runs Restoran Ki Heong at Bukit Tinggi, Klang.

It's pretty simple to get your food without moving an inch from home. Just place an order for delivery on Cookhouse's website. There's also an option for take away.

Just take note, there's no pre-orders so just order what you want on the same day. I tested both options. For the delivery, you key in your postcode to see if it's within their coverage.

As my place is quite near Petaling Jaya's Section 17, it was definitely within the area. As a further test, my friend in Taman Desa could also access the delivery menu.

From what I understand, the radius is about 15 kilometres but it depends on various areas so just key in your postcode to see if you're lucky.

It's simple to just place an order. You have a choice of individual pots for solo eaters at RM19. Just select if you want the soup or dry version. For bigger families of two to four persons, there's a sharing pot. It's RM68 for the soup and RM76 for the dry version.

The dry 'bak kut teh' is fragrant and incredibly addictive with a bowl of rice (left). The pork trotters in the dry 'bak kut teh' had a beautiful gelatinous texture (right)
The dry 'bak kut teh' is fragrant and incredibly addictive with a bowl of rice (left). The pork trotters in the dry 'bak kut teh' had a beautiful gelatinous texture (right)

Once you add the bak kut teh to the order, you will be asked to select your preferred choice of meat cuts. For the individual soup bak kut teh, you can select only one choice from pork belly, soft bones (neng kut), pork ribs (pai kut), shank (tua kut), small bones (sui kut), lean meat (goh hui), pork knuckle (ka wan) and trotter (ka ki).

With the sharing pot, you get to select a maximum of three choices, hence the list includes the same meat cuts from the individual pot plus small intestine, intestine rolls and pig's stomach.

Under the same order, you can add on their you tiao for RM3 or be extravagant and add abalone for RM120. The rice with their fried shallots can also be ordered there for an extra RM3 per serving. Just note that for the individual soup bak kut teh, you can't order the abalone.

You can add 'you tiao' and rice to your order too
You can add 'you tiao' and rice to your order too

If you want something different, try the dry bak kut teh which essentially is stir fried meat cooked in a brown sauce with dried chillies, dried cuttlefish, shrimps and lady's fingers.

You get only three choices of meat cuts, namely trotter (ka ki), half lean and half fat meat or just lean meat. It's just one choice of meat cut for the individual pot and all three choices for the sharing pot.

There are also options to add various meat cuts for the side. Prices range from RM15 to RM18 for these orders. It includes the rarely seen pig's tail for RM18. You can also add side dishes such as fuchuk, tofu puffs, button mushrooms and enoki mushrooms.

For the sharing pot you already get these. They also let you add vegetables, braised eggs, braised chicken feet and fried curry stingray. They also sell their packaged spices, instant noodles and curry paste, if you prefer to cook at home yourself.

For delivery, once you place your order, it's confirmed and put in the queue. You won't be able to specify the time to deliver. Once they are ready to send it over (it seems they use third party delivery riders) they will send you a WhatsApp.

They will also give you a tracking link to check the progress of your rider. My order came quite fast. I ordered about 11am and got a notice at 11.30am that the rider would be delivering it. By 12pm, I got my food delivered to me for lunch time.

I also tried the takeaway option. This one you can specify the time it is ready. However, they seem to prepare it only when you reach there. I guess it's better since food is cooked fresh but you need to account for some wait time.

For the soup bak kut teh, you get a deep, dark flavourful herbal broth that is perfect for the recent rainy days. I like how the broth is not too oily too.

My favourite part is the fuchuk since it absorbs all those delicious flavours. I had ordered the soft bones and this was not too hard and came in large chunks. The intestine rolls were well done as you can see each layer. It has a bit more bite to it though. Similarly the pig's stomach is not the tender type but one with more bite. Both items were well cleaned without any funky smells.

Even though the food arrived warm, I still reheated my soup as I like to eat my bak kut teh piping hot. The fluffy you tiao was perfect for soaking up that broth. With the sharing pot, it can easily feed at least four people with large appetites.

The 'bak kut teh' is packed in easy-to-heat-up and sturdy boxes
The 'bak kut teh' is packed in easy-to-heat-up and sturdy boxes

I had also ordered the individual dry bak kut teh to try and chose the pork trotter part. It was a good choice as I got the gelatinous bits with meat that was falling off the bone. You get a deep deliciousness with every spoonful of the fat and meat, followed by a slight burning heat from the dried chillies.

This was incredibly satisfying with a bowl of rice. They also serve you a bowl of their broth that complements the dry bak kut teh well. If you don't like your food to be overly spicy, they allow you to adjust the chili levels. For those who love to eat their food extra spicy, there's also an option for that.

Overall, it was a good experience and definitely an easy way to get your hands on authentic bak kut teh with minimal fuss. Perfect for these cold, rainy days we have been experiencing too without stepping out of the house.

Under the Cookhouse website, they also have other operators like Kayahouse Kopitiam, Shella Seafood and Roasted Chef House.

Xiang Klang Bak Kut Teh, Cookhouse, Level 2, Seventeen, Jalan 17/38, Section 17, Petaling Jaya. Open daily and the first order is 8.50am for takeaway and the last order for takeaway is 9.20pm. Instagram: @xiangklangbakuteh Facebook: @kiheongxiang