Sunday, 21 July 2013
Muar Food Trail by Tourism Malaysia Johor
This year's Tourism Malaysia Johor's food trail goes to the historic riverine town of Muar or Bandar Maharani. (Tourism Malaysia Johor has a popular food trail based in Johor Bahru.) Tourism Malaysia Johor invited me to participate in the launch of the Muar Food Trail from 23 to 26 June 2013.
We gathered in Johor Bahru and proceeded to our first stop - Nasuha Herbs and Spices Paradise off Jalan Muar-Pagoh. Nasuha is a herbs plantation offering restaurants, spa, accommodations, plantation tours and outdoor activities.
The second food trail stop was Norseha Ikan Baker at Medan Sabak Awor where we had dinner. Dinner was a sumptuous spread of fresh seafood such as fish, crabs, mussels and squids cooked the traditional way by Puan Norseha and her cheerful team.
Our tummies filled, we then proceeded to the Tanjung Emas jetty to board the ferry for the interesting firefly tour along Sungai Muar.
After seeing the fireflies, it was nearly midnight and we had stomach space for supper! The famous Muar Soup House was our supper. Well past midnight and Muar Soup House was still a hive of activity, many people were tucking in their soup with a teh tarik.
The first event on the second day was the official launch ceremony of the Muar Food Trail hosted by Majlis Perbandaran Muar at the Muar Traders Hotel.
We were then back again at the Tamjung Emas jetty but this time the ferry took us out to the mouth of Sungai Muar to meet up with the sampans fishing for oysters. This was fascinating! The fishermen dived for oysters without diving gear. They fished for wild oysters the same way as was done long, long ago.
After watching oyster fishing, we went back to downtown Muar for Mee Bandung, an iconic local dish. One of the best examples is at Kedai Mee Bandung Abu Bakar.
Dinner was BBQ fare at Mann Chalet at Kampung Seri Pantai.
We started the day with a sumptuous and scrumptious breakfast at the popular R&H Cafe Sate Maharani.
R&H Cafe is famous for their sate (satay) which, uniquely in Muar, is eaten during breakfast.
Besides the delicious sate we had mee rebus Jawa, lontong, tauhu lentok, nasi ambeng, and nasi lemak just to name a few.
We then took a drive to the Kopi 434 plantation and factory. We were shown the coffee production process from harvesting the coffee berries, to husking, roasting and packing. We sampled Kopi 434's premium quality Elephant Brand Liberica coffee and also dropped by at their outlet at Jalan Maharani.
Next stop was the famous Asam Pedas Mak Pon at Parit Jawa. Very fresh fish cooked in mildly spicy asam pedas.
After lunch, we proceeded to Homestay Parit Bugis and visited various traditional cottage industries in the village such as Tempe, Cakar Ayam, Kuih Bahulu and Gula Melaka production.
We spent the night at Homestay Parit Bugis. We were treated to a traditional nasi ambeng dinner where all the guests enjoyed mixing and sharing the delicious food together. This is a great traditional bonding experience not to be missed. Reminds me of the Chinese lou hei (toss raw fish salad) during Chinese New Year.
After-dinner entertainment were the amazing Kuda Kepang and Barongan performances.
The dancers swaying rhythmically to the hypnotic beat.
I was thrilled by the Barongan dance but some in the audience found it rather "scary".
The next morning we bid farewell to our gracious hosts while having a breakfast of traditional kuih (sweet cakes) and nasi lemak.
It was a very interesting 4 days getting to know Muar and especially it's people, culture and traditional foods.
Tourism Malaysia Johor's Muar Food Trail 2013 is a very well thought out food tour itinerary that tourists will find very