Sunday, 10 January 2016

Ultimate Johor Bahru Food Trail with 10 Unique JB Food JK1363

Ultimate-Johor-Bahru-Food-Trail-10-Unique-JB-Food

As you know, I rarely use the words ultimate and unique, unless there are good reasons for it :-D These 10 foods are unique because outside of Johor, they are rarely found, if at all. This guide is ultimate because I think you will have a truly memorable, authentic JB experience, if you visit all of them in one day :-D 

"Cauliflower Fried Fish"

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So far in JB, I've seen this "cauliflower fried fish" only at Seng Steam Fish in Taman Sri Tebrau. The fish deboned and cut using a closely guarded technique is deep fried till crisp outside while the sweet flesh is still moist and tender inside. It is drizzled with a Thai style sourish, sweet, spicy and savoury sauce.

Kway Teow Kia

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Kway Teow Kia is quite common in JB as it is a traditional Teochew staple - well cleaned pork offal braised till tender in soy and herbal broth, and eaten with slender flat rice noodles. Rarely found beyond JB and not even one in Singapore (though it is similar to kway chap). For Singaporeans, I am recommending Ka Hoe in Taman Maju Jaya because they also serve pork blood curd which is banned on the island :-D

Wild Boar Meat

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Another food you cannot find in Singapore is wild boar meat (not legally anyway :-p ). Here in JB, you can find it stir fried, cooked in curry or in a peppery broth. Relax. You won't find any gaminess in wild boar meat - the stalls usually get rid of all of that. You will get a meat not that much different from domesticated pork but leaner, almost fat free and the skin more chewy.

Poached Fish

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Steamed fish are common in Asia but poached fish? I know of only one and it is in JB at Hin Hock in Tampoi. The boss dunks their fresh fish in a large pot of bubbling boiling water, places it in a large plastic plate, splash it with their house blended sauce and bury the poached fish in a small mountain of fried diced garlic before serving. To me, this is one of the shops that define the JB good food scene.

Bitter Gourd Soup

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Bitter gourd soup is a Hakka staple dish, fairly common in JB at food stalls and restaurants. Fresh bitter gourd is thinly sliced and served in a pork bone broth with lean pork slices and liver. Don't worry. The bitter gourd is sweet like boiled crunchy apple slices. Kah Kah Loke is the stall (now a restaurant chain) that first popularised this dish commercially. There are more others I need to check out :-D

Fried Durian

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Scathing hot, flowing real yellow D24 durian lava with pungent sweet bitter flavour and aroma encased in a crispy savoury sweet crust. You can get it at two different stalls in JB - Taman Sri Tebrau and Taman Ungku Tun Aminah

Hiap Joo Banana Cake

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Fluffy bouncy moist banana cake made with real bananas, no banana essence or preservatives, and baked in Hiap Joo's century old brick oven with wood fire. You will taste just natural gentle sweetness with a slight smokey flavour from the burning wood. Have to queue and there is no guarantee that you will get any as the banana cakes are always sold out within minutes they are ready.

Kacang Pool

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Kacang Pool is a Middle Eastern (meat free) staple and the JB interpretation is unique with Johor characteristics. A three inch thick slice of bread is slathered with margarine and then grilled to a slight char atop a flat iron griddle. The thick toast is eaten with a beefy dip made by prolonged simmering of minced beef, mashed broad beans and spices. Topped with chopped green chili, onion, lime and a sunny side up. Gorgeous snack found only in JB at Kacang Pool Hj.

Toddy

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Banned in Singapore, Toddy is a quite heady alcoholic drink made from harvested naturally fermented coconut flower sap. Toddy has a sweet sourish flavour with a slight natural fizz. Drink it in a really unpretentious, quaint little shop built in the 1920s in the shadow of modern skyscrapers of JB city centre.

Laksa Johor

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Laksa Johor is a truly unique Johor dish. It was created by Sultan Abu Bakar in the 1800s when he travelled to Italy and was inspired by the spaghetti he tasted in Bologna. When he returned to his Palace, he ordered the Palace Chef to make Laksa Johor with pasta and presto! we have this special dish today. The best versions of this dish are at home as it is very tedious to assemble and prepare the numerous fresh ingredients and spices. It is best made with fresh Ikan Parang fish. For under RM10, these are some of the better Laksa Johor available at the stalls.

Beggar's Chicken

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In Johor, Ban Heong Seng is the only place to get this dish (the only other place I know is in Ijok, Selangor). Beggar's chicken is basically herbal chicken encased in a clay pod and baked till tender in a bed of white hot charcoal. Ban Heong Seng is just 10 minutes' drive after clearing JB CIQ, but you have to call them a day ahead as beggar's chicken takes at least 6 hours to bake (tel: 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194).

San Lou "Chao Tar" Bee Hoon

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The humble bee hoon (rice vermicelli) stir fried till the outside is burnt to a crisp (hence the name chao tar 臭幹) while the strands inside saturated with savoury seafood broth remains moist and bouncy tender. The technique was invented by restaurants at the San Lou (三樓 three storey flats) area around JB's Stulang Laut. San Lou chao tar mee fen has spread to Singapore and other parts of Malaysia, but it's more fun to eat it at it's birthday place in JB.

Galaxy Dessert

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And, finally before you return to Singapore, cool your heels, chill out a while at By Grace Sweet Treats in Taman Pelangi and treat yourself to their signature Galaxy. You get to choose what you like in your universe (with the help of the friendly staff) and the owners will create your beautiful world with everything you want in it. Sweet, sour, gritty, soft, nutty, warm, cold. Who says you can't have everything? :-D Everything you want, enough to feed four persons at RM80 - what more can I ask for? :-D

If you have only 1 day in JB and want an ultimate authentic food trail with genuine Johor Bahru characteristics, give these shops a try :-D

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What other food would you recommend for the Ultimate Johor Bahru Food Trail?


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Restaurant name: Seng Steam Fish Restaurant 成蒸鱼与肉骨茶
Address: 100, Jalan Kris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/7Iy1a
GPS: 1.487916,103.774656 
Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm (closed on Monday)

Restaurant name: Restoran Ka Hoe Kway Teow Kia 榕树下粿条仔  
Address: Jalan Maju, Taman Maju Jaya (near Plaza Pelangi), Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/83qdb 
GPS: 1.480811,103.767425  
Hours: 6:30am to 12:30pm (Closed on alternate Weds) 

Restaurant name: Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock 兴福肉骨茶
Address: Jalan Dato Mohammed Seth, Tampoi, Johor Bahru 
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/E29uq 
GPS: 1.496813,103.702429 
Hours: 08:30am to 3:30pm (Mondays off) 

Restaurant name: Restoran Wah Cai 
Address: 86, Jalan Pahlawan 2, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah (TUTA), Skudai 
Maphttp://g.co/maps/bsgg6 
GPS:  1.522640,103.664664 
Hours: Daily 7:00am to 4:30pm

Restaurant name: CSS fried goodies stall (five foot way outside Tai Son 大顺 kopitiam) 
Address: Junction of Jalan Badik 1 and Jalan Badik, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru 
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/oNafD 
GPS: 1.486233,103.768782 
Hours: 5:00am to 12:00pm 

Name: Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru 
Maphttp://g.co/maps/nf7rs 
GPS: 1.456931, 103.764222 
Hours: Daily 8:00am to 6:00pm (Closed on Sunday) 

Restaurant name: Al Ansar Café 
Address: Jalan Permas 5/16 (right next to Al Ansar Mosque) 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/lxJYV 
GPS: 1.503983,103.821817 
Hours: 6:00am to 3:00pm (closed on Sunday and Public Holidays)

Restaurant name: Dann's Café 
Address: 42, Jalan Sagu, Taman Daya, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/lvvYg 
GPS: 1.547242,103.764613 
Hours: 10:30am to 9:30pm

Restaurant name: Kacang Pool Haji 
Address: Gerai 3, Medan Selera Larkin, Susur 5, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Johor Baru (next to Bomba Larkin fire station)
Map: http://g.co/maps/9g63q 
GPS: 1.485586,103.750205 
Hours: 7:00am to 1:00am daily 

Restaurant name: Kedai Tuak Awam  
Address: Along Jalan Sulaiman, downtown Johor Bahru, Malaysia (across Jalan Wong Ah Fook from Komtar JB. Near Tropical Inn.)  
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/zYeC  
GPS: 1.464262,103.761633  
Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Food Restaurant name: San Low Seafood Restaurant 三楼海鲜 
Address: Jalan Biru, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/tzfjp 
GPS: 1.472252,103.774795 
Hours: Daily 4:30pm to 1:00am

Restaurant name: Ah Meng restaurant 阿明家乡小炒 

Address: 38, Jalan Sultanah Aminah, Taman Iskandar, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/mZSMa 
GPS: 1.491354,103.786178 
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight (closed on Tuesday) 

Restaurant name: Restoran Ah Kaw 亚九 
Address: 33 Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/rwbdc 
GPS: 1.481399,103.773935 
Hours: 12:00 pm to 3:30pm 6:00pm to 10:00pm (Closed on Tuesday) 

Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng 万香城 Restaurant (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving)
Address: 34-B, Jalan Skudai, Batu 3¼, off Jalan Tahar, Johor Bahru 
Maphttp://g.co/maps/a42p4 
GPS: 1.483683,103.721548 
Hours: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to pre-arrange lunch or dinner

Restaurant name: Ah Meng restaurant 阿明家乡小炒 
Address: 38, Jalan Sultanah Aminah, Taman Iskandar, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/mZSMa 
GPS: 1.491354,103.786178 
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight (closed on Tuesday) 

Restaurant name: Restoran Ah Kaw 亚九 
Address: 33 Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/rwbdc 
GPS: 1.481399,103.773935 
Hours: 12:00 pm to 3:30pm 6:00pm to 10:00pm (Closed on Tuesday)

Restaurant name: San Low Seafood Restaurant 三楼海鲜 
Address: Jalan Biru, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/tzfjp 
GPS: 1.472252,103.774795 
Hours: Daily 4:30pm to 1:00am

Restaurant name: By Grace (sweet treats, dessert bar and private dining)  
Address: 93, Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru, Malaysia  
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/4IZVU  
GPS: 1.484096,103.775146  
Tel: +6011-1067 3337 (Gio for private dining)  
Hours: 5:00pm to 1:00am (closed on Sunday)

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44 comments:

  1. yum, what a great collection! i want to try them all!

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  2. The poached fish! I am smitten with that one...and yes the fried ice cream too! Adding them to my must try when I head down to JB later next month.

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    1. :-D it's fried durian... but yes, it's like fried durian ice cream with 100% durian :-D

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  3. among all 10, i have only tried hiap joo banana cake! now i miss it so much already

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    1. i havent get a chance to stay longer there. otherwise i would be able to explore more :D

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  4. Delicious food!
    Never knew there's so many delicacies in Johor, will try them out if I visit Johor!

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  5. oh wow... I learn a few interesting new food....I never thought could be around... next up... trying it.... heheheh

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  6. YUMMY! Thanks for the compilations of food we should try in Johor Bahru. Will keep it in mind when I travel there

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    1. Yes! You will enjoy it, I assure you :-D

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  7. wow! great compilation of all nice foods in JB :) so useful info! cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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    1. Thank you Seinny. Must visit JB. ok? :-D

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  8. Thank you for the list~ Will definitely visit those restaurants when I travel to Johor~

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    1. Thank you. Hope to see you in JB :-D

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  9. I have tried some of the outlets and dishes but I have not try the Kacang Pool yet. This is interesting.

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    1. Yes yes, Kacang Pool in JB is different from other places :-D

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  10. i must check this blogpost again when i go johor next time, i never knew what to eat there

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    1. LOL please check out the food when you are in JB :-D

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  11. The Cauliflower Fried Fish and fried durian looks yummy! Wil try it on my next JB trip. =)

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    1. Yes, this is unique in JB. I have not seen this anywhere else till now.

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  12. Cool!! Am gonna totally bookmark your blog! So so convenient because it's hard to find a blogger that actually features awesome food in Johor! I must share this to my fren too! Thanks

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    1. :-D Thank you Sebrinah. Thank you for your support :-D

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  13. Interesting food choices, I thought I have seen it all, apparently I have not. I did receive one comment before about my blog post that Johor is also a place of good food, but I didn't really buy it. Good thing, you commented and now found you. Awesome content! :)

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  14. What a great selection of local Johor food. I like the galaxy dessert.

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  15. To get good banana cake is all the way in Johor? Now i am sad/sobs
    the ones in Kl are usually so oily!

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  16. can try it if im visit Johor...hehe!!picture look yummy!!

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  17. damn! the food super good. that laksa johor look so inviting and my favourite too.

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  18. Seems like there's lots of good food in Johor!
    Will be sure to follow this list if I visit Johor.

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  19. That wild boar meat.....OMG! Never been to Johor but I'm planning a trip to Johor now!

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  20. a lot of delicious food in Johor! Definitely will hunt for it if I go to Johor

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  21. the laksa looks so so so nice!!!! Next time when i travel to johor can refer your blog to find food!!!hehe

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  22. Never know that johor have that much good food. Will follow your list to do food hunt.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  23. would love to try out cauliflower fried fish. i'm a cauliflower fan!

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  24. Yeah , so kind of you provide us the address so we can go and enjoy the nice food in Johor.. Next trip after CNY will hunt for food in Johor.

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  25. wow next time when I visit JB I can refer to your post here la! This was a really awesome write up about Food Trail at JB =D

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  26. Going to try the fried durian soon.

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  27. very good! will refer back here the next time i'm down JB!

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  28. i went through it again and again, reading the full articles.. such a good read. and you're so passionate about your food.

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  29. Tony!! :D Love how you always tempt us with food and the article is very well written with tons of details at the bottom. Cheers to the addresses, will check them out and btw the galaxy dessert looks so good; I think I might need to swing by the area to go and try it out ;)

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  30. I would love to try that banana cake! Looks so spongy~

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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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