Johor Kaki is foremost about Johor food, and occasionally mini projects about Singapore food, my travels and hunt for the best instant noodles.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

JB Food on Foot Day Trip - Walking Food Tour of Jalan Lumba Kuda Area (Food near CIQ and City Square), Johor Bahru, Malaysia


Besides JB Old Town, another foodie day trip option is the area near Jalan Lumba Kuda which has a cluster of good food shops that are also within 10 minutes of walking from the JB Immigration building. However, unlike the JB Old Town where there are quaint old style streets, the Jalan Lumba Kuda area is just rows of shop houses.

The heydays of the Jalan Lumba Kuda area were over since the demolition of the old Johor Bahru checkpoint, but these food shops are still doing a thriving business as their loyal fans - old and new - keep coming back to them. There is nothing much to see here – the only attraction here is the good food. The walk too, under the flyovers is not very scenic – but these are no deterrent for hard core foodies J

How to walk there?

Eating places near CIQ and City Square

After you clear Malaysian immigration, take the escalator down to the lowest level where the JB Sentral (bus station) is. Step out of the building, turn to your right and walk along Jalan Jim Quee in the direction of Singapore. You will walk pass the bus interchange. You will also find yourself under the flyovers.


After about 5 minutes walking, you will see on your left, a cluster of low rise shop houses. That is where the 8 popular food stalls are.

BREAKFAST

If you take a walk down sleepy Jalan Lumba Kuda, you will find a long, laid back row of shop houses that had seen better days – now occupied by car workshops, provision shops, small shoplot hotels, and a few quiet eating places. My favourite along this stretch is Heng Kee coffee shop which houses Hup Kee wanton mee and Ah Song Hakka mee.


Wanton mee fans may want to give Hup Kee a try for breakfast. This small wanton mee stall is popular among customers here but seems to be relatively unknown outside the neighbourhood. Delicate sesame flavoured sauce on al dente QQ noodles - simple and nice. The wantons are tiny, smooth, tender and tasty morsels handmade in the old way.


Ah Song Hakka mee is the other stall drawing the breakfast crowd to Heng Kee coffee shop. Toss and stir the sauce and the fried minced pork with the crunchy noodles for a nice bowl of tasty Hakka mee. The hand made fresh fish balls here are bouncy and loaded with fresh fish flavours. You can also choose various equally delicious hand made yong tau foo pieces to go with your noodles.

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH



Another hot spot is Shang Ji coffee shop which opens for breakfast and lunch. There are 3 stalls here which I like.


Tin & Tin Cathay beef noodles stall may look ordinary, just like any other but wait – the owner MR Tan Ah Teng is an accomplished chef with many achievements in his more than 40 years in the food business. New fans and old are finding their way back to this food enclave for Tin & Tin’s tender, tasty chunks of beef in delicious soup and smooth kway teow wrapped in flavourful beefy sauce.


Shang Ji braised duck noodles stall is just next to Tin & Tin Cathay beef noodles. The well balanced flavours of the braising sauce here turns ordinary yellow noodles into a smooth, rich and delicious treat. The noodle is so good that it almost turned the equally excellent tender, rich and naturally sweet braised duck meat into a sideshow J


Tan Kee Cathay laksa is yet another ordinary looking stall that is big on taste. Tan Kee’s spicy curry is loaded with tofu, fried tofu skin, and fish ball. The tender tofu is fresh and soaks up the flavourful and not too spicy curry to create a wonderfully tasty treat. Johor Cathay laksa differs from Singapore laksa in that Cathay laksa relies more on spices and less on coconut milk for its flavours.


A couple of shop units away is Jadi Baru Botak coffee shop which is famous for its asam fish head. Their signature asam curry fish head pulls in large crowds during lunch. Jadi Baru Botak’s fresh fish head is cooked in spicy, tangy asam gravy and is served in a clay pot that is bubbling, bursting steam bubbles – an agitating sight that excites the appetite J


Next door to Jadi Baru Botak is the renowned Hwa Mei bak kut teh. Hwa Mei is one of the oldest bak kut teh shops in JB. The bak kut teh at Hwa Mei is still prepared using the decades old methods and blend of herbs. Not too salty, nor too oily, Hwa Mei’s bak kut teh is literary like savouring naturally sweet tender ribs in hot fragrant and tasty tea.



The first shop you see when you walk into the Lambu Kuda enclave from Jalan Jim Quee is Nasi Padang Ina or Restoran Causeway. Ina is the favourite lunch joint for many office and government workers in the area. Always jam packed during lunch, Ina serves one of the best nasi padang in town - plenty of tasty choices. The nasi padang here is authentic because the boss who has been running this shop for the past 20 years with his wife and daughters is from Padang.
 

Ah Yong's Hainanese beef kway teow noodles 永美茶餐厅 - 家乡牛腩面 is the newest stall in this area and already building a strong following. Ah Yong from Malacca had been selling beef noodles for over 10 years before coming to JB. Even the Singapore taxi uncles plying the Singapore-JB route have found this place - that speaks volumes about the taste of Ah Yong's beef kway teow :) 

DINNER


In the evening, there is none of the buzz seen during lunch time. Only Nasi Padang Ina/ Restoran Causeway is opened for dinner here, serving ayam penyet and asam pedas – which is a good combination for dinner. Restoran Causeway’s ayam penyet set comes with a freshly deep fried whole chicken leg and white rice. Restoran Causeway’s excellent sambal chili sets the ayam penyet here apart from the ordinary. The asam pedas comes with a choice of various fresh fish – the soupy gravy is roughly balanced between sour and spicy hot. 

Another day trip option is a walking food tour of JB that you may like to try is the JB old downtown area.

Wish you happy eating.

As always, to enjoy a safe trip, apply the usual safety precautions e.g. watch out for fast traffic when crossing the roads and move away from “scratch and win” scammers.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent intro to this area complete with instructions on how to walk to this place from the JB CIQ. That is important.

    I hear the nasi padang is famous.
    Will like to check out the wantan mee and duck noodles.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ricohflex for the encouragement. Glad that you found this useful. Wish you happy eating ;D

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  2. It can become quite hazardous to make it across from JBSentral to reach the Jalan Lumba Kuda area.

    Jln Jim Quee is rather congested with vehicles at times ... especially at nights.

    What's with the high-rail fences, erected on either sides of the narrow streets.

    This makes it doubly difficult to cross the streets.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, got to be very careful. I don't remember any designated crossing along this stretch.

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  3. Hi All

    Actually, Jln Lumba Kuda is being cut into 2 portions by the new road/flyover of the CIQ building. The 1st portion is made up of the Lion hotel with Crystal BKT. If u drive, the easiest way there is to go via Jln Stulang Darat, make a uturn at the traffic lights, past the no lard fishball joint, up the ramp and keep left. If not, you'll end up at the CIQ bldg. There is a very small exit road to JLKuda & Crystal.

    The other portion of JLKuda (where the rest of the good food joints are) is to drive past the small exit, turn left and go towards the end of Jln Lingkaram Daram, uturn at the uturn sign and head back up the road. U will then see Ah Siang Rd. Enter & continue to drive along it and turn left at the junction of JLKuda/Ah Siang Rd. U will reach food paradise. After your fill, retrace your steps backwards towards Jln Lingkaram Daram. I got lost once going round in circles until I retraced my steps.

    Happy eating & hope u guys are able to topo your way around..lol

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mike for the detailed directions ;D

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