Braised pork knuckle (or hind, legs and trotter) is quite a common dish that can usually found at most Bak Kut Teh restaurants. I think many of us grow up eating this cooked by either our mom or grandmom – simply throw in some eggs as well and it’s the perfect dish to eat with rice.
As one of the very restaurants in town that specializes in this dish, what makes The Champ Kitchen at Kepong Industrial Park (KIP) unique is the cooking method they employ.
A large stainless steel pot, big enough to accommodate 180 pork knuckles at one time is used to gently cook the boneless pork knuckles over 72 hours until they are tender.
Here’s some background history on the dish as told by the chef. It’s prepared using a family recipe (originating from Fujian, China) that has been handed down since the late 1800’s.
Unfortunately, you can’t see how it’s prepared nowadays, but you can get a rough idea how it was done in the olden days by looking at the photo hanging in the restaurant. I can’t help but feel amazed at the sight of the mountain of pork knuckles, just imagine the amount of experience and effort required to cook them properly.
The first thing you’d notice is that the flavour of the braised pork knuckle served here is not as strong as others. Simply put, it’s not salty enough for Malaysians’ heavy taste buds. Which is why you are free to dip the meat with soya sauce if you want, even the chef doesn’t mind it at all.
Come to think of it, home-cooked food is always not as “tasty” because we control the amount of salt and MSG we put into our foods. The chef could have taken the easy way out and adjust the seasoning accordingly so the majority of customers will love it. But since it’s a family recipe that’s more than a century old – he has a duty to protect the authenticity.
There are a few ways to try it. If you are here with a group, you can consider ordering the Claypot Pork Knuckle @ RM38 which comes with a whole pork knuckle, the price is reasonable considering the portion size. You can enjoy it with white rice or with fried mantou buns @ RM1.50/pc.
For those who just want a quick and economical meal, there’s a handful of single-portion rice and noodles to choose from such. The Pork Rice @ RM8 has a small Japanese influence because the egg served is similar to what you’d get in a bowl of ramen. And based on our observation, every dish that comes with the egg has a perfect runny center – not bad at all.
The braised pork is also available in Japanese-style noodles – either in Cha Soba, Zaru Soba or Inaniwa Udon @ RM10. While it definitely looks like a serving of ramen, the soup is light tasting and not as rich as you’d get from a ramen restaurant.
Anyway, it’s not all pork here at The Champ Kitchen. You can also get a bowl of “Sai Yong” aka Hong Kong style wonton noodles for RM13 and they come with 6 decent-sized wontons. The noodles used is very similar to what you’d get at Hong Kong, firm with a bite and complete with alkaline taste.
The restaurant also serves a good handful of dishes that you could order with rice for a family-sized meal. Among the few that we tried, I particularly loved the beautiful looking Dang Gui Salted Chicken @ 28, Grilled Lamb Belly @ RM15, Double Boiled Chicken Soup and the Salt-Grilled Saba (highly recommended); while the rest like tofu and greens are pretty standard stuff.
Overall, if you ask me if this restaurant serves the best pork knuckle in town, personally I’d say no. But is it good? You bet. Besides, there are quite a number of worthy dishes to try. Whether you are here for a quick and affordable or to indulge yourself in a traditional yet scrumptious meal, The Champ Kitchen has it for everyone – provided only if you enjoy pork.
No 19, Jln KIP 1, Taman Perindustrian KIP
52200, Kepong, KL
Tel: 03-6275 1919