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

Adventurous Culinary Traveler's Blog with 64 million+ reads 📧

History of Yang Zhou Fried Rice • World's Most Famous Chinese Rice Dish 扬州炒饭的历史

Frying rice in China goes at least as far back as the Sui dynasty (581 - 618). Most cities in the rice culture (southern) region of China have their own version of fried rice dish - China is a fried rice paradise, literally. 

How did Yangzhou fried rice become China's and the world's most famous fried rice dish? 

Yue Jiang Chun Restaurant • Huaiyang Cuisine near Jinshan Temple in Zhenjiang 镇江 • 悦江春 • 淮扬菜

Day 2 in Zhenjiang city in Jiangsu, China. After visiting the vinegar culture museum of China and Jinshan Temple, I was looking forward to the Huaiyang cuisine lunch at Yue Jiang Chun 悦江春 at the foot of Jinshan. 

Last night's sumptuous dinner and lots of walking whetted my appetite 🤭

Zhenjiang Wok Cover Noodle 镇江锅盖面

When you come to the historic city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu (15 minutes by high speed rail from Nanjing), you will see the humble wok cover noodle 锅盖面 served everywhere in street side stalls, small eateries, restaurants, and also hotels. It is a staple and unique food icon of Zhenjiang. 

锅盖面 is pronounced "ku keh mie" in Zhenjiang dialect.

Zhenjiang Restaurant @ Xijindu Ancient Street 镇江菜馆 (西津渡店)

Zhenjiang_Restaurant_Xijindu_Ancient Street_镇江菜馆_西津渡店

The moment we arrived at Nanjing Airport, we were whisked by chartered bus to Zhenjiang. Our flight departure from Singapore was delayed around 2 hours and immigration & customs clearance at Nanjing took around an hour. 

Curious Origin of Kueh Pie Tee or Top Hat


I love kueh pie tee which is a common dish in Nyonya restaurants and homes. But, I always thought it a bit odd as the crispy cup or top hat as it is sometimes called doesn't seemed to be an Asian or Southeast Asian thing. The fillings are similar to Hokkien popiah and the sambal is clearly from the Malay archipelago. But, where did the crispy cup come from?

I have been wondering how kueh pie tee became a quintessentially Nyonya dish. 🤔

Coffee & Toast @ Yong Peng • Maxims Snack Shoppe 大胡子面包小食

We pulled over at Yong Peng town on the way to Malacca. Haven't eaten anything nor had any caffeine since we woke up and left Singapore. I suggested we pull over at 大胡子面包小食 - I've been here a few years ago, liked it and wanted to come back to try more things before writing about it.

Nanjing Chef Queen Xiao Chu Niang Huaiyang Restaurant • Tasty Introduction to China's State Banquet Cuisine of Choice 小厨娘淮扬菜 机场宾馆店

Huaiyang along with Yue (Guangdong), Sichuan, and Shandong are considered the top four cuisines of China. Huaiyang cuisine is the Chinese government's preferred choice when hosting foreign dignitaries at state banquets.

Jia He Grand Chinese Restaurant • Traditional & Innovative Dim Sum & Dishes for the Family 家和

I've been to Jia He Chinese Restaurant twice so far and enjoyed myself with their dim sum and signature dishes. It's one of the restaurants in Singapore that come to my mind when asked where to go eat dim sum in Singapore.

History & Origin of Tempura 天ぷら • Japanese Changed a Portuguese Dish to their Taste

Most of us have tasted tempura, the iconic Japanese fried vegetable, fish, and seafood dish. Many of us like it but some of us may be surprised that the Japanese learned to prepare this dish from the Europeans, Portuguese specifically.

And, it was fairly recently in historical terms. 

Just some 500+ years ago. 

Poh Cheu Soon Kueh & Ang Ku Kueh • Traditional & Modern Chinese Snacks & Desserts 宝洲笋粿红龟粿

Poh Cheu founded in the 1980s as an illegal mobile street stall is in the third generation now.

Poh Cheu is the name of the founder, grandfather of the current owner Jerome who has an accountancy degree. 

Top 73+1 Handmade Fishball @ New Century Coffee Shop in 151 Bishan

A reader who prefers to stay anonymous messaged me about Top 73+1 handmade fishball noodle stall at block 151 Bishan.

If you google Top 73+1, you will realise that it has a rather high social media profile but that stall is at block 532 Ang Mo Kio. 

Lucha Loco • Mexican Cocina Y Mezcaleria @ Duxton Hill on Cinco De Mayo Fifth of May 2024

Brenda jio-ed us to meet up at Lucha Loco at Duxton Hill for their Cinco de Mayo celebration.

The annual Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico's defeat of France in the Battle of Puebla on 5th May 1862. It is celebrated by Mexican communities around the world.

Kaunta Singapore Kaisendon & Omakase @ Onze Tanjong Pagar

Kaki kaki jio-ed to meet up at Kaunta at Onze building in the Tanjong Pagar area. Kaunta is a red hot place now for their signature kaisendon or rice topped with chopped sashimi. 

The Kaisen Donburi dish was recently made famous by the Tsujihan chain outlet at Nihonbashi, Chuo City in Tokyo (near the Imperial Palace).

What Does Sea Tilapia Taste Like? SZ Kitchen @ d’Arena

Actually, I am not a big fan of Tilapia. I grew up with it as it was a cheap protein source but it has an off-putting earthy taste. 

Nevertheless, I always liked the soft tender moist texture of Tilapia fish and its underlying sweet taste. So, I still enjoy it in preparations which masked or neutralised the earthy taste e.g. with lots of garlic, ginger, chili pepper, curry powder, etc. 

Kim Loong Curry Fish Head • Backstreet Hidden Gem 金玲咖喱鱼头

Kam Long Ah Zai Curry Fish Head along Jalan Wong Ah Fook is without doubt the most famous CFH in Johor. Like it or not, there is always a long queue of people waiting to try the curry fish head.

Beef from Spain by PROVACUNO in Singapore • Enjoy, It’s from Europe 🐮

I enjoyed some mind blowing delicious beef at the promotional show by PROVACUNO at the Alkaff Mansion on 22nd Apr 2024.

PROVACUNO, the Agro-food Inter-professional Organization of the Spanish Beef Industry, consists of national associations that represent 85% of companies from the production, industrial and commercial sectors of beef in Spain.

E-Sarn Thai Cuisine Corner near Pasir Panjang MRT

Marcus suggested we go to E-Sarn Thai Cuisine in Pasir Panjang for lunch.

E-Sarn serves cuisine from the northeastern region of Thailand, known as Isaan or E-Sarn. Isaan is Thailand's largest region, consisting of 20 provinces. Many of Thailand's best-known dishes come from Isaan.

If you like robust flavours, Isaan food is for you. 

Macpherson Tai Thong Crescent Turtle Soup by Ser Seng Herbs

✍️ 26 Apr 2024. We met at the Macpherson Tai Thong outlet of Ser Seng turtle soup. This is Ser Seng's original outlet, the other one is in Geylang.

Unboxing & First Look at HONOR Magic 6 Pro • Foodie & Wanderlust Junkie's Best Friend

✍️ 26 Apr 2024. Just received my greatly anticipated Honor Magic 6 Pro, Honor's flagship launched last month (March 2024). Honor Magic 6 Pro retails in Singapore at SGD$1399.

Hong Xing Fish Ball Noodles @ 332 Ang Mo Kio Johnson Eatery Coffee Shop

We went to BLK 332 Ang Mo Kio coffee shop, in a quiet corner of the town. It's about 15 minutes walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT station.

You Tiao is the Mother of Churro? Could Both be from the Middle East?

An origin story of churros, that links the globally famous Spanish food icon with the Chinese you tiao is very popular. But it lacks documentary evidence, so I shall look for them. 

Traditionally made only with wheat flour, salt and water, churros are oil fried dough sticks flavoured with a dusting of sugar (and cinnamon powder). In Spain, churros are often enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate. In the Spanish world, churros are enjoyed at churrerias as well as street side stalls.

Vietnamese Fried Banana Fritter Goreng Pisang @ 529 Ang Mo Kio Jia Yi Premium 家義美食

After breakfast, Aaron said "I need to get .... for my wife". I couldn't make out what he mumbled but just went along anyways.

My mind still wasn't in gear despite the quite good fish ball noodle breakfast which I will blog later.

Bak Bak Modern Bak Chor Mee @ 721 Ang Mo Kio 肉肉肉脞面

We gathered here in BLK 721 Ang Mo Kio to try out a brand new food stall serving a modern take on bak chor mee. Yeah nowadays, there's a genre which I would call modern bak chor mee like 25 in Bukit Merah, etc.

Xiang Ji Lor Mee People's Choice @ Old Airport Road Food Centre 香记卤面•炸酱面

I arrived late for the makan kaki meet up. Actually, the makan session was already over by the time I got here (from my medical appointment 🤭). Kaki kaki had done all the tastings, all the guinea pig work 🙏 and encouraged me to get the lor mee from Xiang Ji.