Sunday, 15 June 2014
Warung Pokok Cherry (Ceri) in Johor Bahru for Grilled Fish and Kelantan Food
I was first introduced to Warung Pokok Ceri by my JB friend Kumes.
Warung Pokok Ceri (literally "the stall under the Cherry Tree) is hidden under and behind the clump of short leafy trees and scrubs along Jalan Duke - it is easy to miss, unless one knows where to look.
Warung Pokok Ceri is right across the road from Persada Johor (convention centre) along Jalan Duke. So look out for this pretty building.
Warung Pokok Ceri is a popular lunch place for people working in the surrounding area.
Customers dine under the shade of colourful umbrella canopies and small leafy trees, but it can still get pretty hot here.
Warung Pokok Ceri serves a wide variety of different freshly cooked dishes neatly laid out in trays for customers. The best time to be here is slightly before noon, ahead of the lunch crowd.
The popular fried egg omelete, and there are plenty more of other traditional Malay dishes offered here.
Warung Pokok Ceri has an impressive ulam section. Ulam is a form of Malay salad using a variety of fresh local vegetables such as petai (my favourite stinky beans), cucumbers and egg plants. The crunchy local vegetables are eaten with spicy or savoury sambal dips.
There is something for everyone at Warung Pokok Ceri and the dish that I keep coming back for is their freshly grilled kembong fish (available during lunch time).
The fresh kembong fish, gutted and lightly marinated with curry spices, are grilled at the warung over red hot charcoal fire.
Fresh ikan kembong straight from the charcoal grill to the table.
My simple lunch of grilled kambong fish and boiled banana shoots with a bit of sambal and curry gravy.
My bowl of fish soup with a chunky mackerel steak. The soup was served lukewarm while I am more accustomed to hot soup. The mackerel was also cooked till it was quite hard.
The mackerel was cold, hard and fibrous. I decided to dunk it in savoury sambal to give it some flavour.
The grilled fish always works for me. Very slightly charred and crisp outside with moist and tender flesh inside.
For drinks I had a limau ais (lime juice with ice) which I found a bit too sugary for my liking.
My lunch of grilled kembong fish, mackerel fish soup, vegetable, rice and cold drink came to RM10.
Besides rice, meat, fish and vegetable dishes, Warung Pokok Ceri also serves various kinds of traditional cakes and sweet desserts.
If you work in the area or if you are a visitor who wants to eat local, you may want to give Warung Pokok Ceri a try.
->> Get a taste of Kelantan food here in Johor Bahru. Plenty of traditional dishes here from the Peninsula east coast states. My favourite is their fresh charcoal grilled fish.
Restaurant name: Warung Pokok Ceri
Address: Jalan Duke in downtown Johor Bahru (Across the road from Persada Johor [convention centre] and Puteri Pacific Hotel)
GPS: 1.460562,103.761706 / 1°27'38.0"N 103°45'42.1"E
Hours: 24 hours (No rest day)
Dates visited: 6 Nov 2013, 11 Jun 2014
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