Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore, Johor, Toronto based blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, places, people & overSixty lifestyle around the world

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Barney's Dx. Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Update 5 Aug 2019. I am back at Barney's after 2 years, this time for his "chef's table" where each guest pays RM150 - RM200 and leave themselves at Chef Barney's pleasure to personally whip up magical dishes from his lifetime in the food industry. (This dining format is similar to omakase in Japan, dégustation in France and "tasting menu" in North America.)




It is no exaggeration when I said "lifetime" in F & B because Barney is the grandson of the founder of the legendary Kluang Rail Coffee - he was literally born into the food industry.


Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

As soon as he could carry food and clean tables, Barney spent all his spare time from school at his family's kopitiam (coffee shop). All his siblings and cousins shared the same childhood memories. Barney and several of his cousins "ran away" overseas to get away from F & B and to see the world beyond small town Malaysia.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney went to school in upstate New York and soon found himself back in the kitchen working part time to fund his studies. He then went on work his way through Europe from kitchen to kitchen before coming full circle back in Kluang 10 years later.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Back in Kluang, Barney started his hawker stall serving pizzas and pasta. Today, the pioneering Barney's restaurant (established 2003) is still the premier Western cuisine destination in Kluang. For years, foodies in the know from as far away as KL and Singapore, come to Kluang to taste Barney's cuisine.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney's restaurant moved to its present large premises in 2017. At the ground level, Barney's is very popular with local families. There are still traces of the old Barney's including the centrepiece wall mural which Barney moved here from the old shop, lock, stock and barrel.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney conducts his "chef's table" on level 2, where there is a private kitchen and a large function room. Today, we have 10 from Singapore, Japan and Penang for Barney's chef's table.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney sees himself as an "entrepreneur cook" who put his guests' experience as his priority. So, he seeks to understand his guests' likes and preferences, and tailor a custom tasting menu to delight them. With his food, Barney facilitates the guests in having a good time together, bonding over a good meal.  

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney started us off with fresh Irish oysters on ice. A squeeze of lemon and a dash of Tabasco, it's heaven already for oyster lovers. I can taste and smell the sea in the briny soft oyster flesh.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Guacamole with corn and Norwegian salmon tartare on crispy fried corn tortilla.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Sauteed live Irish mussels and prawns in a light creamy sauce with white wine.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barbecued and torched sea trout heads with savoury sweet teriyaki sauce. The industrious diner is well rewarded with gelatinous soft tissue and juicy flesh of the oily fish rich in Omega 3 fats.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Grilled and torched Japanese squid eaten with gently zesty wasabi tsuke (pickled wasabi stem and leaves).

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Japanese squid is more meaty than the local variety, and oh... how I love those spongy crunchy tentacles. The smokey, savoury sweetness of the squid was just wonderful.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Roast lamb rack with blueberry chutney. I like this lamb rack's gentle gamey taste with natural lamb sweetness.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Chicken roulade with chorizo sausage and cheese. Barney prepared this dish for guests who indicated that they don't eat lamb/ mutton.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

This spaghetti is simplicity itself, and one of the memorable dishes of the day. It's just pasta smothered in molten Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The mild yet rich savoury cheese flavour was layered with briny sweet taste of the pasta.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney boiled the spaghetti and put the steaming hot pasta into the hollow of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese drum. Folding and tossing the hot spaghetti in the cheese drum melted it and coated the strands thoroughly and evenly with melted cheese.

The spaghetti was done to perfect al dente - a lovely tender firmness to the bite. When I asked Barney what's the secret to get the al dente texture, he said the secret is to "read the label". Just follow the instructions to the letter...., duh. In this case, the label said boil the pasta for eight minutes 😂 Note to self: don't agak agak (guesstimate), this is ang moh cooking - stick to precise timing and portions, it will be fine 😄

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Australian wagyu sirloin with sauteed mushrooms, garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Savoury rich beefy sweet flavours bursting from every bite into the tender juicy medium doneness wagyu sirloin.

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Barney's double cheesecake with mascarpone cheese on top of cream cheese is simply, the better cheesecake 😄

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Recommended for you 👍 Go ahead, plan your Kluang food trail any way you like but remember to wrap up the day with a grand finale with a private dinner with Chef Barney. It will make your Kluang food adventure, a trip to remember. Call Barney ☎ 012-711 5435 to arrange.

Barney's Dx. Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Thanks to Evonne Lyn Lee, the host of Jalan2 Makan2 Masak2 trips to Kluang for bringing us to Barney's and many other interesting "Bat Town" places. If you like an eating and cooking tour of Kluang like ours, contact Evonne via Facebook private message.

Johor Kaki's list of best eats to include in your Kluang trip 👈 click

 Johor Kaki Telegram

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Restaurant name: Barney's
Address: 7 & 8, Jalan Perniagaan 2 (Jalan Komersil Kluang 2), Kluang, Johor
GPS2°02'04.8"N 103°19'08.2"E 🌐 2.034679, 103.318946
Tel: 012-711 5435 / 07-774 4992
Hours: 11:30am - 10:00pm

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert





Date visited: 5 Aug 2019




Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Archive post 21 Jun 2017. Exploring Kluang town for food today, I had lunch at Barney's - Kluang's oldest and still most famous Western food restaurant.


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Barney's at Jalan Yayasan is at the throbbing heart of downtown Kluang. Nearly 15 years old now, Barney's is still the go to place for Western food in Kluang.


Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Inside the air conditioned restaurant, Barney's has plenty of warmth from the cosy decor and the families dining together.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

The owner of Barney's is..... Barney Lim. Barney went to university in USA and worked there and in Europe for over a decade before returning home to Kluang to start his own restaurant.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Barney was born into the F & B industry. His grandfather was the founder of the iconic Kluang Rail Coffee. Growing up in his family's Hainanese kopitiam, Barney vowed at age 15 to never stay in F & B 😱 In USA, he part timed in the university's cafeteria and realised that F & B is in his blood. Barney can take himself out of F & B but he cannot take the F & B out of himself 😂 So, after one big 10-year circle from kitchens in USA to Europe, Barney is back at his own kitchen in his hometown.

I had a chance to lunch at Barney's today 😄


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Coming into Barney's, dodging Malaysia's blistering tropical heat, I cooled down with an iced lemon tea. I am glad that it is made the old way with real tea and lemon (because nowadays ice lemon tea is often made with syrup or instant powder).

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

The cream of mushroom soup is simple and nice. The thick creamy soup is made with just button mushrooms. It tastes gently savoury sweet. The soup is smooth with interesting soft spongy crunchy bits of mushroom suspended inside.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Simple and nice classic Caesar salad. Fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes and croutons dressed with a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, fine anchovy bits etc, and dusted with Parmesan cheese.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

I had a pan fried snapper fillet.

This was not a regular menu item. Beside the items in the regular menu, Barney buys what is in season and serves them as daily specials. In a way, it is just like eating at home - there is no fixed menu at home but always fresh and good as mum or dad buys what is best at the market for the day. That's one of the reasons why eating at home is always a delight 😄

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

The lightly seared thick snapper fillet was tender, juicy and sweet though I didn't really like the slight underlying earthy taste. But, Barney's house made salsa sauce did wonders to the dish.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

The smooth house sauce is a blend of onion, roasted tomato, chili pepper, chili padi, orange, honey etc held together with Lady's Choice mayonnaise. The sauce is a nice balance of mild sweet and spicy accentuating the snapper's natural sweetness making the earthy taste hardly discernible.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

The French fries were served with another house made sauce - a tasty mildly spicy blend of Sriracha and paprika with savoury tangy mayonnaise.


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I love this refreshing pulpy "dragon fruit" juice. The "dragon fruit" comes from the plantations in nearby Kahang. Barney likes to use whatever is available locally, a kind of "farm to table" philosophy he imbibed while working in the USA and Europe.

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Ending my lunch on a sweet note. Sweet moist house made brownie topped with sweet ice cream and drizzled with sweet chocolate sauce.

I enjoyed my lunch and insightful conversation with Barney 😄

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

We won't be seeing this decor soon as Barney's will be moving after 15 years. In a couple of months, Barney's restaurant will be moving to new premises a stone's throw from here.

If you like that nostalgic feel at Barney's, you have about two months before they move 😄


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Actually, Kluang is just 1.5 hours leisurely drive from JB. It has many interesting food and places - I will be making more regular visits to Kluang for more "find dining" 😄

Disclosure: Thank you Barney for your hospitality.

 Johor Kaki Telegram

Barney's-Good-Food-Great-Time-Kluang-Johor

Restaurant name: Barney's
Address6, Lorong Yayasan, Johor, 86000 Kluang, Malaysia
GPS2°01'58.7"N 103°19'15.6"E | 2.032976, 103.320991
Tel+60 7-774 4992
Hours: 11:30am to 10:00pm

Barney's Good Food Great Time in Kluang Johor

Restaurant name: Barney's
Address: 7 & 8, Jalan Komersil Kluang 2, Kluang, Johor
GPS2°02'04.8"N 103°19'08.2"E 🌐 2.034679, 103.318946
Tel: 012-711 5435 / 07-774 4992
Hours: 11:30am - 10:00pm

No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date visited: 20 Jun 2017, 5 Aug 2019

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