Johor Kaki was interviewed by SuperMag 超大誌, a prominent bilingual lifestyle magazine on living, learning, playing and investing in the fast growing Iskandar Development Region in Johor.
What made you started blogging, and in particular about Johor food?
Living in Singapore, we have always enjoyed Johor food. At first, I just wanted a place where I can keep simple notes on the delicious food that I came across in Johor. A blog is a good place to start since I can post photos, videos and stories on the World Wide Web at an affordable cost.
Not long after I started blogging about the food I tasted in Johor, I began getting feedback from readers who found Johor Kaki blog useful. As I got more into blogging, I also realised that there are many good hawkers whose interesting stories and their food are not recorded anywhere.
So with readers' encouragement and a personal mission to tell the stories of hawkers and share about their food, I blogged more and more, and hasn't stopped since.
You seemed to have a preference for local heritage food, is that true?
Actually, I enjoy all delicious food. It doesn't matter whether they are traditional, modern, local or foreign.
But, if it is a traditional dish like mee rebus, wanton mee, curry laksa or nasi bryani, it is sometimes difficult to taste again the flavours and smell the aromas we enjoyed during our childhood days. Many of our memories of people and places are tied to these old flavours, aromas, tastes, looks and feel of traditional food.
Many of my friends feel the same nostalgia, so I think this sentiment is quite common, especially among the older generations.
So, I keep a look out for shops that still do things the old way, serve food that tastes, smells, looks and feels like those we enjoyed long ago. Whenever I come across such shops, I will definitely share it in Johor Kaki blog.
The strong response from readers to Johor Kaki stories on heritage food and shops, is very encouraging.
How do you feel about your recent awards and new-found fame?
I am grateful for the support of Johor Kaki readers for their votes and encouragement. My heartfelt thanks also to the hawkers because it is really their food and stories that won the judges' hearts.
I am very happy that with the awards more people in Malaysia and Singapore are aware that Johor has many delicious food that is unique to Johor. I am also glad to see more bloggers in Johor and more bloggers are blogging about Johor food.
One day, we may see Johor food become famous like Penang food, Ipoh food and Malacca food.
Any "food-worthy" recommendations and heart wrenching stories?
I am most heartened when I see those old stalls and shops where the new generations are willing to carry on their parents' and grandparents' business. Especially when the new generation stays faithful to the original recipes and methods yet apply relevant modern management principles to help the business thrive and reach further, and into future markets.
Examples are Hiap Joo bakery in old downtown Johor Bahru, and Hui Mian Zhi Jia noodle house in Pontian.
What are your future plans for Johor Kaki?
Johor will be the focus of Johor Kaki blog and from there I will also be exploring and sharing about the food from other places in Singapore, Malaysia and places that I have the opportunity to travel to.
I will continue to do what I am doing for as long as I can.
Hopefully one day, Johor food will become famous like Penang food, Ipoh food and Malacca food.
27 Sep 2014
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