When I first drove past the Tea Bones Cafe on Hugh Low Street, I thought it was “T Bones” and immediately linked it to a steak house. When I walked into the cafe, it was very oriental with a strong scent of Chinese herbs, and obviously no sizzling steak is going to be served. It was till I saw the menu with bak kut teh, drunken chicken, I realized it is “Tea Bones” and it is a literal translation from the two very crucial ingredients of tea (“teh”) and bones (“kut”).
“Poetic” isn’t a typical word to associate bak kut teh with, especially the common places of eating bak kut teh in Ipoh is in the typical kedai kopi places, but it’s a word I thought would be suitable to describe Tea Bones Cafe’s interior – with murals of sceneries, ladies dressed in dynastic costumes, drawn with the techniques of Chinese ink painting.
The soup of the drunken chicken (RM 18) is the best part – potent with the taste of rice wine and ginger, balanced with a sweet note from the goji berries. The chicken pieces are tender and have soaked up the intense goodness from the soup.
The bak kut teh (RM 11) on the other hand, is just average. The ingredients used are all good with a copious amount of three-layered-meats, intestines and bean curd puffs immersed in a light herbal soup. It’s too bad that the happy medley’s not communicating with each other where the meats have not taken up the flavors from the herbal soup.
A small bowl of fried “you tiao” (Chinese donuts) accompanies the two dishes.
Simple blanched vegetables are available, RM 4.50 for small and RM 6.50 for large. The other items on Tea Bones Cafe’s menu include chick kut teh, vinegar pork trotter, chicken curry, wine chicken, eggs and tofu.
Overall, it was a decent dining experience, although ironically, I preferred the drunken chicken instead of the bak kut teh in a cafe where bak kut teh is supposedto be the star.
More Info on Tea Bones Cafe * Non Halal
Address: No. 95 & 97, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh Perak, Malaysia. (Hugh Low Street).
Opening Hours : Daily 10 am – 3pm. 5pm – 10pm.
Tel: +605 242 8242