Bak Kut Teh (BKT) fans in Klang Valley have almost certainly heard of Seng Huat BKT, or higher generally known as the “Under The Bridge” BKT.
For those that haven’t, it’s a heritage BKT enterprise situated beneath a flyover close to the Klang River, which was how they obtained their nickname.
While there’s a dispute amongst KL and Klang people over the greatness of their BKT, their model continues to be fairly well-known amongst Malaysians.
A easy Google search of “Klang Bak Kut Teh” reveals their title on the prime of the record with the second-highest variety of Google evaluations after Teluk Pulai BKT.
Started By A Chiropractor From China
Now, the enterprise has been round for greater than 40 years since they began in 1979, however there was extra to the historical past behind the household recipe.
Seng Huat is of their third technology of operations to this point, and it began with the present proprietor’s grandfather, Lee Boon Teh.
He was a practising chiropractor who migrated from China earlier than World War II, and made a residing by promoting native kuih and offering chiropractic remedies to lift 12 kids.
Because of his familiarity with medicinal herbs, he ventured into creating his personal BKT recipe, a delicacies that’s presupposed to strengthen and enhance one’s well being.
“He ended up selling BKT because of its popularity among his (chiropractic) customers, and all this happened before 1942,” shared the present proprietor, Lee Chuan Teck with Vulcan Post.
When Boon Teh was operating this enterprise, solely his eldest and fourth sons had been serving to him out. So when the time got here for him to retire, Boon Teh handed the recipe all the way down to the 2 of them, however each sons ran their very own BKT companies individually.
Seng Huat was began by the 4th son, Lee Han Sen, who later handed it all the way down to his solely son, Lee Chuan Teck, whom we spoke to.
Customers Now Want Trendy BKT
Although BKT is a standard recipe, there have been all types of BKT traits that got here up all through the years, like stir-fried dried BKT, seafood BKT, and extra, that are one of many fundamental challenges that Seng Huat faces.
“Customers used to be okay with consuming only meat every single day, but now, people want BKT with you tiao, tau pok, and vegetables,” Chuan Teck shared.
Additionally, BKT in claypots is the fashionable method of serving the meal, as initially, it was once served in small bowls.
“We also had a flask on each table to serve hot water boiled with burning charcoal back then, which we’ve now replaced with induction cookers instead,” he added.
The greatest change they made, although, was including stir-fried dried BKT to their menu, which is simply served at their Genting department for now.
Loyal Fans Who’ve Visited 40 Years In A Row
Throughout the years, their fundamental clients had been native households within the space in addition to middle-aged males.
“Our reputation started growing first among locals from Klang, then more customers visited our restaurant who said they were from KL, Penang, Ipoh, and even East Malaysia or tourists from other countries,” Chuan Teck shared.
Among these clients are some long-term ones who’ve had their BKT for breakfast nearly daily for the previous 40 years.
Non-Klang natives would normally head to the restaurant from the Klang KTM station, because it’s solely a 2-minute stroll away.
Expansion Was Never A Priority Despite Their Popularity
“Expansion was never the first thing on our minds, as our focus was on the quality of our food all these years,” Chuan Teck defined why they solely now expanded.
Recently, they opened their first department in Genting, which Chuan Teck gave credit score to his household for making it potential.
“My wife and children were able to take over and assure the quality of the original shop in Klang, which gave us more time to explore more expanding opportunities.”
Throughout the years, Chuan Teck shared that their income pattern has been steady, however their peak second was within the 80s when BKT was an enormous pattern among the many locals.
While F&B companies are principally affected by the pandemic, BKT particularly took a success as a result of it’s a dish that clients would like to have whereas eating in.
Hence, Chuan Teck and the Seng Huat staff got here up with frozen BKT, which they prepare dinner upon pre-order, vacuum-pack and retailer within the freezer earlier than delivering them to the shoppers the next day.
“The frozen BKT pack is very easy and convenient to prepare as customers will just need to throw the whole packet into boiled water for 20 mins and they can enjoy,” he shared.
Business Continuity By The Next Family Generation
Chuan Teck’s kids have really been serving to out with the enterprise since they had been younger, and are aware of the operations, he shared.
“I won’t force or pressure my children to take over the business, because I don’t want to limit their future. But if any of them happen to be interested in taking over the business, I’d be more than happy to pass it down,” Chuan Teck shared with Vulcan Post.
However, he additionally shared that it’s grow to be a “natural instinct” for his kids to assist out on the restaurant and that they perceive the significance of protecting this conventional enterprise, which sounds eager for followers who’d like to see it into one other technology.
- You can study extra about Seng Huat BKT right here.
- You can learn extra F&B articles we’ve written right here.
Featured Image Credit: Seng Huat BKT