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

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

Hong Kee BBQ Chicken Wings at Cedar Point Food Centre (near Hotel Grand Paragon) Johor Bahru 洪记烧鸡翅膀

 BBQ Chcken

Hong Kee is the only BBQ chicken stall in Cedar Point food centre near Hotel Grand Paragon in Taman Century. This was highly recommended by my Johor Yummy group friend Grace Fong. We also tried these chicken wings during our Makan Blitz on Cedar Point and all our makan kakis liked it too.

Otak Otak Muar at OT Frozen Food Trading in Taman Desa Jaya, Johor Bahru

Otak Otak Muar
 
My foodie buddies Joe and Kumes have been talking about OT Frozen Food Trading for a while and I finally made a visit yesterday. OT Frozen Food Trading makes otak otak at a shop lot in Taman Desa Jaya and supplies many traders and stalls in JB.

OT Frozen Food Trading was started 13 years ago in Taman Desa Jaya in JB by MR Goh who hailed from Muar, the Johor seaside town famous for otak otak. The otak otak at OT Frozen Food are made using the recipe handed down by MR Goh's grandmother.

Otak Otak Muar

MR Goh's workers have been with him since OT Frozen Food Trading started. The simply organised work area had a calm and quiet efficiency and purpose.

Otak Otak Muar

MR Goh's shop felt more like kampung style communal cooking than a mass production factory. It still relies on traditional recipes and methods, only that MR Goh has organised his workers and work flow to produce the volume required by his customers.

Otak Otak Muar

MR Goh makes his otak otak with fresh Ikan Tengiri, Ikan Parang and shrimps everyday. 

Otak Otak Muar
Fish otak otak in leaf

Besides supplying to traders and stalls, OT Frozen Food also sells its otak otak to walk in customers. The current walk in price list is as follows:

  Fish in leaf (cooked) - 60sen per piece
  Shrimp in leaf (cooked) - 70sen per piece
  Fish head in leaf (cooked) - 90sen per piece
  Fish 200 gram slab in box (cooked) - RM5 per box
  Shrimp 200 gram slab in box (cooked) - RM5.50 per box.

I brought home an assortment of flavours. We just steamed those that came in slabs and tossed those that came in leaves in the mini toaster oven. I am eating them as I wrote this post.

Otak Otak Muar
Fish otak otak

The otak otak made entirely with spiced grounded fish or shrimp meat and coconut milk was tender, sweet and juicy. There was none of that stiffer, lifeless mouth feel that betrays the overuse of starchy bulk fillers. As OT's otak otak do not use artificial colouring it only had a light orangey hue from the curry spices instead of the bright, almost inky red colour we see in other average otak otak. 

Otak Otak Muar
Shrimp otak otak

OT's otak otak is spicy without being stinging but the spiciness lingers pleasantly like a fragrant, mint in the mouth for a while after the meal.

Otak Otak Muar
Photo courtesy of Kumes

I love the fish head otak otak as I enjoy picking through the head bones for the interesting tastes and textures of the gelatinous bits :)

It is worthwhile making a trip to OT Frozen Food Trading, if you want to stock up on otak otak at home.

Otak Otak Muar

Restaurant name: OT Frozen Food Trading
Address: 28, Jalan Permatang 12, Taman Desa Jaya, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/eOeOC
GPS: 1.558235,103.803795
Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm (rest on Sunday)
Certified Halal

Date visited: 28 Dec 2012

Heritage Photos of Johor Hawkers

This post shares the precious heritage photos of Johor hawkers. If you have old photos of Johor hawkers which you would like to share here, please email a copy to johorkaki@gmail.com, thank you.

Old Photos of Johor
 
Photo of the family that owns the Hock Chiang Hin dim sum shop. The founder is the gentleman on the left and the present 3rd generation owner is the little boy at his front. In the background is the 15 storey Lumba Kuda flats (now demolished to make way for the CIQ building). 
 
Old Photos of Johor
 
Taman Tasek kway teow kia started as a push cart stall under a big tree at a street corner.
 
Old Photos of Johor
 
The dad of Ah Kiang, the present 3rd generation owner of the mee pok stall at the 15 storey Lumba Kuda flats.
 
Old Photos of Johor
 
In 1994, when Ah Meng was working in the restaurants of New York City, he was invited to demonstrate his skills on America's News 12 Network. Ah Meng is probably the only Johor hawker who has been featured on USA TV.
 
Old Photos of Johor
 
IT Roo is still famous for their chicken chops. 


CLOSED Hai Zhi Lian Seafood Restaurant 海之恋海鲜楼 in Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor CLOSED

Hai Zhi Lian Seafood Restaurant 海之恋海鲜

Ah Hing, the friendly manager of Hai Zhi Lian Restaurant 海之恋海鲜楼 in Sungai Rengit, Pengerang invited Johor Kaki to try out their menu.

Hai Zhi Lian restaurant is just at the outskirts of Sungai Rengit town, smacked in the middle on the coastal road between the "Lobster Town" and the famous Ostrich Farm.

CLOSED Hakka Yong Tau Foo at Shi Li Xiang Hakka Restaurant in 十里香餐室 Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru

Hakka Yong Tau Foo Johor

CLOSED. Shi Li Xiang Hakka 十里香餐室 Restaurant is an unpretentious eatery located in a corner lot along Jalan Keris in Taman Sri Tebrau. Shi Li Xiang is opposite the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and beside Zainal Place (famous for its Hj Wahid Mee Rebus).

Shi Li Xiang was recommended of my foodie friend Joe and I was brought there by makan kaki Kumes. Our buddy Alan Cole was also with us.

Inside Shi Li Xiang restaurant, the decor was basic. The interior was bright, flooded with sunlight and yet it was comfortable with air conditioning. Everything was no frills and practical.

We ordered a few Hakka staples from their extensive menu.

Hakka Abacus

The first dish was "abacus beads" 客家算盘子 which is a Hakka comfort food. The quaint name is because the star of the dish looked like those beads on an abacus (the ancient Chinese calculating device).

Hakka Abacus

I rarely had abacus beads, and even then, only at family homes. Shi Li Xiang's abacus beads felt homemade. The abacus beads were made with tapioca flour and stuffed with a filling of yam paste, minced pork, cuttlefish and dried shrimp. The abacus beads were then stir fried and garnished with shallot crackles and green spring onions.

This is a delicious dish. The abacus beads had a bouncy gummy mouth feel and when we bit through the skin, the filling was savoury and released the homely aroma of yam and dried shrimp.

Hakka Belly Pork

Of course, we took the opportunity to indulge in Hakka belly pork 扣肉.

Hakka Belly Pork

The popular dish consists of thick slices of pork belly with layers of skin, fat and lean meat smothered in a blanket of preserved mustard greens bathed in a sauce of dark soy sauce and five spice powder.

Hakka Belly Pork

The belly pork was tender and the flavour was a blend of sweet and savoury. The fat, in particular, was smokey smooth and melts in your mouth soft. No wonder this dish is so addictive.

Hakka Yong Tau Foo

Yong Tau Foo 酿豆腐 is probably the best known Hakka dish. Yong Tau Foo can be found in many street corners in Malaysia and Singapore. At Shi Li Xiang, we ordered a mixed plate to try out the various pieces. The heart of Yong Tau Foo is, of course, its fillings.

Hakka Yong Tau Foo

I am so glad that the Yong Tau Foo fillings at Shi Li Xiang are still made with a blend of minced pork, salted fish, cuttle fish and condiments.

The filling was savoury and had good mouth feel and interesting textures. In the average Yong Tau Foo shops, the filling is made almost entirely with fish paste and had a very different taste.

Hakka Deep Fried Pork

Our final order was the Hakka deep fried pork. The chunks of pork were marinated with red fermented bean curd and then deep fried. At Shi Li Xiang today, the pork didn't have that deep golden hue which I associate with the best Hakka deep fried pork.

Hakka Fried Pork

Still, the taste and flavour of Shi Li Xiang's Hakka fried pork was robust and the slightly crispy outside, tender inside bite was pretty "shiok".

My favourite rendition of Hakka deep fried pork is still the one at Kah Kah Loke at Jalan Bakawali in Taman Johor Jaya.

After I got home, a thought came into my mind. I suddenly realised that I missed the spicy and sweet dipping sauce used with Yong Tau Foo when I was a child. Come to think of it, I haven't tasted or smelled that old style Yong Tau Foo sauce aroma anywhere for a long, long time. Got to hunt for this and share.

Hakka Restaurant

Our total bill including juices came to a reasonable RM44. We had kept to just a few Hakka traditional staples while Shi Li Xiang's menu is rather extensive, including droolicious looking steamed fish dishes which I saw other customers ordering. I shall remember to order these, the next time.

If you are looking for authentic traditional Hakka food that feels homemade, check out Shi Li Xiang.


Hakka Yong Tau Foo Johor

Restaurant name: Shi Li Xiang Restaurant 十里香餐室
Address: 93, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/tUIKD
GPS: 1.487504,103.770332
Hours: 10:30am to 9:30pm (closed on Weds)
Non Halal

Date visited: 6 Dec 2012

Parsia (Arabian and Iranian) Restaurant in Taman Universiti, Skudai, Johor CLOSED

I have not tried Iranian food before and so when Amin the boss of Parsia Restaurant in Taman Universiti, invited me to try out his menu, I gladly accepted.

Parsia Restaurant is along Jalan Pendidikan 4 near Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM). The interior is spacious and decor was simple with a distinctive Iranian flavour and ambiance.

Early Breakfasts in Johor Bahru (near JB CIQ) (Old Post Needs Updating)

I have often been asked to suggest where to have a good early breakfast in JB, especially by my Singapore friends. My friends were looking for a convenient place for a tasty light meal and coffee or tea before hitting the North-South Highway to go further up north, e.g. to Malacca or Kuala Lumpur, KL.

There are many breakfast options - this list keeps to those stalls and shops that are opened early for business by 7:00am and are just a short and uncomplicated diversion from the JB CIQ. Of course, this list is a living document and more stalls/ shops will be added as I discover more good early breakfast places. As always, I appreciate your suggestions :))

Breakfast in Johor Bahru, JB
Storia Café

Food: Otak Otak, nasi lemak, mee siam, bee hoon, fish balls
Address: 78, Jalan Storey, Bukit Senyum, 81100 Johor Bahru
Map: http://g.co/maps/uq4yt
GPS: 1.470348,103.763412
Hours: (Closed on Tuesdays)
Non Halal, no pork, no lard served

Roti Canai Johor
Roti Canai Bukit Chagar

Food: Roti Canai (Roti Prata)
Address: Junction of Jalan Bukit Chagar and Jalan Ungku Aziz (next to Pine View Apartments and PDRM Apartments)
Map:
http://goo.gl/maps/grZRK
GPS:1.467941,103.766743
Hours: 6:00am to 11:00am (breakfast only, roti canai often sold out by 10:00am)
Halal


Teochew Noodles Johor
Kedai Makanan Sang Heng 甡兴

Food: Traditional Teochew soup and dry noodles
Address: 7 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor Bahru Town (next to OCBC JB branch)
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/u7iB9
GPS: 1.456829,103.764747
Hours: Daily (closed on Saturdays)
Non Halal


Curry Hor Fun Johor Bahru JB

Seng Kee 成记 inside Kee Kim Huat

coffee shop 纪金发茶餐室

Food: Curry Ipoh sah hor fun
Address: 80, Jalan Badik, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru
Map:
http://g.co/maps/dcp4p
GPS: 1.487037,103.768782
Hours: 6:00am to 11:00am (the chicken curry often runs out by 09:30) (closed on Monday)
Non Halal


Kway Teow Kia breakfast Johor

Restoran Ka Hoe

Food: Kway Teow Kia, braised pork offal and pork blood
Address: Jalan Maju, Taman Maju Jaya (near Plaza Pelangi)
GPS: 1.480811,103.767425
Hours:
Non Halal

Multi Mart Coffee Shop
Multi Mart 满地好 kopitiam

Food: Popular Hainanese porridge stall and kway chap stall
Address: Corner kopitiam at the junction of Jalan Harimau and Jalan Harimau Akar
Map:
http://goo.gl/maps/63Zn1
GPS: 1.485037,103.760108
Hours: 5:00am to 3:00pm
Non Halal


Wanton mee breakfast in JB
Restoran Yit Foh 益和云吞面


Food: Wanton mee
Address: 153, Jalan Harimau, Taman Century, 80250, Johor Bahru

Map: http://g.co/maps/hryqk
GPS: 1.486109, 103.760091
Hours: Daily 24 hours (Closed on Thursdays)
Non Halal


Beef Noodles Johor
Kakilang kopitiam (closed)

Food: Beef noodles
Address: Jalan Abiad 1, Taman Maju Jaya, Johor Bahru
Map: http://g.co/maps/hjzm5
GPS: 1.482528,103.767108
Hours: 7:00am to 3:00pm
Non Halal


Click ^ on photo for the full list of breakfast places ^

Johor Bahru Pasar Malam · Night Markets · Updated 2023

Johor-Bahru-Pasar-Malam-Night-Markets

Pasar Malam or night markets are very popular with locals and tourists because there is so much to see, eat and buy at reasonable prices, all in the cool, breezy nights of Johor Bahru.

Here is a list of the pasar malams in JB (updated 2023). There is so much to eat, and enjoy at leisure because every night, there is a pasar malam somewhere in JB. Actually, I do most of my grocery shopping for fruits and vegetables at pasar malams instead of supermarkets 😄 

(☝ Very important: Let me know, if I missed any.)

Best Hainanese Porridge in Johor @ Restoran Multi Mart Coffee Shop in Taman Century (near KSL) 满地好

Congee-Porridge
  
Updated: 3 Aug 2022. Following my post on the Kway Teow Kia stall in Multi Mart kopitiam, many readers commented that I should also try the Hainanese congee or porridge in the same coffee shop. Actually, readers have also mentioned this Hainanese congee stall when I posted about the Cantonese porridge at Taman Johor Jaya.

So, with such strong recommendations, we made a trip to check out this much loved Hainanese porridge stall.

Closed. Lobsters at Straits View Seafood Restaurant 海景轩海鲜 in Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia

 Lobsters Johor

Today, we had a great day trip to Sungai Rengit, Malaysia's lobster town, in Pengarang, Johor. Sungai Rengit is a small town famed for the Spiny Lobsters or Rock Lobsters that live among the rocks off shores of Pengerang.

Sungai Rengit town in Pengarang is dotted with a dozen seafood restaurants, all with local Spiny Lobsters as their main draw.

Lobster Johor

The owners of Straits View Seafood restaurant 海景轩海鲜, Stanley and Chef Liew invited me to try out their signature dishes.

Lobster Johor

Chef Liew had worked thirteen years in restaurants in Malaysia and Singapore before striking out to launch his own restaurant with Stanley in Pengerang. Observing Chef Liew in the kitchen, I was impressed by his passion for his art.

Straits View is a simple seafood restaurant with basic decor and focuses on well executed fresh seafood dishes.

Lobster Johor

How fresh are the lobsters here? The restaurant is so near to the beach in Pengarang that the day's catch of live lobsters is brought in by motorbike in plastic bags and simply dumped straight into the holding tanks. It's practically straight from the sea to the restaurant - that's how fresh lobsters are in Pengerang.

First dish of the day was lobster, of course. Since we tried Straits View's Lobster in Superior Broth during our last visit, we opted for the Butter Lobsters 牛油龙虾 this time. We tried the small ones at RM120 per kilo.

Lobster Pengerang

Lobster Johor

The batter wrapping the lobsters was crispy and kept the lobster flesh juicy and sweet. Chef Liew told us that many Singapore customers took away their Butter Lobsters and they were still crispy when they reached home two to three hours later.  

Lobster Johor

These were the succulent medium sized lobsters in Superior Broth which we had during our first visit. Yum Yum. Click on the picture to see the post on my previous visit.

Besides the Must Try lobster dishes, Straits View also serves several other tasty signature dishes.

Typhoon Shelter Crab

This was the Typhoon Shelter Crab (港式) 避风塘螃蟹 at RM68 per kilo. Cooked with loads of fried finely chopped garlic.

Crabs Johor

The crab was juicy and its fresh taste was well highlighted by the savoury fried garlic bits and preserved black beans. This is a good alternative to the usual salted egg yolk, chili and black pepper styles (which Straits View also serves).

Crabs Johor

Straits View uses large local wild caught crabs as well as crabs imported from the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Pork Trotters Knuckle Johor

The Thai Style Trotter 泰式猪手 at RM42 was crispy outside and still moist and juicy inside. The trotter was braised for a few hours till it is soft, and then deep fried in high heat to crisp the skin. I liked the tangy, spicy and sweet Thai style gravy which enhanced the flavour of the trotters.

Sizzling Crocodile Meat Johor

Stanley wanted us to try their Sizzling Crocodile Meat with ginger and spring onions on a hotplate. These were farm raised crocodile meat from Sabah. Crocodile meat has its own unique texture and flavour. A change from the usual pork or venison hotplate dishes. At RM24 per serving, it's worth a try, if you are game for exotic meat.

Cumi Pork Ribs

Chef Liew was eager for us to try his newly created dish, deep fried Cumin Pork Ribs (RM12).

Cumin Pork Ribs Johor

This dish has a unique spicy, tangy and aromatic flavour from cumin and other spices. Chef Liew executed the dish very well so that the pork ribs were slightly crisp outside while inside it was tender.

San Low Bee Hoon Johor

We wrapped up our long and heavy lunch with a RM5 plate of Straits View's version of San Lou bee hoon 三楼米粉 . Well executed by Chef Liew, the lovely seafood flavours nicely seared in with good wok hei.

Straits View Seafood Restaurant

Lobster Johor

Restaurant name: Straits View Seafood Restaurant 海景轩海鲜酒家
Address: 84, Jalan Besar, Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor
Map:
http://goo.gl/maps/XojAs
GPS: 1.350667,104.220868
Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Non Halal


Date visited: 2 Aug 2012, 12 Dec 2012