Thursday, 27 February 2014
Western Food at Lemon Tree Restaurant in Johor Bahru
I was introduced to Lemon Tree by my blogger friend Kim Tan. Lemon Tree is Kim's regular lunch place as it is a stone's throw from her office and she loves the food here.
Lemon Tree's location is slightly off the busy streets and the shop front is humble, but it's a good food find that I am excited about. Lemon Tree now occupies two shoplots in this old leafy neighbourhood in Taman Melodies. The decor is simple and basic but cosy and inviting. Most of Lemon Tree's customers are regulars living in this laid back section of JB town. (Actually, Lemon Tree is just a short distance from KSL Mall.)
I have a long queue of blog debts, but Lemon Tree jumps to the front of the queue :P
Jeffery, the chef owner of Lemon Tree started work at Hyatt Hotel in JB (now Thistle) in his teens. He later went to work for 7 years in Pete's Place (Italian) at Grand Hyatt in Singapore. Jeffery returned to JB to work with the pioneer team that launched Vivo Pizza. Three years later Jeffery started his own restaurant at age 25 and had been running Lemon Tree for 11 years now.
As I have another food tasting to attend, I sampled only two dishes at Lemon Tree this round, namely the spaghetti aglio olio and the signature chicken chop.
Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio RM12.80.
Jeffery let us try Lemon Tree's seafood spaghetti aglio olio which is also one of my favourite spaghetti dishes.
The bed of spaghetti is garnished with a few good sized fresh prawns, squid rings, fried battered dory fish, chopped garlic, garlic cloves, chili and spring onions.
The spaghetti is cooked el dente and coated with a nice film of olive oil. I love the olive oil and garlic aroma and flavour. Jeffery told me that his Italian Chef at Pete's Place taught him that spaghetti cooked just right makes a soft popping sound when it is tucked and snapped apart. That's exactly how I like my spaghetti :D
This is one of the better spaghetti aglio olio that I have tasted in Johor or Singapore.
Lemon Tree Signature Chicken Chop RM9.80.
Jeffery next let us try Lemon Tree's signature chicken chop which had been on the menu since the restaurant's opening 11 years ago.
The slab of flatten chicken leg is grilled without batter till golden brown and slightly charred. Tender, juicy and savoury. I like this!
The chicken chop is topped with a slice of chicken ham and a melted Kraft cheese slice.
The brown sauce is savoury and peppery. It complemented the chicken chop very well.
Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream RM12.90.
For dessert, we had Lemon Tree's popular chocolate lava cake with ice cream.
The lava is made with 70% dark chocolate. I love the warm bitter-sweet lava cake eaten with the sweet icy cold ice cream.
Ice Lemon Tea RM3.50.
Lemon Tree's lemon tea.
Lemon Tree Restaurant is a family friendly neighbourhood eating place.
Thanks to Kim, Lemon Tree Restaurant is an exciting good food find in JB.
->> Lemon Tree is a charming little hide out for simple and nice Western meals at reasonable prices.
There are many more dishes in Lemon Tree's menu that I must definitely come back to try especially Jeffery's pizzas and steak.
(oh, there is no prize for guessing how Jeffery named his restaurant Lemon Tree. Jeff was inspired by Fool's Garden's version of the pop song Lemon Tree which was all the rage in 2003 when Jeff opened his restaurant.)
Restaurant name: Lemon Tree Restaurant
Address: 18, Jalan Bedara, Taman Melodies, Johor Bahru
Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm (Closed on Monday)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert, alcohol served
Date visited: 26 Feb 2014
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