Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · Diplomacy

International Awards Winner · Singapore Malaysia Food Travel Blog 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

50 Years Taste of Tradition Egg Tart • Best in Clementi Toa Payoh & Some Say in Johor • 50年

Yesterday after I shared about how I enjoyed the egg tarts at Roti Corner, readers pointed me to 50 Years Taste of Tradition 🙏  🙇 I went to try it today at their Clementi Bus Interchange outlet and oh... yes... I love it! 💪

Stall name: 50 Years Taste of Tradition Bakery 50年


Address: Inside Clementi Bus Interchange


Nearest MRT: At Clementi station


Hours: 9:00am - 9:00pm

Roti Corner (Homies Bakery) • Good Handmade Egg Tart @ 183 Toa Payoh Central


This wasn't in my plan. Hurrying along Toa Payoh Central to my destination on this stormy rainy morning. Stubborn me refused to carry an umbrella and even declined free of charge, sharing umbrellas provided at the MRT station. (Don't know who indoctrinated me with this silly dogma that officers do not use umbrellas under any circumstances 🙄 Perhaps, it was the US Air Force during my impressionable years.)

Bakery name: Roti Corner (Homies Bakery)


Address: Blk 183 Toa Payoh Central, #01-300, Singapore 310183


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Toa Payoh station


Hours: 9:00am - 9:00pm

ORIGIN & SOURCES of Singapore Hawker Culture • Born with a Silver Spoon of Unusual Wealth in Culinary Inheritance

Singapore is one of the youngest countries in the world yet it is blessed with the cuisines of several of the world's oldest civilisations.

Singapore became independent in 1965. Just 146 years prior, Singapore was a backwater, part of the Johore Sultanate which realm included Johor, Singapore, the Riau islands and east Sumatra. Most of Singapore's inhabitants at that time were fishermen, farmers or sea nomads (Orang Laut).

Roast & Toast R & C Cafe in Johor Bahru • Cemerlang • Tan Hiok Nee • Eco Palladium

Roast_&_Toast_R_&_C_Johor_Bahru_Cemerlang_Tan_Hiok_Nee_Eco_Palladium

Buddy Carol is a big fan of Roast & Coffee, and I love modern coffee shops, so I was eager to try her recommendation. I went to both the Desa Cemerlang and Ecopalladium outlets. They have an outlet at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee too which I've been to some time ago.

Restaurant name: Roast & Coffee @ Ecopalladium


Address: B-01-05, Blok B, Jalan Ekoflora 7, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru (near the entrance and on the right hand side)


Tel: 013 628 6100


Hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm

Hanyuan Daily Hip Cafe • Traditional Coffee Shop in Mount Austin Johor Bahru 韓源


Johor Bahru now have many rustic hip traditional Nanyang kopi (coffee) shops. Many of them serve good coffee with a wide range of breads, pastries and Malaysian local delights. Buddy Carol recommended Hanyuan, so I popped over for a try. She is right, Hanyuan serve one of my favourite coffee, the white type without add on like corn and margarine during roasting.

Restaurant name: Hanyuan Daily 韓源


Address: G-01-05, Austin 18, Jalan Austin Perdana 3, Taman Austin Perdana, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor


Tel: 011 1331 0626


Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm

I Love the Ramen @ Sakaba Cuisine in Impian Emas 酒场美食


Buddy Evonne raved about the ramen at Sakaba in Taman Impain Emas 😁, a township in Johor Bahru's north, far from the tourist belt 😬 I was eager to try as I am looking for great ramen to add to my JB Eat List. (Coincidentally, just the night before, I brought friends to my usual ramen haunt. The quality has changed and I need to find another one for my List 😬 )

Restaurant name: Sakaba Cuisine 酒场美食


Address: 71, Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Skudai, Johor


Tel: 011 6512 7122


Hours: 10:30am - 9:00pm

Oriental Kopi Johor • Egg Tart, Nanyang Coffee & Teh, Toasts & Malaysian Delights 华阳南洋茶室

Oriental Kopi Johor Jaya branch has been my regular Nanyang coffee and teh (tea) haunt in Johor since the borders reopened post Covid pandemic. The coffee, tea & food are good, service attentive, environment is clean, spacious, cool, filled with nice hyperlocal atmospherics, and prices are very reasonable.

Restaurant name: Oriental Kopi @ Johor Jaya 华阳


Address: 30, Jalan Dedap 22, Johor Jaya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor


Tel: 011 2888 6363


Hours: 7:00am - 9:00pm

Legency Mee Jawa & Curry Mee • A Taste of North Peninsula Malaysia @ Blk 128 Toa Payoh

Buddy SP who hails from Penang was thrilled by Legency's Jawa mee which is her hometown's iconic comfort food. SP has been living in Singapore for several years and she said Legency's Jawa mee is as authentic as it gets here. I am thrilled by SP infectious enthusiasm, although truth be told, I tried Jawa mee in Johor before and wasn't overly excited then.

Stall name: Legency Jawa Mee 传奇


Address: Blk 128 Lor 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310128


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Braddell station


Hours: 9:00am - 2:00pm (Mon off)

Lai Hin Fishball Kway Teow Mee @ Bukit Merah Central Food Centre • Noodle from the Heart 来興鱼圆果条面

Stalking Bukit Merah Central Food Centre, I noticed that Lai Hin Fishball Noodle is consistently the stall enjoying the longest queue in the sprawling hawker centre with some sixty to seventy Stalls. Couldn't resist joining the queue to see what Lai Hin is about.

Stall name: Lai Hin Fishball Kway Teow Mee 来興鱼圆果条面


Address: 163 Bukit Merah Central, #02-11, Singapore 150163


Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Redhill station


Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Che' Rose Nasi Padang @ Blk 128 Toa Payoh • Best Rendang in Singapore?


Nasi Padang stalls always pique my curiosity, it always has a certain pull at my heart strings. The colourful spread, aroma of spices, the craving for a good rendang. 

Che' Rose's signboard declares that it was founded in 1968 and immodestly, "Probably the Best Rendang in Singapore". The presence of matriarch Che' Rose at the stall made the stall even more enticing.

Stall name: Che' Rose Nasi Padang


Address: Blk 128 Lor 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310128


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Braddell station


Tel: 8102 7855


Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm (Fri off | closed at 2pm on Sat & Sun)

Hup Kee Fishball @ Blk 158 Ang Mo Kio • Malaysia Style Handmade Fishball Noodle in Singapore 合记鱼丸

Stumbled upon the long and growing queue at Hup Kee Fishball stall at the Hong Kong Street Zhen Ji coffee shop at Blk 158 Ang Mo Kio (5 minutes walk from Mayflower MRT station). This was our third food trail stop and fishball wasn't on the agenda. But, we went for it anyway as our curiosity was killing us - we can't wait to find out what Hup Kee was all about, why it commands a constant queue.

Stall name: Malaysian Hup Kee Fishball Noodle 合记鱼丸


Address: 158 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, #01-590, Singapore 560158


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Mayflower station


Tel: 8812 2138


Hours: 8:00am - 12:00 noon (Mon off)

History of Peranakan Dish Itek Tim • Salted Vegetable Duck Soup 土生華人咸菜鸭汤 • 炖鸭汤

Peranakan_Itek_Tim_Salted_Vegetable_Duck_Soup

I love kiam chye ark or salted vegetable duck soup (actually I love everything duck 😬 ). In Singapore, this savoury sourish duck soup dish is rarely found in hawker stalls. The favourite of most people is sold at Hup Seng Duck Rice at Blk 22, Sin Ming Road.

25 Minced Meat Noodle @ Bukit Merah Central Treasures Coffee Shop • Bak Chor Mee Best Newcomer 2022

Came to try 25 Minced Pork Noodle after hearing so many friends recommend it. 25 is the favourite bak chor mee of many of my buddies.

Stall name: No. 25 Minced Meat Noodle


Address: Bukit Merah Central, Blk 161, #01-3749, Singapore 150161 (Treasures coffee shop)


Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Redhill station


Tel: 90368744


Hours: 10:00am - 3:00pm (Sun off)

Fascination & Kitchen in Masai • Hidden Western Food Gem in Johor Bahru

Catching up with Carol today, we went to Fascination & Kitchen restaurant in Masai, one of her favourites in JB. Carol has been a fan of Fascination & Kitchen since before Covid. The Western cuisine restaurant in a residential part of JB away from the tourist belt pulled through the pandemic and now enjoys near capacity crowds with its quality fare at reasonable prices in a simple yet warm and elegant setting.

Restaurant name: Fascination & Kitchen


Address: 39, Jalan Bina 1, Bandar Baru Seri Alam, 81750 Masai, Johor


Tel: 07 382 2069


Hours: 12:00 noon - 10:00pm (opens at 11am on Sat & Sun | Mon off)

JD Wan Tan Mee @ Mount Austin • New Takes on Tradition 简单云吞面 总行


Wandering around Taman Mount Austin during the "dead zone" between 2pm to 5pm when most restaurants take their afternoon breaks in JB, I stumbled upon JD Wan Tan Mee. I am always curious about successful one dish restaurants as it takes a lot of self confidence to put all of one's eggs in one basket. Anyway, JD Wan Tan Mee opens from 12 noon to 12 midnight, so it was my lifesaver today when I was famished at 4pm.

Restaurant name: JD Wan Tan Mee  简单云吞面 总行


Address: 47, Jalan Mutiara Emas 9/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor


Tel: 011 3333 3789


Hours: 12:00 noon - 12:00 midnight

Mee Hoon Kueh with Fried Fish in Johor Jaya Hawker Centre • Ong Yoke Ying Stall 佳佳咖啡店

Wandering around Johor Jaya, I stumbled upon customers enjoying this mee hoon kueh and fried fish nugget combo. Curious, I went to order for myself but it was sold out  It was almost 2pm then.

Stall name: Ong Yoke Ying  佳佳咖啡店


Address: Taman Johor Jaya hawker centre, Jalan Dedap 20, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor


Tel: 016 722 8033


Hours: 8:30am - 4:00pm (Mon off)

Famous Food in Pangkor Island • Portuguese Seafood BBQ • Ikan Bakar Portugis

Ikan Bakar Portugis is one of the best known food stalls in Pangkor Island in Perak state of Malaysia. I love BBQ stingray and like the so-called Portuguese way of grilling the fish in sambal and the fish's own juices wrapped in banana leaf and aluminum foil.

Stall name:  Ikan Bakar Portugis


Address: 5, Tingkat Seri Pangkor 2, 32300 Pulau Pangkor, Perak


Tel: 017 299 8722


Hours: 5:00pm - 11:30pm

90 Year Old Senai Noodle Shop with Coconut Shell Fired Stove 士乃干捞面

Senai_Coconut_Noodle_士乃干捞面

This is a quaint little shop well known among Senai residents for its old school noodle and stove fired by coconut shells.

Stall name: Senai Noodles 士乃干捞面


Address: 44-42, Lorong 2, Taman Bahagia, 81400 Senai, Johor, Malaysia (beside Senai Proton Anggerik Motor)


Hours: 8:00am - 3:00pm (Fri off)

History of Fried Oyster Omelette • Orh Luak • Orh Chien • A Dish Born of Famine 蚝烙 • 蠔煎

History_Fried_Oyster_Omelette_Orh_Luak_Orh_Chien_蚝烙_蠔煎

Known as orh chien in Hokkien and orh luak in Teochew, oyster omelette is like a minor luxury as it costs more than a typical serving of noodles in Singapore and Malaysia. The dish is still commonly found in Singapore though not every hawker centre has an orh chien or orh luak stall. Most Teochew or Hokkien restaurants have oyster omelette on their menu as it is popular among Singaporeans.

Though a slightly premium hawker dish today, orh chien / orh luak was actually created during famine in southern China. The dish helped fed people during famine and survived in the cuisine of southern China (and Southeast Asia) to this day.

Jiangsu Grand Canal Promotion Conference • Touring the Eight Canal Cities of Jiangsu through their Cuisine

Jiangsu_Grand_Canal_Promotion_Conference

I have very fond memories of my visits to China's Jiangsu province, so I was excited to be invited to attend the Jiangsu Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Promotion Conference. The event hosted by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture of China was organised by Jiangsu Tourism (Singapore & Malaysia) Promotion Centre on 8 Sep 2022 at the Jiangnan-themed Nanjing Impressions restaurant at Plaza Singapura, Orchard Road. (Visiting Nanjing Impressions' Nanjing headquarters was one of my best memories of Jiangsu province.)

In Search of Old School Mee Goreng Mamak in Singapore • An Unending Journey We Hope


Three of us were at a mamak stall sipping teh tarik halia keras kurang kurang manis (pulled milk tea with extra ginger juice and as little milk as possible. By our order, you can guess our age 😬 ). Somehow our conversation drifted to how difficult it is today to get a mee goreng mamak like the ones we had when we were growing up.

169 Hainanese Chicken Rice • Silky Smooth, Juicy Soft Chicken @ Chinatown Food Centre

169_Hainanese_Chicken_Rice_Chinatown

After my MRI at National Heart Centre today, I took a short walk to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, about 10 minutes away. Yeah..., I walk everywhere even if sometimes it is not within walking distance for most people. I walked from Eunos to Chinatown a few times (stop, eat, go, repeat) but that's a story for another post. 

Anyway, it was worth the short walk as today I was rewarded with an excellent chicken rice.

Stall name: 169 Hainanese Chicken Rice 


Address: 335 Smith Street, stall #02-169, Singapore 050335 (Chinatown Complex Food Centre red zone)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station


Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm (Weds off, close at 1pm on Sat & Sun)

Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup • Kembangan Changi Road Zhi Char with over 100 Dishes

Seng_Kee_Black_Chicken_Herbal_Soup

Every time I passed by Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup on a bus or in a car, I see a big milling crowd and full house - it makes me hungry 🤤 I told myself that I must come here, one day.

So when I saw buddy Cat shared her visit to Seng Kee on Facebook, we quickly arranged an encore with a few more kakis (buddies).

Restaurant name: Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup


Address: 475 Changi Rd, Singapore 419892


Nearest MRT: 3 minutes walk from Kembangan station


Tel: 6746 4089


Hours: 11:30am - 2:00am

Free & Easy Ipoh Tour • Hire Good Car with Safe Reliable Driver & Expert Local Guide

Ipoh_Hire_Car_Safe_Reliable_Driver_Expert_Local_Guide

Ipoh is a rustic old town renown for their Malaysian style Cantonese cuisine. Tourists flock here for Ipoh white coffee, dim sum, hor fun, chee cheong fun, gai si hor fun, chicken rice, roasts, bean curd, etc in quaint old coffee shops. Ipoh also have a hip and modern side hence it is widely appealing to visitors of all ages.

Ping Xiang Wanton Mee @ Toa Payoh Blk 93 Palm Spring Market • Crunchy Noodle & Unique Flavours 品香云吞面

Ping_Xiang_Wanton_Toa_Payoh_品香云吞面

This was the second stop this morning of our Toa Payoh food safari. People have described this style of WTM as Malaysia wanton mee but it is not - to me it is Ping Xiang's own unique take on the dish and I like it 😋 Malaysia black sauce wanton mee tastes different 😬

Stall name: Ping Xiang Wanton Mee 品香云吞面


Address: Stall #01-46, 93 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310093


Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Braddell station


Tel: 9755 7741


Hours: 5:00am - 1:00pm (Mon off)

Toa Payoh Macpherson Teochew Bak Chor Mee @ Blk 95 Lor 4 • Rediscovering my Childhood Places

Toa_Payoh_Macpherson_Teochew_Bak_Chor_Mee_Blk_95_Lor_4

Stalking Toa Payoh Lor 4 today. I know this area well as I grew up in Toa Payoh in the 1960s to 70s and my childhood friends live in blocks 96 and 98. A lot have changed since then, so I have to rely on buddy Wei on the current good eats here.

Stall name: Macpherson Teochew Bak Chor Mee


Address: Blk 95 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310095


Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Braddell station


Hours: 8:00am - 2:00pm (Tues off)

Sin Anteli Cafe • Klang Star Hokkien Prawn Noodle 巴生明星虾面


Sin Anteli Cafe in Klang near Kuala Lumpur serves a limited edition Hokkien noodle which is very popular with locals. 

(Known as Hokkien noodle in Penang, this dish is called prawn noodle outside Penang such as in Klang and in Singapore.)

Stall name: Sin Anteli Cafe


Address: 50 Jalan Tapah (off Jalan Goh Hock Huat), Kawasan 18, 41400 Klang, Selangor


Hours: 3:00pm - 12:00 midnight (Hokkien noodle only on Saturday)

True Cost Suntec Singapore • Is it Worth the Cover Charge?

True_Cost_Suntec_Singapore

True Cost Singapore was launched three months ago with a bold and novel concept of charging a nominal cover charge for entrance. In return, patrons enjoy premium dishes and beverages in a beautiful setting in a prime city location at a pocket friendly price (substantially lower than at similar restaurants in the city centre).

Is it worth the money, calories and time?

I share with you my experience and let you be the judge.

Restaurant name: True Cost SG


Address: 3 Temasek Blvd, #03-302/303 Suntec City, Singapore 038983 (@ rooftop Sky Garden)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Promenade station


Tel: 8894 0615


Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm

Best of Margaret Drive Hawker Centre · People's Favourite Food Stalls

Margaret_Drive_Hawker_Centre

Singapore's newest hawker centre, the spanking new Margaret Drive Hawker Centre with 38 food stalls opened in Aug 2022 but it has much older roots. MDHC was one of my favourite haunts for lunch and supper when I was working and living nearby in the 1980s. Despite its name, very few of the stalls at the new MDHC came from the old Margaret Drive food centre. Most stalls are from Tanglin Halt Food Centre which is slated for en bloc redevelopment.

After stalking MDHC for over a month, these stalls are the most popular with the folks here and I enjoyed them too.

Margaret Drive Hawker Centre


Address: 38A Margaret Drive, Singapore 142038


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Queenstown station

Tora Tora Tora in Oxley BizHub 2 · Giant Tuna Fish Head @ Hidden Japanese Restaurant & Rooftop Bar in Ubi Industrial Estate

Tora_Tora_Tora_Oxley_BizHub_2_Japapese_Restaurant_Rooftop_Bar_Ubi_Industrial_Estate

This was the largest fish head I ever had and it is marvellously delicious. The happening place, good friends, great drinks and delicious Japanese dishes at Tora Tora Tora made the evening 
fun and an absolute pleasure.

Restaurant name: Tora Tora Tora


Address: 62 Ubi Road 1, #11-19, Singapore 408734 (Oxley BizHub 2, level 11 rooftop)


Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Tai Seng station


Tel: 9852 9148


Hours: 6:00pm - 1:00am (Mon off)


Tora Tora Tora 🐯 Website