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In Search of Johor's Best Beef Rendang

Beef rendang is a signature Minangkabau dish. The Minangkabau people come from western part of Sumatra Island in Indonesia.

It is not easy to find good authentic beef rendang in eateries.

The proper cooking process for beef rendang which takes about 4 hours is extremely tedious and requires plenty of skill, patience and dedication.

The first stage in cooking beef rendang is to use low heat to boil the thick beef chunks in coconut milk and curry spices. When most of the water has evaporated, the coconut milk and curry spices will turn into stew.

The second stage is to continue cooking the beef chunks in this stew by stirring and tossing the meat in a wok or deep pot with low heat. Continue until the stew turns into gravy.

When done, the unphotogenic beef chunks will look deep brown in colour on the outside due to the caramelised coconut milk. The cooking process saturates the meat with all the flavours from the coconut milk and curry spices, and seals it in with a caramelised coat. Good beef rendang is firm on the outside, and moist and tenderly soft on the inside.

Its fragrance is captivating. Each bite into the beef releases the flavour and fragrance sealed inside the meat during the long cooking process.

The labour intensive and time consuming cooking process make it hard to commercially produce beef rendang in the authentic way. Unfortunately, shortcuts or cutting corners will end up in inferior results. For example, too high heat or inattentiveness in stirring and tossing will result in over tough beef, ruining the dish.

Fortunately, my search for good beef rendang in Johor has turned up a few fine results which I share with you.

Restoran Azinur's rendang is saturated with the flavour of coconut and curry spices
Restoran Azinur in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah

Each bite of Restoran Kin Wah's rendang releases perfume like the squeeze of a perfume bottle
Nasi padang stall in Kin Wah coffee shop in JB old town

Restoran Mana Lagi's rendang is simply stunning in fragrance, flavour and texture

Restoran Mana Lagi in Taman Perling
I will continue my search for the best rendang in Johor and will post my favourite finds here. Any leads and tips are greatly appreciated J


  1. I think its probably more than 4 hours. I used to help my mom fry the kerisik. That alone already take up so much time. My mom will put lots of kerisik in the rendang. So delicious.

    1. Ah yes, preparing the ingredients take a lot of time too :) but the yummy result is worth it :)


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