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

Food · Places · People · Heritage 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

1 Day 5 Temples Tour of Ayutthaya · Thailand's Amazing Ancient Capital City

Temple_Tour_Ayutthaya

The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, was the second capital city of the Siamese Kingdom. Before it was sacked in 1767 in the war with Burma, Ayutthaya was a global centre of diplomacy and trade as well as one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Traders from India, Arabia and China lived together with Thais. At its height, Ayutthaya had a population of over 1 million people. Ayutthaya, home to over 500 Buddhist temples is still the spiritual centre of Thais.

Sampaonava Restaurant · Amazing Giant River Prawns in Ayutthaya Thailand สำเภานาวา

Giant_River_Prawn

We spent a fascinating day visiting the historic city of Ayutthaya which was Thailand's capital from 1350 to 1767 (more on this in a future post). We stopped for lunch at Sampaonava สำเภานาวา - a nice, small restaurant beside the Chao Phraya River. We had a relatively light meal of four dishes 🙏 which included a pair of amazingly delicious Thai giant river prawns.

Restaurant name: Sampaonava สำเภานาวา


Address: 4 ประตูชัย U Thong Rd, Tambon Pratuchai, เมือง Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand


Tel: +66 65 554 2266


Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm

La Vela Khao Lak · Great Value 4.5 Star Andaman Sea Resort for Families & Everyone

La_Vela_Khao_Lak

We stayed 4 days and 3 nights at La Vela resort in Khao Lak, Thailand and loved it 🌞 🏖 🍽 ❤️ It was a long stay but there was never a dull moment. There's plenty to enjoy within the sprawling resort and there were also side trips in Khao Lak from La Vela's convenient location (will cover these separately in future posts).

La Vela Khao Lak


Address: 98/9 MOO 5 Khuk Khak, Khao Lak Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82220, Thailand


Star Rating: 4.5 ⭐ (Klook)


Tel: +66 76 428 555

Rediscover Thailand with Seamless Travel with Air Asia Thailand · Tourism Authority of Thailand Singapore Branch

Tourism_Authority_of_Thailand_in_Singapore
Welcome address by H.E Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore

11 May 2022, Singapore. Just attended a press briefing by Tourism Authority of Thailand on "Amazing New Chapters: Rediscover Thailand - Get Ready to Go to Thailand". Oh Yes, I am so ready and looking forward to it. 

Mr. Appam @ Maxwell Food Centre Singapore

Mr_Appam_Maxwell_Food_Centre

I am an appam fan and stopped in my tracks when I stumbled upon Mr. Appam at Maxwell Food Centre. It's a new stall I've not seen before. We tried and liked it. If you are in the area, it will make a good sweet snack with teh (tea) or kopi (coffee).

Stall name: Mr. Appam


Address: 1 Kadayayanallur Street, #01-99 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 


Nearest MRT: Chinatown


Hours: Breakfast to afternoon

FOUND YOU❗ A Hand Drawn Picture Book about Nam Hwa Opera · 找到了❗ 南华潮剧社 · 黄淑萍

FOUND_YOU!_Nam_Hwa_Opera_找到了_南华潮剧社_黄淑萍

7 May 2022, Singapore. Today, I saw and felt a lot of passion for Teochew heritage and the arts at the launch of FOUND YOU! A fully hand drawn picture book about Nam Hwa Opera by Ng Sock Peng 黄淑萍 (at the Singapore Chinese Culture Centre).

Krua Luang Ten @ Khao Lak · Michelin Bib Gourmand · Traditional Southern Thai Cuisine

Krua_Luang_Ten_Khao_Lak_Michelin_Bib_Gourmand _Southern_Thai_Cuisine

Buddy Wilson has been a fan of Krua Luang Ten before it became famous with Michelin Bib Gourmand award and all. I am glad we stayed at La Vela Khao Lak Resort, so we can swing by to have a taste of this local legend during our stay in Khao Lak.

Stall name: Krua Luang Ten


Address: 160 ม.2 Petchkasem Road, Khuekkhak, Takua Pa District, Phang-nga 82190, Thailand


Tel: +66 90 716 4182


Hours: 11:00am - 1:00pm | 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Do Not Miss Samet Nangshe Viewpoint of Phang Nga Bay · James Bond Islands

Samet_Nangshe_Viewpoint_Phang_Nga_Bay

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint is a good destination for day trips from Phuket, Krabi or Khao Lak. On our way from Old Phuket Town to Khao Lak (where we were going to check in at La Vela Resort), we made a side trip to 
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint. The stunning view of the bay was totally worth the time and effort.

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint


Address: Khlong Khian, Takua Thung District, Phang-nga 82130, Thailand


Tel: +66 81 894 1159


Hours: 4:00am - 12:00 midnight

The Andaman Beach Hotel Phuket Patong · Sweet Spot of Good Value, Great Location, Nice Food, Excellent Rooms, Splendid Views

Andaman_Beach_Hotel_Phuket_Patong

We stayed two nights (three days) at The Andaman Beach Hotel Phuket when we were in Phuket island. We enjoyed the very comfortable room, splendid view of Patong town and the Andaman Sea, good food and service, peaceful resort ambiance, coupled with convenience of quick, easy access to the legendary Patong Beach.

Hotel name: The Andaman Beach Hotel Phuket Patong


Address: 17/1-3 Soi Prabaramee 4, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand


Hotel Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Pork Free


Tel: +66 7662 6777

Briley Chicken Rice in Patong Phuket · Affordable Thai Hainanese Food

Briley_Chicken_Rice_Patong_Phuket

I have a little obsession about chicken rice - I want to try the local chicken rice dish wherever I go. At Patong Beach in Phuket, my lovely travel kakis indulged me when I said that I wanted to try Briley Chicken Rice which is the Patong local townsfolk favourite 🙏

Stall name: Briley Chicken & Rice ข้าวมันไก่ไบรเล่ย์ Briley


Address: 102 Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road, Pa Tong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand


Tel: +66 81 597 8380


Hours: 7:00am - 5:00pm

Chillva Market Phuket · Family Friendly Night Market · Fav of Local Young & Trendy

Chillva_Market_Phuket

Buddy Ken and family are regular visitors in Phuket. Co-incidentally, we were both in Phuket and he suggested that we meet up at Chillva Market. Chillva Market is midway between the tourist hotspots of Patong (in the west) and Old Phuket Town (in the east). I love Chillva Market as there are lots of local street food and prices are local.

Night Market name: Chillva Market


Address: 141/2 Yaowarat Road, Ratsada, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand


Tel: +66 99 152 1919


Hours: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Thai Style Curry Bee Hoon · Khanom Jeen Saphan Hin in Phuket

Khanom_Jeen_Saphan_Hin_Phuket

Our Thai host brought us to Khanom Jeen Saphan Hin in Phuket for lunch. Before this, I had no idea at all what is khanom jeen. Turned out that I fell totally in love with this traditional Thai dish and now look out for it whenever I have Thai food. Khanom jeen reminds me of the Tamil putu mayam but eaten with many different types of Thai style curries. When you are in Phuket, you may want to check out Khanom Jeen Saphan Hin.

Restaurant name: Khanom Jeen Saphan Hin ขนมจีนสะพานหิน


Address: 66/2 Phuket Rd, Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand


Tel: +66 83 175 5571


Hours: 8:30am - 7:00pm

Tasty Thai Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Old Phuket Town · Ding Li Ji Fan 丁立鸡饭 ติงลี่ข้าวมันไก่

Chicken_Rice_Old_Phuket_Town_Ding_Li_Ji_Fan_丁立鸡饭_ติงลี่ข้าวมันไก่

During my Thailand trip, one of the things I was looking out for was Thai style Hainanese chicken rice (known as khao man gai in Thai). While doing the obligatory Old Phuket Town walk, we stumbled Ding Li Ji Fan 丁立鸡饭 ติงลี่ข้าวมันไก่ chicken rice shop. Ding Li Ji Fan is one of the prettiest chicken rice shops that I have ever come across and where I became a Thai chicken rice convert - of all places, in a tourist hotspot 🤭

Restaurant name: Ding Li Ji Fan 丁立鸡饭 ติงลี่ข้าวมันไก่


Address: 51 Thalang Road, Tambon Talat Yai, เมือง Phuket 83000, Thailand


Tel: +66 83 915 6516  +66 63 662-8291


Hours: 7:00am - 3:00pm (Mon off)

Best Moments in Phuket, Khao Lak, Bangkok · Day by Day Itinerary

Phang-Nga_Bay

I am in Phuket, Khao Lak, and Bangkok for a week. This is my first trip by air out of Singapore since the borders reopened (post-Covid). In this post, I will share as much detail as possible on my personal experiences and observations about procedures, peoples, places, and the food I encounter during the trip.

Canadian Ginseng Bak Kut Teh Recipe 加拿大西洋参肉骨茶

Canadian_Ginseng_Bak_Kut_Teh_Recipe_加拿大西洋参肉骨茶

I eat a simple ginseng bak kut teh at least once a month for the health benefits of ginseng. My favourite cut of pork rib is known in Singapore as 龍骨 or "dragon bone". I like to cook it with fresh Canadian ginseng for its mellow sweet and unique ginseng taste.

Chef Charlie's Special Oxtail Stew @ Weng Kiang Kee Porridge in Chinatown Complex

Oxtail_Stew_Weng_Kiang_Kee_Porridge_Chinatown_Complex

Chef Charlie of Weng Kiang Kee Porridge jio-ed (invited) me for oxtail stew and beer. I was a little tired having just returned from a road trip to Kuala Lumpur but always enjoyed chef Charlie's food and company of our makan kakis (buddies).

Stall name: Weng Kiang Kee Porridge


Address: 335 Smith Street, stall #02-082, Singapore 050335 (Chinatown Complex Food Centre level 2)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station


Tel: 9850 3529


Hours: 7:30am - 1:00pm (Mon & Tues off)

Best Coffee in Singapore Chinatown Complex · Tai Hwa Coffee Stall #02-152 Red Zone 大華茶室

Tai_Hwa_Coffee_Stall_大華茶室

This kopi C kosong has a smooth, round body and robust coffee flavour balanced with evaporated milk sweetness. Feels, tastes and smells like those local (Nanyang) coffee made with espresso machines but is actually made the traditional way with a kopi sock. At $1.20 a cup, it is a bargain at today's prices (Apr 2022).

Stall name: Tai Hwa Coffee Stall 大華茶室


Address: 335 Smith Street, stall #02-152, Singapore 050335 (Chinatown Complex Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station


Hours: 8:30am - 8:00pm (close at 3pm on Tues, 6pm on Weds | Thurs off)

Good Breakfast in Seremban @ Coffee Tiam Foo's Cooking 傅帮煮

Seremban_Coffee_Tiam_Foo's_Cooking_傅帮煮

For my drive back to JB / Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, I usually set off early to avoid the traffic build up in KL. Actually, I won't even have breakfast in KL but stopover in Seremban instead. During my last trip, we stumbled upon a nice breakfast place known as Coffee Tiam Foo's Cooking 傅帮煮 at 389A, Jalan Temiang.

Restaurant name: Coffee Tiam Foo's Cooking 傅帮煮


Address: 389A, Jalan Temiang, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia


Tel: +6010 761 9366


Hours: 7:00am - 3:00pm

Ho Kow Hainam Kopitiam · Retro Hip in KL Chinatown 何九海南茶店

Ho_Kow_KL_Chinatown_何九海南茶店

This was my first time back in KL, one of my favourite foodie cities, after more than 3 years(?) as the borders were closed for over 2 years due to Covid-19. I am looking for new places to eat as well as revisit my old favourites. When we asked locals where can we find a good Hainanese coffee, we were pointed to Ho Kow Hainam Kopitiam 何九海南茶店. We like this place and think that if you are visiting KL, Ho Kow is one place you are need to check in at.

Restaurant name: Ho Kow Hainam Kopitiam 何九海南茶店


Address: 1, Jalan Balai Polis, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Pasar Seni station


Tel: 03 2856 8287


Hours: 7:30am - 3:00pm (Mon off)

Singapore Hawker Culture · Singapore as Asia's Kitchen

Singapore_River

I am standing here at the spot at Singapore River where Sir Stamford Raffles landed in 1819. This spot was a village with the Temenggong's house just steps away. Across the river was a swamp with a small fish market. The first market in modern Singapore history.

55 Chai Chee Shen Ji Teochew Kway Teow Fishball Noodle For Supper in the East · Menu & Review

55_Chai_Chee_Shen_Ji_Teochew_Kway_Teow_Fishball_Noodle

I was chatting with chef Eric Chua about what makes a good bowl of "dry" noodles and we decided on a spur of the moment to go to Shen Ji at block 55, Chai Chee Drive - one of chef's favourite noodle places. His enthusiasm and description of the old school "tah mee" noodles were enough to make me lau nua drool.

Stall name: Shen Ji Teochew Kway Teow Fishball Noodle Soup


Address: Block 55, Chai Chee Drive, #01-190, Singapore 460055


Nearest MRT: Take bus 26, 222, 222A from Bedok station


Tel: 6406 3539


Hours: 7:00am - 2:00am

JB Travel Tips from First Post-Covid Trip by Johor Kaki on 7 Apr 2022

JB_Travel_Tips_Post-Covid

I did a day trip to Johor Bahru yesterday, my first since returning from JB in Mar 2020. It was a sort of dry run before my longer trips soon. Sharing my experience here for your reference.

Fatt Soon Kueh · Handmade Traditional Teochew Steamed Snacks 发笋粿

Fatt_Soon_Kueh

Every time I am at 209 Kovan hawker centre, there is a queue at Fatt Soon Kueh. Why do so many people want to eat Fatt soon kueh?

Stall name: Fatt Soon Kueh (Kovan outlet)


Address: 209 Hougang Street 21, stall #01-17, Singapore 530209 (209 Kovan Market & Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: Kovan station


Hours: 7:00am - 6:00pm (Mon off)

51 Kovan Ming Fa Wanton Mee · Fulfilling A Promise 明發雲吞面

51_Kovan_Ming_Fa_Wanton_Mee_明發雲吞面

There are 3 or 4 wanton mee stalls at 209 Kovan hawker centre - the top two popular stalls are 51 Ming Fa WTM and Yi Shi Jia WTM. Maybe it was my luck - when I am in Kovan, 51 Ming Fa was always closed. So, I only blogged about Yi Shi Jia last year.

51_Kovan_Ming_Fa_Wanton_Mee_明發雲吞面

Ben How commented on Facebook that I must have taken money 💰 to blog about Yi Shi Jia WTM but not Ming Fa 🤦 
哎哟,冤枉啊大人 😔  Aiyoh, I am innocent 😓 I promised Ben How that I will visit Ming Fa and post my review.

51 Ming Fa wanton mee continued to be elusive until I finally caught them opened this morning (nearly one year later).

Stall name: 51 Kovan Market Ming Fa Wanton Egg Noodle 明發雲吞面


Address: 209 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530209 (stall #01-64 inside 209 Kovan Market & Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: Kovan station


Hours: 7:00am - 1:00pm (Mon & Tues) hours may change

Huat Huat 80 小厨 Zhi Char · Menu & Review · Chinatown Green Zone #02-80

Huat_Huat_80_小厨_Chinatown

Continuing our exploration of zhi char stalls in Chinatown Complex, today we ate at Huat Huat 80 小厨 and were pleased with our delicious, affordable lunch 👍

Stall name: Huat Huat 80 小厨


Address: 335 Smith Street, stall #02-080 (Green Zone), Singapore 050335 (inside Chinatown Complex)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station


Tel: 9873 7995


Hours: 10:30am - 2:30pm | 4:30pm - 8:00pm (Weds off)

Less Known 58 Minced Meat Noodle @ Taman Jurong Shopping Centre · Top 10 in my Singapore Bak Chor Mee List

58_Minced_Meat_Noodle_Taman_Jurong_Shopping_Centre

A long time ago, 2016 to be exact, I posted about 58 Minced Meat Noodle in Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre. Buddy Niven commented then that I should also try the boss' sister's stall across the road at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre. I finally did this morning, over half a decade later 😆, and man it was good. One of my top ten favourite bak chor mee in Singapore, in fact. Thank you Niven 🙏

Stall name: 58 Minced Meat Noodle 五十八肉脞面


Address: 399 Yung Sheng Road, Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, Singapore 610399 (stall inside 399 Food Court)


Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Lakeside station


Hours: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Cheng Heng Kway Chap & Braised Duck Rice @ Holland Drive Food Centre 進興粿汁鹵鴨飯

Cheng_Heng_Kway_Chap_Braised_Duck_Rice_Holland_Drive_進興粿汁鹵鴨飯

Cheng Heng Kway Chap & Braised Duck is an institution here at Holland Drive Food Centre. Stalking the popular hawker centre for breakfast, the tables around Cheng Heng were occupied by their uncle-auntie type fans. I just got pulled in unconsciously, like old birds of a feather.... 😅

Stall name: Cheng Heng Kway Chap & Braised Duck Rice


Address: 44 Holland Drive, stall #02-05, Singapore 270044 (Holland Drive Food Drive)


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Buona Vista station


Hours: 7:30am - 2:30pm (Thurs off)

Ah Heng Duck Rice @ Hong Lim · Thong Chai Heritage Braised Duck Trilogy 同濟前阿興鴨飯

Ah_Heng_Duck_Rice_Hong_Lim_同濟前阿興鴨飯

This is part three of a Singapore lor ark trilogy, successors of the legendary braised duck stall at the Old Thong Chai Medical Institute. Ah Heng Duck Rice has three successor stalls - a disciple at Heng Gi in Tekka Market, brother-in-law at Hup Seng in Sin Ming Estate, and this stall Ah Heng in Hong Lim Market.

Stall name: Ah Heng Duck Rice 同濟前阿興鴨飯


Address: 531A Upper Cross St, stall #02-64, Singapore 050538 (inside Hong Lim Market & Food Centre)


Nearest MRT: Chinatown


Hours: 6:30am - 4:00pm (Mon off)

Chezcake Bistro · Joo Chiat's Well Kept Secret · Singapore Cheesecake Wonderland

Chezcake_Bistro_Cheesecake_Joo_Chiat

After our lunch today in Joo Chiat, we adjourned for our usual coffee and cakes. Walking down Joo Chiat road, we stumbled upon Chezcake Bistro and quickly stepped inside to escape the stifling humidity and heat outside.

Humble Chezcake Bistro is right next door to trendy Common Man Coffee Roasters. But, it turned out that low profile Chezcake Bistro is a "hidden" cheesecake paradise for cheesecake lovers (me included).

Restaurant name: Chezcake Bistro


Address: 189 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427460


Tel: 6346 6466 ☎ 9755 6697


Hours: 12:00 noon - 10:00pm (Mon off)

Tekka Braised Duck · Heng Gi Goose & Duck Rice 兴记鸡鸭饭

Tekka_Heng_Gi_Goose_Duck_Rice_兴记鸡鸭饭

Every time I post something about lor ark or braised duck, there's a good chance that a fan or two of Heng Gi will reach out to me and ask if I have tried their favourite duck rice stall. I finally did recently. I like it because it's an old school lor ark reminiscent of 1960s Singapore.

Stall name: Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice


Address: 665 Buffalo Road, stall #01–335, Tekka Centre, Singapore 210665


Nearest MRT: Little India station


Tel: 6396 0969


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

Goro Japanese Cuisine in a HDB Block @ 43 Holland Drive near Buona Vista MRT

Goro_Japanese_Cuisine_43_Holland_Drive

We met up at Goro Japanese restaurant located in block 43, Holland Drive which is just beside Holland Drive Hawker Centre. Overall, we had a good time and I would go back, especially for their unagi and maki. Next time, I would also like to try their other dishes, including omakase.

Stall name: Goro Japanese Cuisine


Address: 43 Holland Drive, #01-49, Singapore 270043


Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Buona Vista station


Tel: 6358 3959


Hours: 11:00am - 2:30pm | 5:30pm - 10:00pm