Monday, 6 May 2013

Goh Zha Lang Restoran Taiwan 古早人台湾粥餐馆 in Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru (Guest Post)

I have been following Samantha's Bonding Tool blog because I like her sincere, understated style of writing. She is also very funny and takes beautiful photos. As I feel that Johor Kaki readers will also enjoy Samantha's delicious food reviews, I invited her to be my guest blogger. I am honoured that she graciously accepted my invitation and I feel very privileged to have her post on Johor Kaki. Thank you, Samantha. Tony


Hello world! My name is Samantha Han and my friends call me Sam :D Life is a box of chocolates, you never now what you are going to get… When Tony invited me to do a guest post on JohorKaki, I was like “Yes! Yes! Yes… I so wanna do this!” THANK YOU, Tony! I could not be more honoured and motivated (started digging up all my photos on JB food). I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have, blogging for you ~ Sam Han.

From Singapore into Johor, Malaysia

Meng and I wanted a guide in Johor Bahru mainly to know where to eat. Pang offered to give us a tour that night as he goes into JB weekly and knew places that might tickle our tastebuds. As he was scheduled for medical check-up the next morning, Pang said he would not be eating but I should have known his intentions differed. He suggested eating porridge, something easy for us (excluding him) to partake. Meng and I rolled our eyes ;-)

The street leading to Goh Zha Lang

As we were approaching the restaurant, we saw a line up of tables on the street, all filled with enthusiastic diners. When I saw that sign posting “lala”, I wanted to open the car door and jump into the street. My tongue was wet with the imaginary sambal or kum hiong lala but I digressed. Back to bubur!

Goh-Zha-Lang-Restoran-Taiwan-古早人台湾粥餐馆-Taman-Sentosa-Johor Bahru
Goh Zha Lang Restoran Taiwan 古早人台湾粥餐馆

This place looked familiar… Ah yes, I’ve been here before, that was at least 5 years ago! I’m glad we came. Time to review the taste and quality of this place that reeked nostalgia.

The restaurant's decor

The first thing that triggered my memory lane were the sampans hanging on the wall. The decor was the same. Nothing much has changed, no major renovation taken place since I last visited which meant bill should be reasonable since owner would not be recovering remodelling costs.

Making Chinese tea

We ordered Chinese tea. Although the tea leaves were not the finest grade, they did have nice aroma and good overtones without being complex.

Braised Peanuts

Braised peanuts were served as tidbits while our meal was being prepared. The peanuts were tender and infused with the fragrance of star anise and a hint of 5 spice.

Sweet Potato Porridge – bottomless refill

For MYR1.30 per person, you can keep refilling your bowl of plain or sweet potato porridge. Oliver Twist would have loved it here! More please, Pang who said he wouldn’t eat had 2 bowls that night. Hmmm… I wonder how many bowls he would consume had he brought his stomach!

Fried Beansprouts with Salted Fish

The beansprouts was done very nicely. The quick stir-fried method successfully retained the crunch of this humble dish yet adequately removed the offensive raw smell of the beans. The salted fish was crispy and not overly salty. A good choice we have made ordering this.

Prawn Omelet
Prawn Omelet

The prawn omelet was fluffy and the prawns succulent and juicy. The sweetness from the prawns assured me that they were fresh. Even though I could not taste the sea, I was assured of fast turnover of ingredients. Business is definitely brisk here.

Hotplate Tofu

The hotplate tofu offered silky smooth egg beancurd, coarsely diced green peppers and minced meat. The colour was a little too dark, too much dark soy for my liking. Taste wise there’s nothing to shout about nor anything to loathe too. It was quite ordinary.

Sliced Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions

Stir-fried fish slices with ginger and scallions was good. The cut was not overly thick since they were stir-fried and needed to infuse the seasonings as fast as possible. I like the smooth texture of the fish used. The fillets did properly rid of bones so this makes a good dish for children and older folks.

Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Egg Yolk.

Pork is my all time favourite so I’m always biased when it comes to swine so long as there’s no porky smell, I love any cooking style with pork. The salted egg yolk is a bonus to my meal so I shan’t complain too much about the overly minced pork patty which I would prefer coarse ground to provide more texture and mouthfeel. I could not decide if this was slightly over steamed. In any case, it is good to overcook pork for mysophobia reasons.

Szechuan Vegetable Soup

The Szechuan vegetable soup was a refreshing change from the rich Cantonese soups I’ve had recently. The light clear broth with minimal tang from the tomato wedges stimulated our appetite. That’s how Pang succumbed to his second bowl of porridge. I found the vegetables a little too well washed so that they’d lost some spiciness and saltiness. That said, health conscious people on low sodium diet may like it.

If you do not like porridge, the dishes go well with rice, too. This restaurant provides meals suitable for families with young children and elderly folks.

Meng and I agreed that this is a restaurant we would visit again should we be in JB and has a pang (pun intended) for Taiwanese porridge.

Free dessert of Green Bean Soup that came with the meal.

The bill totalled MYR64.35.

Restaurant name: Goh Zha Lang Restoran Taiwan 古早人台湾粥餐馆
Address: 125 & 125A, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru

GPS: 1.493456,103.771893 (rough)
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight (needs verification)
Non Halal

Date visited: 28 Apr 2013


  1. Nice review, I like the posting of the bill, so that no surprises (to the pocket) when visiting the place.

    Good old traditional/ comfort food. I like it. Do you detect any MSG in their dishes?

  2. You made me feel quite hungry. I would love to go there just not for the pork. :-)

    1. If you haven't been there before I think it is worth at least one visit. They have plenty of dishes which I have not tried. Perhaps you might recommend some from your visit :)

  3. I'm not too sure about the msg but I did not feel thirsty after the meal so if there was, it's minimal. Hope that helps :)

  4. i dont think this is consider cheap

    1. I think it's reasonable not cheap :)

  5. Not cheap,but at least u know what to expect.


I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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