My Johor friend John brought us to Hay Chooi Coffee Shop 海水餐室 to try what he calls "Ah Mah's cooking".
I rely a lot on the help of locals to show me the best places to eat in Johor Bahru. I must have driven pass along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak a few hundred times, but never knew that there is such a special eatery on the inside road along Jalan Lembah.
Mdm Chau 周 and her family have been running Hay Chooi Coffee Shop "before the Japanese were here" (戰前 pre-war).
At Hay Chooi, food is still cooked with charcoal. When I asked Mdm Chau why they still use charcoal, she gave me no other reason than "it has always been this way".
John ordered a few dishes for us to try.
The freshly charcoal cooked food came out hotter, more aromatic and more crisp than food cooked with gas.
The ingredients were all fresh and cooked just right, so we can taste their natural flavours.
The natural textures of the ingredients were still all intact - tender, juicy and crunchy.
Mdm Chau uses only simple, mild tasting sauces in her dishes. It accentuates the natural flavours of the fresh ingredients.
The aromas and tastes are just like that from our own Ah Mahs and mothers' kitchen.
This soup looks simple.
It tastes wholesome and delicious with natural tasting savoury sweetness.
Everyone, young and old love Ah Mah's cooking.
John generously took the tab for the meal. He assured us that it is very reasonable.
->> If you eat out and still want the taste of home, get Ah Mah's cooking at Hay Chooi Coffee Shop. Fresh ingredients, cooked over charcoal fire by grandma just like at kampung homes.
->> 海水餐室. 好像阿妈煮的菜一样. 简单又好吃. 一定要试试.
Restaurant name: Hay Chooi Coffee Shop 海水餐室
Address: 174, Jalan Lambah, Taman Tasek, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.485566, 103.720474 / 1°29'08.0"N 103°43'13.7"E
Hours: 10:30am to 2:00pm (Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays)
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