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

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

Jiaji Duck of Qionghai Hainan 邮电新村嘉积鸭美味园

Many people have heard about Wenchang chicken of Hainan. Hainan is also known for its Jiaji duck from Qionghai county.

Restaurant name: 邮电新村嘉积鸭美味园

Address: China, Hainan, Qionghai, 33, 正南方向60米 邮政编码: 571499

Hours: Lunch & Dinner

White Cut Goose in Wenchang Hainan 海南鸿盛鵝馆●白切鹅

My topmost aim in coming to Wenchang county in Hainan island was to learn as much as possible about Wenchang chicken, the mother of Singapore Hainanese chicken rice.

I'm happy with my progress on that front 😊 🕺

But, one of my most memorable taste experiences from this ten day Hainan island trip was white cut goose 白切鹅 at 鸿盛鵝馆.

Restaurant name: 鸿盛鵝馆

Address: China, Hainan, Wenchang, 255, 东南方向120米 邮政编码: 571341

Tel: +8613307611817

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

Sin Heng Kee Porridge @ Chong Pang Yishun ● Taste Nice, Good Portion, Price Right, Nice Environment

Sin Heng Kee Porridge in Yishun first caught my eye because it sported a longer queue than the Toto shop next door 😱 So, I earmarked it for a visit next time. Finally, made it after nearly two years 🤭

Anyway, Sin Heng Kee here is still as popular and the porridge is really good 👍

Restaurant name: Sin Heng Kee Porridge

Address: 101 Yishun Ave 5, #01-19/21, Singapore 760101 (Chong Pang Village)

Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Yishun station

Hours: 7:00am - 9:00pm (Tues & Thurs off)

Shinn Sato Okinawa Cuisine @ Orchard Plaza

Shinn Sato @ Orchard Plaza is one of those kind of eating places their regulars don't want you to know about and the owners don't actively market themselves on social media. 

Yet they are doing fine for years, thank you ☺️

Luckily, I got friends who know 🤭

Restaurant name: Shinn Sato Okinawa Cuisine

Address: 150 Orchard Road, #03-52/53/54 Orchard Plaza, Singapore 238841

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Somerset station

Tel: 6735 1883

Hours: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm | 5:30pm - 10:00 pm (Sun off)

Chao Yue Xuan Hand Crafted Dim Sum @ Capitol City Hall MRT 潮粤轩

Recently, we were chatting about what new places to go for good dim sum. Haha.... maybe the Universe heard us and Jun jio-ed (invited) me to try out a new dim sum joint Chao Yue Xuan 潮粤轩.

(Well, not exactly new - they were at Junction 9 in Yishun but they just moved here in Capitol and this was my first time trying their dim sum.)

Restaurant name: Chao Yue Xuan Dim Sum 潮粤轩

Address: 13 Stamford Rd, B2-51 & 52 Capitol Singapore, S178905

Nearest MRT: Steps from City Hall station & linked by underpass at basement 2

Tel: 8921 1929

Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm

Bao Luo Fen Noodle 抱罗粉 ● Famous Noodle from Wenchang Hainan

When I went to Hainan in China, I had in mind to get to the roots of Hainanese cuisine in Singapore and Malaysia. There's Wenchang chicken, the mother of Singapore Hainanese chicken rice. Then, there's Hainanese beef noodle, which is near extinction in Singapore.

Mighty Mekong ● River of Fish, Rice & Life

The nearly 5000 km long Mekong starts high up in the snowy Tibetan Plateau and flows south through China (where it is known as Lancang 澜沧), and every country in Indochina (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam), before draining into the South China Sea.

The Mekong is the sixth longest river in the world, third longest in Asia. The longest rivers in Asia, the Yellow River and Yang Tze also start in the Tibetan Plateau but run east across China towards the sea.

Haikou Thien Hou Mazu Temple 海口天后宮

There are two Thien Hou temples in Haikou which are side by side each other at 89 Zhong Shan Lu, Longhua District, Haikou. One is a bigger temple complex while the other is a shrine (in a small former storehouse right next to it).

Where did Singapore Chicken Rice Come From? For the Answer, I Spent 10 Days in Wenchang Hainan 白切文昌雞飯


Hainanese chicken rice is considered Singapore's unofficial national dish. Singaporeans and Malaysians sometimes argue about which of them created Hainanese chicken rice 🤔 (However, versions of Hainanese chicken rice can also be found in Thailand, Vietnam, and Chinese communities around the world.)

Mohinga @ No Name Myanmese Stall in Jiu Fu Food Court Peninsula Plaza Little Myanmar

Burmese (Myanmar) food is a paradox. It is not well known like Thai, Vietnamese or Indian food. Many people assume it is like Thai, Vietnamese, or Indochinese food. It is not - due to its geography and history, Myanmese food taste profile is unique.

Stall name: No name, no signboard

Address: North Bridge Rd, 111D/E, Peninsula PLaza, B1-07, S179098 (stall inside Jiu Fu Food Court)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from City Hall station

Hours: Morning till noon

Chang Ji @ Setia Indah ● Wild Caught Fish Soup, Noodle, Porridge 昌记鱼肉粿條

As I am an avid fish soup lover, I came down to Setia Indah after seeing buddy Aus Pe shared about a fish soup she enjoyed there.

Restaurant name: Restoran Chang Ji 昌记鱼肉粿條

Address: 43, Jalan Setia 3/4, Taman Setia Indah, 81100 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6016 750 4740

Hours: 6:00am - 3:00pm (Weds off)

Song Kee Fishball Kway Teow Noodle Soup @ Toa Payoh Lor 5 Hawker Centre

Passed by Lor 5 Toa Payoh Food Centre, and recalled that there is a Song Kee fishball noodle stall here which I haven't tried so far.

Stall name: Song Kee Kway Teow Noodle Soup

Address: 75 Lor 5 Toa Payoh, stall #01-20, Singapore 310075

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Toa Payoh and Braddell station

Hours: 10:30am - 10:30pm (Weds off)

History of Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh ● Enter the Dragon 榕城肉骨茶

It is a great honour for me to meet up with Lim Hai Chay 林海星, a legend in Singapore bak kut teh history. We last met nearly a decade ago when he was still running his 22, Sin Ming Road stall - retired now, this morning we reminisced about bak kut teh over uncle Lim's favourite tea. Uncle Lim's wife, Mdm Chua was with us.

Eng Kee Bak Kut Teh @ Ang Mo Kio ● Everyone is Talking about their Braised Pork Trotter Shoulder 永记肉骨茶

Chit chatting with the owners of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, and don't know how they mentioned that they love the braised pork leg at Eng Kee in Ang Mo Kio. Like that how lah....., that got me excited and craving it since hearing about it.

Stall name: Eng Kee Bak Kut Teh 永记肉骨茶

Address: Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, stall #01-04 Blk 341, Singapore 560341 (stall inside Teck Ghee Court Market & Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Ang Mo Kio station

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

History of Myanmar / Burma for Foodies ● National Dish Mohinga & Lahpet Thoke

Compared to cuisine of its neighbours like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, India and China, Myanmnese food is relatively obscure to foreigners. 

Most people overseas would not have heard of, let alone tasted mohinga or lahpet thoke, both considered Myanmar's national dishes eaten throughout the 676 thousand sq km (larger than France) country of 54 million people, and more than 130 ethnicities.

Myanmese cuisine is unique due to its geography and history going back as far as 10,000 BC when humans first settled here during the stone age.

iO Italian Osteria @ HillV 2 Hillview ● Menu & Review ● Probably the Best Italian in the West

I can always rely on buddy Sean for the best places for Italian in Singapore. It was Sean who introduced me to Pastaria Abate, and on this Labour Day he brought me to iO Italian Osteria. I didn't expect to get such quality of Italian fare so far away from the city, but iO Italian Osteria got me  excited even though we only had a small sampling of dishes. Two of us only mah... . Actually, I think we ate a lot for two people 😄

Restaurant name: iO Italian Osteria

Address: 4 Hillview Rise, #02 - 01, Singapore 667979 (HillV 2 mall)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Hillview station

Tel: 67107150

Hours: 11:30am - 10:00pm (opens 10am on Sat & Sun)

Fruitsome Asia Thai Maha Chanok Mangoes Sweet & Fragrant 🥭

When I go to Thailand, I always ended up trying to eat as much mangoes as possible as they are so sweet and fragrant 😋 But I am also too lazy to carry the mangoes back home, so I stuffed myself with mangoes while there 😬 🤭

Kopiloco Fuzhou Style Prawn Noodle Fridays ● Ultra Umami Bomb 💣

One of the most memorable dishes from my trips to Miri, Sarawak is Fuzhou or Hock Chew prawn noodle which I cannot find in Singapore or Peninsula Malaysia. I was pretty much resigned to the fate that I have to travel to Sarawak if I want to taste this dish again (not that I mind going to Sarawak again 😁 🕺 It's a most fascinating place).

But today, I found out that I can get it in Johor Bahru, right at our doorstep 😁

Restaurant name: Kopiloco by 1993

Address: 64 & 65, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6017 764 6412

Hours: 7:30am - 5:00pm

Karu's Banana Leaf Curry Fish Head @ Upper Bukit Timah ☏ 67627284

When it comes to Indian style curry fish head (one of my favourite Singapore dishes), Karu's Banana Leaf is one that comes to the top of my mind. Another is Samy's. Both have something in common - they are near my old workplaces 😁

Restaurant name: Karu's Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant

Address: 808/810 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 678144

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes slow walk from Cashew station

Tel: 67627284

Hours: 10:30am - 10:00pm (Mon off)

Mongol Invasion of Java 1292 ● Rise of Majapahit Empire

The Mongolian Yuan dynasty ruled China from 1279 to 1368. The Mongol empire covered the whole of China from the Mongolian steppes to the south seas and its vassal states stretched even further beyond. Any state that did not submit to the Khan was invaded - Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan were invaded and Java's turn came in 1292.

Chola and Srivijaya Sea Battle 1025

The Chola empire based in Cholapuram on the Coromendel Coast of southeast India lasted from 300BC to 1279. The Srivijaya empire based in Palembang in south Sumatra lasted from 601 to 1300. The contemporaneous empires from India and Indonesia respectively both straddled the Maritime Silk Road between Song dynasty China (960 - 1279) in the east and the Fatamid Caliphate (909 - 1171) in the west.

Old Bugis Kway Chap since 1973 @ Kopitiam Square Sengkang Sq

Stalking the 20 odd stalls at Kopitiam Square at Sengkang Square, I decided to settle for Old Bugis Kway Chap. Kway chap and the images of old Bugis Street in my mind probably did me in 😬

Stall name: Old Bugis Kway Chap

Address: 10 Sengkang Square, Singapore 544829 (stall inside Kopitiam Square)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Buangkok station

Hours: 7:00am - 1:00am 

Cheng Hui 72 Handmade Wanton Noodle @ Seletar Hills Estate

Had this Malaysian style black sauce and lard wanton mee at Seletar Hills Estate decades ago. Stumbled upon it again while on my way to Seletar Hills Restaurant, so jio-ed buddy to come back for it today.

Stall name: Cheng Hui 72 Handmade Wanton Noodle 成輝 72 手工雲吞麵

Address: 2 Jalan Selaseh, #01-04, Singapore 808433

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

Havelock Food Centre Covent Garden Prawn Noodle 哥文园虾面

Arrived at Havelock Food Centre before 8am and the longest queue today was at Covent Garden Prawn Noodle. So I lined up first and think later 🤭

Stall name: Covent Garden Prawn Noodle 哥文园虾面

Address: 22B Havelock Rd, Singapore 162022 (stall #01-24 in Havelock Cooked Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Tiong Bahru station

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

Huang Kee Wanton Noodles with Unique Sauce @ 266 Sengkang Compassvale Bow 黄记

I am hunting for food in Sengkang and buddy Jordan suggested Huang Kee 黄记 Wanton Mee at Compassvale Bow.

Stall name: Huang Kee Wanton Noodles  黄记

Address: 266 Compassvale Bow, Singapore 540266

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Buangkok station

Hours: 9:30am - 6:00pm

Tanjong Pagar Fish Ball Noodle ● Mee Stall with the Longest Queue @ Maxwell Food Centre

There are about half a dozen fishball noodle / bak chor mee stalls at Maxwell Food Centre. The one with the longest queue ironically has the lowest social media visibility 🤔

Stall name: Tanjong Pagar Teo Chew Fishball Noodle - Maxwell Food Centre

Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, stall #01-74, Singapore 069184 (stall inside Maxwell Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: Doorstep of Maxwell Food Centre

Hours: 7:00am - 4:00pm (Sun off)

Review & Menu of Trattoria Nonna Linna @ 61 Cantonment Road ● Italian Answer to Crab Bee Hoon

Buddies who are decade old regulars of Trattoria Nonna Linna jio-ed (invited) me to join them for dinner there. I've never been to Italy before but the cooking here made me feel as close to being there as I ever felt.

Restaurant name: Trattoria Nonna Linna

Address: 61 Cantonment Road, Singapore 089757

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Outram Park station

Hours: 12:00 noon - 2:30pm | 6:00pm - 10:30pm (Mon off)

Review of Kopilicious Molek Sentosa Johor Bahru

Kopilicious is one of the several popular traditional Nanyang coffee joints in modern cafe settings in JB now.

Restaurant name: Kopilicious Molek

Address: 18, Jalan Molek 2/2, Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6011 1141 6718

Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Review of Bak Chor Mee @ Jalan Mulia / Upper Aljunid Road Lian Bee Coffee Shop

Buddy Allan highly recommends this no name bak chor mee stall at Lian Bee Coffee Shop at Jalan Mulia off Upper Aljunid Road. So, here I am 😬

Stall name: Bak Chor Mee stall (no name)

Address: 375 Upper Aljunied Rd, Singapore 367860 (stall inside Lian Bee coffee shop)

Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Mattar station

Hours: 3:00am - 1:00pm (Mon off)