Friday, 24 July 2015

Johor Kaki Interview with MediaCorp 938LIVE Singapore JK1193


I was at Singapore MediaCorp 938LIVE Radio on 23 Jul to share about Johor food and food adventures in Malaysia. On my right is radio presenter Daphne Lim and on my left, Angela Lim. 

The ladies are true professionals. I was initially a little nervous but they quickly turned the LIVE interview into friendly banter. The 30 minutes interview turned out fun and chirpy. I enjoyed it and I hope the listeners found it helpful.

Disclaimer: This is not a transcript but rough brief notes of the interview. The actual broadcast differs slightly and is longer.

How did you start your blog?

I have been enjoying Malaysia and Johor food for a long time. When I wanted to check online on what is good to eat in Johor, I realised that there was very little organised information available back in 2011.

So, I decided to put down what I have tried into a blog and it just took off from there, going into new directions with the help of Johoreans and on to larger objectives.

Doing the blog made me realised that many hawkers have contributed their life time to serving good food but many retired without any record of their contributions or life long service.

So, Johor Kaki blog took on a new mission to put every good hawker on the World Wide Web.

That aim has kept me going till now, and I hope, for as long as I am able.

But, I am very slow and hope that more bloggers, especially young bloggers would join me as many pioneer hawkers are retiring.

Were you already exploring and cataloguing eateries even before you started your blog?

I have always loved food but did not catalogue or systematically record anything until I started Johor Kaki blog in 2011.

How much of Malaysia have you explored?

Not more than 10%, I reckon. The more I get into this, the less I realised I know. The next time you ask me this same question, I could be down to 5% :-D

How often do you go?

I go on good food hunts between 1 to 3 times a week.

What is the best way to go around Malaysia for a food trail?

By car or MPV - you need your own wheels. I've been a food trail with super bikers - that's fun too. It's best to do some prior planning, plan your route and bring along a trusty GPS. 

I am going to plan and post more food trails so that readers can have a ready reference, if they wish.

How do you recommend people plan their day around food, be able to taste everything, without becoming too full?

Go with at least 2 people. 4 to 8 would be ideal. Just order small portions to share so that we can try more things. In between eating, do some sightseeing, shopping, walking around, perhaps a foot massage or just chill out and bond at a local hipster cafe.

How much do you spend on food during food trails?

If we are trying out street food, on a group sharing basis and for up to 10 meals, I estimate that we spend about RM50 each. If we include seafood, restaurants and cafes, we spend up to RM100 each person.

Your most recommended trails?

Based on popular demand, it's the walking trail of Johor Bahru old town. People can just take a SMRT bus across to Johor Bahru and can try some of the famous old shops in the historic old town along Jalan Tan Hiok Nee cultural street which is within 10 minutes walking distance of the CIQ.

There is very good fish head curry, Hainanese style chicken chop, Hainanese kopi, poached kampung chicken eggs, nasi padang, wood fired banana cakes, hipster cafes and more.

Explore JB old town on foot here <- click

Further afield, the Batu Pahat food trail is very popular.

Explore Batu Pahat for food here <- click

I am planning trails to Pontian-Kukup, Muar, Tangkak-Yong Peng, Kluang, Sungai Rengit (Pengerang)  and Mersing - all of which can be done in a day trip.

Most well kept secret food trail in Malaysia?

It's right under our noses - within walking distance from the CIQ. It's on the Jalan Lumba Kuda side of the CIQ. For those who remember, it's at the old 15 storey flats before they were demolished to make way for the CIQ complex. Many of the original old stalls are still there. Very good old school bak kut teh, Hainanese beef noodles, curry laksa, asam fish, braised duck, nasi padang and Hakka style noodles. It's for breakfast only though, so we have to be early if we want to try these.

If you could do a full-round Malaysia tour for food, could you describe that route for us, and how long would that take?

Just a driving holiday within Peninsula Malaysia, I estimate that it would take about 10 days. The trail will take us up north to Alor Star driving on the west of the Peninsula and then turning south along the east coast back to Johor Bahru. (East Malaysia i.e. Sarawak and Sabah, is another foodie paradise.)

1. Johor Bahru -> Yong Peng-Tangkak -> Malacca

2. Malacca -> Kuala Lumpur

3. Kuala Lumpur

4. Kuala Lumpur -> Ipoh

5. Ipoh -> Taiping -> Penang

6. Penang

7. Penang -> Alor Star

8. Alor Star -> Kota Bahru

9. Kota Bahru -> Kuala Trengganu -> Kuantan

10. Kuantan -> Johor Bahru

I've done this a couple of times, before I started blogging. I hope to do this again at least a couple of times to blog about it :-D  I think it will be very exciting.

Acknowledgement: Thank you Tourism Malaysia (Singapore) for the opportunity.

Date: 23 Jul 2015

Return to Johor kaki homepage.


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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