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

Travel, people & food storyteller with 63 million+ reads since 2012 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

Ais Kacang @ Awiet Corner in Larkin Bomba, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

 

Awiet Corner at the food centre near Larkin Bomba just beside the fire station is famous for its cold desserts, especially its ais kacang special.


This is Awiet Corner's RM4 Special. Isn’t this irresistible, especially on hot sizzling days in humid, tropical Johor?

On top of the little mount of shaved ice were two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Over the ice cream and ice mountain, they drizzled chocolate syrup and dropped a few roasted peanuts.

Ice Kacang can be found everywhere in Malaysia and Singapore but only in Johor will you find delicious melted chocolate topping over it.

The ice mountain itself was doused with rose syrup, evaporated milk and gula Melaka.

Buried underneath the mountain of ice were boiled red beans, creamy sweet corn, grass jelly and attap seeds.

The ice mountain crumbled rather quickly even under the cool shade of Larkin Bomba food centre – the heat attacking it from top and me stabbing its underside with my plastic spoon digging for treasures inside. Attacked from the top and bottom, the ice kacang was soon reduced to a sweet concoction of rose and chocolate syrup, soft sweet corn, gula Melaka, evaporated milk and melted vanilla ice cream. We were given a straw to drink up this multi-flavoured sweet mixture.

 
Restaurant name: Awiet Corner @ Medan Selera Larkin Bomba
Address: Next to Larkin Bomba fire station off Jalan Tun Abdul Razak
GPS: 1.485632,103.749389
Hours: daily
Halal

Date visited: 20 Mar 2012

Fish Head Curry @ Chua Kee in Taman Perling, Johor Bahru


Reader Vien suggested that I try out her favourite curry fish head at Chua Kee in Taman Perling. So I made a trip to Chua Kee on Vien’s recommendation and had a fine curry fish head lunch. Thank you, Vien! Appreciate it J


Chua Kee is a typical, old established, family run corner coffee shop. It is located in a row of shop houses across the street from Perling Mall, off Jalan Persisiran Perling 1.


Actually, Chua Kee’s curry fish head reminds me of another of my favourites which is Kam Long’s curry fish head. To me, their fish head curries looked, smelled and tasted very similar J  Difference is, eating at Chua Kee felt a lot more rustic and calm while at Kam Long, it felt hectic and frantic due to the buzz from the busy, rumbling traffic along Jalan Wong Ah Fook outside.



In both restaurants, the good curry fish head all boils down to super fresh ingredients. Both Chua Kee and Kam Long use hand picked sea fish that is ocean fresh.


The curry gravy is flavoured with coconut milk but not overly reliant on coconut – with just the right amount of lemakness. The curry is fragrant from the ground spices in it and not too spicy hot – it doesn’t bite the tongue or throat. The curry gravy has a nice aroma, tasty and smooth. Fresh green vegetables like long beans are thrown into the curry and fish head together with tau pok and tau puey (fried tofu), adding interesting textures and tastes to the dish.

This curry fish head was well worth expending my calorie quota on and the RM23 I paid J

Chua Kee also serves bak kut teh which appears equally popular with the customers.

Restaurant name: Restaurant Chua Kee
Address: Across the street from Perling Mall off Jalan Persisiran Perling 1
GPS: 1.496952,103.682548
Hours: and
Non Halal

Date visited: 2 Mar 2012

Nasi Ambeng @ Mat Corner in Selera Mahsuri, Bandar Baru Uda, Johor Bahru

Nasi-Ambeng-Mat-Corner-Selera-Mahsuri-Bandar-Baru-Uda-Johor-Bahru
^  Click on photo for latest post on Mat Corner  ^ 


Nasi-Ambeng-Johor-Bahru

Mat Corner is the most popular stall in Selera Mahsuri. They do a brisk business from opening time at till about . Their hot seller is their nasi ambeng, so you have to come early for that.

Nasi ambeng originates from Java, Indonesia and it is a lot like nasi campur except that it is served as a standard set. The side dishes are pre-selected rather than selected by the customer.


The composition of the nasi ambeng set varies from stall to stall, and Mat Corner fans swear that this is the best in Johor Bahru.


At Mat Corner, the generous RM4.50 nasi ambeng set consists of fluffy white rice with a piece of freshly fried chicken, a fried salted fish, stir fried fresh green vegetables, tofu, fried spiced coconut shreds, and a piece of fried tempeh. These are served on a banana leaf topped with Mat Corner’s own special spicy sauce and a dash of sambal chili.



The good thing about Mat Corner is that all their dishes are freshly prepared. I was there before opening time and witnessed the frenzy in preparing all these varied dishes. Nasi ambeng connoisseurs told me that in Java it is served with a clump of mee goreng on the plate as well. So this was missing in Mat Corner’s version.


To me, the most striking thing about Mat Corner’s nasi ambeng is their sambal chili. It has that distinctive lemon grass aroma. The sambal is spicy and sweet with that peanutty texture and flavour.

Their special sambal enhances the taste of everything on the plate, which would otherwise taste rather ordinary.

->> For a balanced, tasty meal at an affordable price, Mat Corner's nasi ambeng is hard to beat.

 Selera-Mahsuri-Johor-Bahru

Restaurant name: Mat Corner (stall in Selera Masuri)
Address: Off Jalan Padi Mahsuri (opposite SMK Bandar Baru Uda), Bandar Baru Uda
GPS: 1.494920,103.718823
Tel+60197244798
Hours:
Halal






 

Date visited: 27 Mar 2012


Beggar Oyster Rice & Melon Soup @ Ban Heong Seng near Danga Bay in Johor Bahru

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng

Besides the beggar’s chicken and the country fish, the remaining two of the “Four Heavenly Kings” at Ban Heong Seng restaurant are their oyster rice and melon soup.

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng
The oyster rice is in the smaller clay pod on the left. The beggar's chicken is in the larger pod.
The oyster rice is made the same way as the beggar's chicken. The glutinous rice with dried shrimps, dried oysters, black mushrooms, and chicken meat are wrapped with lotus leaves and then encased in clay. The clay pod with the rice inside is then baked in a bed of hot charcoal for many hours, just like the beggar's chicken.

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng
Oyster rice for RM22
The resulting baked rice is loaded with fragrance from all the aromas of the different ingredients and the lotus leaf wrapping. The many ingredients also infused the grains of rice with varied flavours – every bite bringing with it delightful sensations and surprises for the taste buds.

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng
This melon soup costs RM20

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng

The melon soup is made by scooping the seeds and core out a fresh winter melon and stuffing it with a clutch of herbs. The winter melon with herbs inside is then steamed for hours until the whole melon is cooked.

Oyster-Rice-Melon-Soup-Ban-Heong-Seng

When served, the melon is filled with herbs inside swimming in piping hot delicious, naturally sweet soup. The soft pulp of the melon is also eaten – it is delicious, smooth and sweet.

The oyster rice and melon soup complement the beggar’s chicken and country fish very well, making the “Four Heavenly Kings” a hearty, healthy and wholesome meal for a party of four.

->> The only place in Johor to get "beggar's dishes" fit for emperors.



Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng 万香城 (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving) 
Address113, Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Skudai
GPS1°32'12.9"N 103°40'27.1"E 🌐 1.536913, 103.674204
WazeBan Heong Seng 万香城 Beggar chicken
Tel: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 for takeaway only

Old address for the historical record.

Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng Restaurant (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving)
Address: 34-B, Jalan Skudai, Batu 3¼, off Jalan Tahar, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.483683,103.721548
Hours: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to pre-arrange lunch or dinner

Non Halal

Date visited: 9 Mar 2012

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

Country Fish @ Ban Heong Seng near Danga Bay in Johor Bahru

Ban-Heong-Seng-Danga Bay-Johor-Bahru

Ban-Heong-Seng-Danga Bay-Johor-Bahru

There are “Four Heavenly King” dishes on Ban Heong Seng restaurant’s menu. They are their beggar chicken/duck, oyster rice, country fish, and melon soup.

Ban-Heong-Seng-Danga Bay-Johor-Bahru
Country fish at RM20
At first glance, the country fish looked like any ordinary fried whole mackerel fish.

Ban-Heong-Seng-Danga Bay-Johor-Bahru

Once you pick up a piece of fish, you will realise that it is actually made of pieces of fish cake.

Ban-Heong-Seng-Danga Bay-Johor-Bahru

This country fish is made by scraping out the meat from a fresh mackerel fish, mashing the flesh into a paste, mixing it with additional ingredients, spices, and then carefully stuffing the paste back into the skin of the fish. The “remade” fish is then deep fried to produce this boneless country fish dish.



This fragrant fish cake is crispy outside and the flesh is firm and tastes salty and sweet - much like any other good fish cake, though a little overly salty and stiff for my taste buds.

However, Ban Heong Seng’s unique style of this country fish gives their fish cake added interest compared to the usual form of fish cakes we normally get elsewhere.

Nice and fun to eat!

->> The only place in Johor to get "beggar's dishes" fit for emperors.




Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng 万香城 (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving) 
Address113, Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Skudai
GPS1°32'12.9"N 103°40'27.1"E | 1.536913, 103.674204
WazeBan Heong Seng 万香城 Beggar chicken
Tel: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 for takeaway only

Old address below for the historical record.

Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng Restaurant (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving)
Address: 34-B, Jalan Skudai, Batu 3¼, off Jalan Tahar, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.483683,103.721548
Hours: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to pre-arrange lunch or dinner

Non Halal

Date visited: 9 Mar 2012

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.


Beggar's Chicken @ Ban Heong Seng 万香城 Restaurant near Danga Bay in Johor Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Ban Heong Seng 万香城 restaurant is known for its four signature dishes. I shall call these Ban Heong Seng's “Four Heavenly Kings” dishes. Ban Heong Seng's beggar's chicken/ duck can be considered their “King of Kings”. Ban Heong Seng's other signature dishes are country fish, oyster rice and melon soup.

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Ban Heong Seng's beggar's chicken is made by wrapping a fresh chicken in paper and plastic, and then encasing it in clay. The encased chicken is then buried in a bed of white hot charcoal and left there to bake for 8 hours.



Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

When ready to serve, the encased chicken is dug up with a shovel, and wheeled in a wheelbarrow to the dinning area.

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

The clay that had kept all the chicken’s juices and herbal flavours in during the long hours of cooking, is carefully cracked open with a hammer. The plastic and paper are then removed and the chicken is ready to be eaten.

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru
This juicy plump chicken costs RM33.
When the plastic and paper wrapping is removed, a puff of aromatic steam bursts into the air. The pleasant herbal fragrance catches the attention of everyone around. The succulent, juicy chicken is then revealed.

Beggar's-Chicken-Ban-Heong-Seng-Johor-Bahru

After seeing the spectacle of breaking open the beggar chicken’s clay shell and seduced by the herbal fragrance, everyone will be eager to tear into the plump chicken. 

Pulling open the chicken exposes the many different types of herbs that went into preparing this beggar’s chicken.

The herbal flavoured chicken is naturally sweet. The tasty flesh falls off the bone with the lightest touch and the meat is very juicy, tender and smooth.

Ban Heong Seng's is definitely one of the best beggar’s chicken that I have tasted.

Delicious and fun to eat :-D

->> The only place in Johor to get "beggar's dishes" fit for emperors.



Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng 万香城 (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving) 
Address113, Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Skudai
GPS1°32'12.9"N 103°40'27.1"E 🌐 1.536913, 103.674204
WazeBan Heong Seng 万香城 Beggar chicken
Tel: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 for takeaway only

Old address for the historical record.

Restaurant name: Ban Heong Seng 万香城 Restaurant (call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to book 1 day in advance as the dishes need to be prepared hours ahead of serving)
Address: 34-B, Jalan Skudai, Batu 3¼, off Jalan Tahar, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.483683,103.721548
Hours: Call 016-757-1887 or 07-237-5194 to pre-arrange lunch or dinner

Non Halal

Date visited: 9 Mar 2012

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.


UTM Students' Favourite - Black Pepper Chicken Noodles @ Restoran Shang Hai 上海 in Taman Universiti, Skudai, Johor


Our memories are often anchored to the sights, smells, tastes, feel and even the sounds of our food. This unphotogenic but delicious “black chicken mee” in Taman Universiti is in the fond memories of many Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students.


Restoran Shang Hai 上海 was the “black chicken mee” stall in Ong Lai coffee shop before it moved into its own large corner shop. This “black chicken mee” story is yet another one of those inspiring stall-to-shop folklore of underdog success.

Restoran Shang Hai 上海 serves wanton noodles, chicken chops, and of course their signature “black chicken mee”.

The homemade egg noodles are doused with gooey black peppery sauce and topped with pieces of baked chicken marinated with black pepper.


The chicken is marinated in black pepper sauce and then baked. The chicken meat is juicy, firm and slightly chewy. It is coated with a caramelised layer of salty, sweet and subtly peppery sauce. Nice! No wonder this is so popular with UTM students.


The noodles are the same as any good wanton noodle - heavy with eggy flavour and feels smooth and slightly crunchy.

The big difference lies in the sauce – here the noodles are coated with the same slightly salty, sweet, fragrant black pepper sauce used to prepare the chicken.

I really enjoyed this unique “black chicken noodles”.


Restaurant name: Restoran Shang Hai 上海
Address: 58, Jalan Kebudayaan 18, Taman Universiti, Skudai, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.539078,103.630876
Hours:

Date visited: 22 Mar 2012

Ji Sheng Kopitiam in Taman Universiti



While food finding in Taman Universiti, I noticed that Ji Sheng coffee shop was the most crowded – actually every table was filled. Even at , I had to share a table with another customer.


As always, I observed what the other customers were eating and realised Ji Sheng has an extensive menu of many items. I also noticed that their coffee, toasted buns, mee siam, and nasi lemak were very popular as most tables had these items.

I ordered mee siam and nasi lemak, but was told they were sold out L  I asked the lady boss and the customer whom I was sharing table with for recommendations, and they suggested fried mee hoon which the shop will fry on order i.e. always available J  So I settled for coffee and fried bee hoon.


Wow, the coffee (kopi kau) was a blast! The coffee was full bodied and flavoured. The fragrant aroma was dense and the brew tasted bitter and sweet. Excellent.


Every cup of coffee is personally brewed by the boss MR Ngwan and he told me that it is an art that follows a precise process that demands precision timing – otherwise the coffee will taste different.  Knowing the precise timing takes years of experience and thousands of cups of coffee to master.


The boss further explained that consistency is crucial – his regular customers will instantly detect any differences with their taste buds. That is why his shop has been getting his supply of coffee beans from the same reliable supplier Chop Chai Huat coffee factory for the past nearly 20 years.


I also enjoyed my tasty fried bee hoon made from simple and fresh ingredients such as shrimps, sotong, eggs and taugeh (bean sprouts). Subtly salty and sweet. The bee hoon and taugeh were tender yet crunchy. It had just the right moistness – not too much water nor too oily. In fact, there was almost no trace of oil left over on the plate after I finished my bee hoon.

Definitely must come back for another cuppa, and try out the other popular items on their menu.


Restaurant name: Ji Sheng Kopitiam
Address: 55, Jalan Kebudayaan 16, Taman Universiti, Johor Bahru
Map: http://g.co/maps/wnk8v
GPS: 1.539676,103.630697
Hours:
Non Halal

Date: 20 Mar 2012