Monday, 6 October 2014

Batu Pahat Johor 1-Day Food Trail 柔佛峇株巴辖一天美食之旅

Four of us buddies Benny, Semi, Ricky and me went on a free and easy Batu Pahat food trail.

Armed with suggestions from Johor Kaki readers, we had no detailed or specific plan. We went with some general idea about where were the well known eateries, and a willingness to be lost and try out anything interesting that we might stumble upon. The well known eateries were really the fall backs, in case we were lost and very hungry. Our main targets were readers' suggestions and stumble upons.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

After trying numerous solutions through as many food trails, I found the primitive card and pen system works best for me. No internet connection, no battery, no worries :D

OK, let's get on with the trip.

After exiting the Ayer Hitam toll along the North South Expressway, we headed in the direction of Batu Pahat via little Ayer Hitam town.

Just 5 minutes from the Ayer Hitam toll, we stopped at Tang Chuan 东泉 dim sum shop for a quick carbo and caffeine top up before heading to Batu Pahat, which is about 45 minutes away.

The kopitiam style dim sum at Tong Chuan are hand made here at the old shop.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

We all like the bao's 大包 thick, fluffy snowy white skin. Though we all like the savoury-sweet flavour of the pork filling, we felt it was too soft and minced too finely. I prefer my pork filling chunky, chopped or sliced.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

The Lo Mai Kai 糯米鸡 was well balanced between sweet and savoury, the chicken was tender, but the gummy glutinous rice was quite stiff and chewy.  

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Our first stop in Batu Pahat was the legendary Ah See Kee wantan noodles 亞泗雲吞面. Ah See has been selling his unique style of wantan mee for 60 years and almost everyone here in Batu Pahat knows this famous shop. Ah See and his family make everything at the shop from the egg noodles to the wantans, char siew and signature sauce.

Anyway, in case you are wondering, that big pot in the foreground is L.A.R.D. ... LOL :D

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

I love Ah See's crunchy, springy noodles and also his unique savoury, aromatic blend of lard, sesame oil, chili and soy sauce. My companions, however, weren't used to the sauce which they felt wasn't robust enough. We all liked the char siew and wantans.

After Ah See Kee, we walked to Batu Pahat's "Glutton Street". Despite the name, it's actually a minor road with several stalls lining the street sides.

We went to look for the no signboard fish ball noodles stall which comes highly recommended by Johor Kaki readers from Batu Pahat. I always missed this stall during all my previous visits to Batu Pahat.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Bingo! Today, the no signboard fish ball noodle stall is open!

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Mr Lee and his wife have been tending this fish ball noodle stall for over 40 years.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Everyone of us loved this fish ball noodles. The homemade noodles were crunchy with nice bite. The savoury spicy sauce had a pleasant hot sting.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Excellent hand made fish balls made with 100% fresh fish meat.

After the fish ball noodles, we proceeded to Swee Kee herbal soup 水记炖品 for their curry fish head which is highly recommended by Batu Pahat readers.


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Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail- 柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Swee Kee's curry fish head was excellent. The Ikan Merah fish was fresh and the curry was mildly spicy hot, and had nice curry spices aroma and flavours.

However, this was very similar to the best curry fish heads in Singapore and Johor Bahru, so it may not have the novelty appeal for tourists or food thrill seekers.

Swee Kee's signature is their turtle soup but none of my companions shared my enthusiasm for this exotic dish. So we settled for Swee Kee's herbal frog soup.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅
Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Nice herbal broth with distinct tang kuei herbal aroma and flavours. The frog meat wasn't tasty though. The meat was fibrous and all the flavours and goodness were drained into the herbal broth (as it should be). 

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Amazingly fresh locally grown leafy greens, perfectly executed. Ah.... the simple pleasures of small town life.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

If you have a habit of shopping for food gifts to bring home, you can get some traditional Chinese pastries from GN 满发 just steps away, across the road from Swee Kee.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅
Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Next, we stumbled upon Ah Soon fish head bee hoon and pork organ soup 亚顺鱼汤. The shop was packed with people and so we had no choice but to check it out :P  I was drawn in like a moth to a candle flame.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

It was a very generous RM4 bowl of mixed fresh pork slices, minced meat, liver, and fish slices in a savoury, medium bodied, cloudy, steaming hot broth. The broth was savoury, sweet and had distinct tangy notes from plums in the soup. It was also slightly oily.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Seeing many locals have this noodles on their tables, we ordered a bowl to try. The slurpy noodles were slightly springy and quite enjoyable.

Overall, an excellent, delicious lunch but I was a little too full by now and felt bloated with all the greasy broth and ingredients.

The crowds kept streaming in as we waited, ate and as we were leaving. Ah Soon 亚顺鱼汤 is obviously a local favourite.

After Ah Soon, we took a walk to the end of Jalan Temenggong to another local favourite "Ta Bei Shui" kopitiam or 大杯水.

At first, I wasn't too excited about 大杯水 as the name reminded me of those Taiwanese style saccharine bubble tea places.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

大杯水 turned out to be an old school corner kopitiam with a popular zhi char stall and a braised duck stall.

But, we were too full and just wanted a cold drink to chill out and cool our heels. Also, to give our tummies a break.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

When the drinks came, we understood why this place is called 大杯水. These huge mugs of real fruit juice cost RM7 (SGD2.80) each.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

We stumbled upon Mr Chai's ban chang kueh 曼煎糕 stall. Mr Chai recently moved his mobile tricycle stall here and settled at Ta Bei Shui 大杯水 kopitiam.


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Mr Chai's old workhorse is taking a well deserved rest outside his new stall now.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

All of us were wowed by Mr Chai's ban chang kueh and agreed that this was the among the very best that we have ever tasted. Actually, there is none remotely like this in Johor Bahru or Singapore.

The crust was crispy yet still had a slight gummy, doughy chew inside. The crushed peanut, sugar and margarine were fused into a caramel, candy like filling between the crispy doughy crusts. Savoury sweet with nice mouth feel. Definitely a must try in Batu Pahat.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

Spotted these youths sharing, enjoying and bonding over ban chang kueh. Each marvelously delicious tray costs RM5 (SGD2.00) which we felt was very reasonable.

Our last food stop in Batu Pahat was Yong's Steamboat known locally as 海口泳池火锅 because it is just beside a public swimming pool.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail 柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅
Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

We all loved this steamboat joint.

Very much.

The broth was round bodied yet clean tasting. The ingredients were all fresh (we didn't pick any generic factory stuff). At the end of our sumptuous and scrumptious steamboat feast, none of us felt any MSG thirst at all.

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

The broth was topped up regularly at no additional charge. The total bill for the steamboat and side dishes came to RM81 nett, which we all thought was very reasonable for the quality and amount of food we ate.

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Not long after starting our steamboat, a staff came and informed us that the boss is offering us their signature White Wine Cooked Chicken 白酒烧鸡 with his compliments. (Normal price RM48.)

(The boss left the restaurant before we could meet and personally thank him for his hospitality.)



The chunks of chicken were cooked in fiery flaming white rice wine. After the fire extinguished, the chicken chunks were allowed to simmer in boiling herbal broth for another 15 minutes.

This video was taken towards the end of the cooking with white rice wine. 

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

The chicken was fresh and had a nice alcohol and herbal flavour. The meat was quite stiff from the boiling. The herbal broth was delicious and highly drinkable with pleasant slight alcoholic notes. 


^ click for details

Batu-Pahat-Johor-1-Day-Food-Trail-柔佛峇株巴辖美食之旅

A group picture before heading back to Johor Bahru.

We enjoyed our short outing so much that we were already plotting our next food trail while we were driving back to Johor Bahru/ Singapore.

Batu Pahat have so much more to offer foodies. We shall be back, definitely.

Here is Semi's blog post on the trip.

Our itinerary for today's leisurely food trail:

Restaurant name: Tang Chuan Kopitiam 
Address: 763, Jalan Batu Pahat, Ayer Hitam, Johor 
Map: http://g.co/maps/rnfm3 
GPS: 1.917571,103.179409 
Hours: 08:30am to 6:00pm

Restaurant name: Chop See Kee
Address: 2, Jalan Jenang, Batu Pahat 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/o4T2d 
GPS: 1.853994,102.927668 
Hours: 8:30am to 9:30pm

Restaurant name: No signboard fish ball noodle stall at Batu Pahat's "Glutton Street" 
Address: At the junction of Jalan Peng Kai and Jalan Soga
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/pThRx 
GPS: 1.854745,102.927206 
Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm (closed on Tues)

Restaurant name: Kedai Makan Swee Kee 水记炖品
Address: 70, Jalan Abu Bakar, Batu Pahat, Johor 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/eO8Z 
GPS: 1.852606,102.928445 
Hours: 12:00pm to 8:00pm

Restaurant name: Ah Soon fish head bee hoon and pork organ soup 亚顺鱼汤
Address: No.5, Jalan Temenggong, Batu Pahat
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/fkTUA
GPS: 1.855185,102.929033
Hours: 11:00am to 2:30pm | 5:00pm to 10:00pm (Closed on Thurs)

Restaurant name: Ta Bei Shui 大杯水 kopitiam
Address: Junction of Jalan Penjaja 3 and Jalan Penjaja, Batu Pahat
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/MW79J
GPS1.858455,102.928998
Hours: Ban Chang Kueh stall operates from 12:30pm until sold out (usually at 4:30pm) 

Restaurant nameYong's Steamboat 海口泳池火锅 
Address: No. 2 M/S, Jalan Minyak Beku, Batu Pahat, Johor
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/WQeQg (approximate)
GPS: 1.836086,102.926128
Tel: (+60) 07-432 3320
Hours: 6:00pm to midnight

We left Johor Bahru at around 9:00am and arrived back in JB at around 9:00pm.

Date of visit: 4 Oct 2014

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

26 comments:

  1. the one serving you the 白酒烧鸡 is actually the ex-boss.. he sold his restaurant to current boss to clear his debt (as per rumour)... but still working as a manager there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not true. He has had always been a supervisor since day 1. Apparently unscrupulous people had been spreading rumours to discredit the business. The boss has been the same one since the start of the business.

      Delete
  2. I do agree that Batu Pahat has a lot of gastronomic delights, you can never finish all the food we have to offer in a day.

    A point to note, the Ah See Kee wanton noodles, the original lady who mix the trademark sauce has now opened another shop in BP Garden. The quality of the noodles is the same only difference is the sauce has more oomph than those found in the original shop which in my opinion has become too over rated.

    The Da Bei Shui and Ban Chang Kueh owners are brothers. One being the eldest and the latter the younger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you tigersden. Shall look for the lady during my next visit :D

      Delete
  3. Your Da Bei Shui location seems to be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, you are correct. I have amended the address. Thanks for pointing out :D

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  4. Next time can come try the signature dish of Pao Guan Herbal Soup 's "pepper root of wild board knuckle" and "crispy pipa duck"...marvellous~~!the shop is just at aeon big area~·behind Mcdonald.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! Shall add them to my list for next visit.

      Delete
  5. Yeah...Da Bei Shui and Ban Cheng Kueh both boss is my mum's brother so is my uncle....i am proud with them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D Nice to know that, Celine. Please send them my warm regards :D

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    2. May i know where is the ban jian kueh stall located? Thx.

      Delete
  6. If there are any food you have missed during the trip, perhaps you can contact me via my e-mail to try them out. Some food are not meant to be advertised, word of mouth would suffice to promote them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. 在Batu pahat 的新順利花園 有一間已有三十年歷史的面攤是由一位八十多歲的老啊嬤所經營的。
    她們自制的獨特辣椒醬,純手工釀豆腐,尤其是魚肉餡配搭的油條再配上自制的酸梅醬和糖水都很值得一試。
    除了自制手工料之外,再來就是福州麵,tom yam 米粉,獨特的經濟炒飯,自制無蝦膏Rojak 都讓人流連忘返。
    真的非常值得推薦!!

    地址 " 70 jalan tempines taman makmur,83000 Batu pahat, johor."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your recommendation. I will surely look for this stall at our next visit. Much appreciated.

      Delete
  8. Hi sir, I'm feeling deeply regret cause I'm only introducing you this now.

    KOU FOO SIANG SIANG
    No.8, Jalan Rugayah Utara,
    83 000, Batu Pahat, Johor

    Their signature dish is Assam fish. Spicy sour lover would be dying for it after the first try!
    They also have 蚝煎蛋,龙舌鱼(famous as well),sambal petai sotong prawn ( their sambal is superb), and Claypot fish head and curry fish head!

    Worth the try seriously. Hope you would come back again alright?

    Thank you very much! Have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stella for your suggestion. I will definitely look out for Kou Foo during our next visit. Thank you much.

      Delete
  9. Wah my hometown! Bo jio! Haha, actually I know so little of what's good there. But I love the Ah Soon pig organ soup. Two other great places are Dianfa Eating House and K-10 Kway Chap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Katherine ;-D shall add these tips to the itinerary for our next trip.

      Delete
  10. Unless it's 'yee mee' or kung fu chow, cooked noodles like Ah See's and the fishball are not crunchy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Next time you are in BP, you should try the following too:
    1. Cendol in Jalan Engan (near Jalan Penggaram);
    2. Lontong in Jalan Engan (near Jalan Ibrahim);
    3. Nasi Beriani Mohd Shah in Jalan Peserai (across from Putra Specialist Hospital)
    4. Popiah stall in the alleyway behind OCBC bank (next to Ah See Wantan Mee)

    Don't quote me on the above though as I haven't been back to BP in a few years but these 4 is at the top of my list (apart from good old Ah See Wantan Mee) everytime I go home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you IT ;-D shall add these suggestions to the itinerary for our next trip.

      Delete
  12. Dear sir,

    You may visit our page, under "BP Food 峇株吧轄美食赞!" album as link below to find out more tasty food available in Batu Pahat!! Cheers~ =D
    www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.167544020120375.1073741834.150531228488321

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi ! U may also try our charcoal roasted char siew at Batu pahat here ! Try to search FB : Seaside roasted meat restaurant or 海墘燒臘飯 . Thanks ! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The food is yummy! But do the water quality and food preparation process comply with the required safety standard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I come to Batu Pahat regularly, and in fact, was there today. We had another great day and never have any problems before with water quality and hygiene. That said, of course, we have to exercise the same vigilance we would anywhere in the world, including at our own home and country.

      Delete

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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