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

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Review of Tampoi Laksa, Rojak, Sotong Kang Kong, See Hum @ 17 Jalan Dato Muthuthambi Johor Bahru 淡杯辣沙


Tampoi Laksa is a household name in Johor Bahru and I've been asked many times, since I started blogging about Johor food, "Have you tried Tampoi Laksa?" When I shook my head coyly, the response was always an awkward pause and surprise written all over their faces. And, the words tripped out in disbelief, "You haven't tried Tampoi Laksa?" Their cringed faces and wrinkled noses shouted the unspoken words, "Where have you been, really?" 🤔

Sarawak Market in Johor Bahru (Pasar Borneo)


I didn't know there is a Sarawak market in Johor Bahru until Rajan the owner of Original Sarawak Kolomee showed it to me. Thanks, Rajan! (Sarawak market is also know as Tamu Dayak or Pasar Borneo.)

At first look, there is nothing really spectacular about this little market. It's actually just a small car park ringed by shop houses, many selling Sarawak food, including Rajan's Kolomee shop. But, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, this car park becomes a street market with many vendors selling Sarawak food.

And so, this unique market is special, especially for Sarawakians. Sarawakians from all over Johor Bahru, and even Singapore come here for Sarawak vegetables and hometown foods.

Here's some pictures I took of the market on a Saturday afternoon.


This lady was doing a brisk business selling dabai (Sarawak Olive) which is a seasonal fruit. Dabai is cooked in warm water and Sarawakians like to eat them either with salt or with black soya sauce mixed with sugar.


Huge bamboo shoots.


Live mangrove crabs.


Sayur midin or bidin, a wild jungle fern unique to Sarawak.


I love to eat this crunchy Sarawak vegetable boiled and fried in sambal belacan or simply stir fried with oyster and soya sauce.

I am not a Sarawakian but I will be here once in a while to satisfy my craving for Sarawak specialities such as sayur midin. I also need to come back for the sago worms which I missed during my visit.

Sarawak Market (Pasar Borneo)
Address: Jalan Bayan 37, Taman Megah Ria, Masai, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.498266,103.856538
Hours: 12:00noon to 7:00pm Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

Date visited: 6 Dec 2012

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Review of Siakap Goreng Fried Sea Bass Fish @ Kedai Makan Rahmat, Kampung Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang, Johor


I had always wanted to visit Kedai Makan Rahmat in Kampung Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang for their famous deep fried Siakap or Siakap goreng. My friend Foong knew the founder, the late Encik Rahmat for nearly 30 years from Foong's banking days. Foong brought me to Kedai Makan Rahmat a few days ago. The famous shop by the sea is now run by Encik Rahmat's son.

Moonlight Cake House at Bukit Indah, Johor Bahru


I visited Moonlight Cake House at Taman Bukit Indah yesterday at the gracious invitation of Boon Lin, the branch manager.

I love chilling out at the contemporary coffee shops in Johor Bahru that are clean, spacious, serves a wide variety of good Asian and Western food and beverages at reasonable prices, have pleasant service staff and provide complimentary and fast wifi. Moonlight Cake House at Bukit Indah has all these features of a good modern Johor Bahru coffee shop.


I especially love Moonlight Cake House's very cosy al fresco dining area which is cooled by a dozen whirling ceiling fans and shielded from road dust and traffic by closely planted scrubs and cooling mist curtains.


My first dish was the Aglio Olio with Mushrooms at RM10.90.


The spaghetti was smooth and el dente - it had that pleasant slightly springy bite that makes a good spaghetti. The tender lightly fried mushrooms were fragrant and the whole dish was perfumed by cheese and olive oil.


We next had the Spaghetti Soup with Clams at RM12.90.


The el dente spaghetti was submerged in a light savoury soup with distinct touches of fried garlic.


These fresh and very well cleaned clams gave the soup and spaghetti a sweet seafood savouriness. A couple of chili paddies gave the soup hints of sharp spiciness that heightened the enjoyment by opening the taste buds.


Chef Surya Rumba whips up the spaghetti dishes with flare and gusto.


After enjoying the spaghetti dishes, it's time to pick some cakes and sweets for dessert :P  That's a very pleasant but not too easy task given the whole parade of tempting choices at Moonlight Cake House. So many cakes and sweets but just one 3/4 full tank :P


Fortunately, the task is much simplified for me as whenever there are crepe cakes, it will be my default choice. This is my "Berry Berry Milk Crepe" at RM8.80. Yum yum.... not overly sweet, creamy and has that special delicate bite that only good crepe cakes have. I am a sucker for good crepe cakes :P


I also had a creamy rich, sweet and smooth Vanilla Crème Brûlée at RM7.50.  


To go with my crème brûlée and crepe cake, I had a cappuccino. The cappuccino made with coffee beans from Argentina was full bodied, robust and smooth.

I enjoyed myself at Moonlight Cake House and look forward to trying out their other dishes and cakes.

Restaurant name: Moonlight Cake House (6 branches)
Address: 1, Jalan Indah 16/12, Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.480843,103.664631
Hours: 9:00am to 2:00am
No pork, no lard, Halal cert in process

Date visited: 25 Apr 2013

Foong's Tyrant Chicken 霸王鸡


My friend Foong has been a banker for over thirty years. Foong also happens to be passionate about cooking. For years, Foong has been baking his "Tyrant" chicken to share with his family and friends.


Through years of experimentation and countless chickens and willing guinea pigs, Foong's baked chicken with his special blend of spices and sauces have earned him many accolades from his friends.


Now that he has retired from banking, Foong's friends have been cheering him on to start a business with his baked "Tyrant" chickens. Foong finally took the plunge partly to meet new friends and mostly to share his passion with more people.


I have tried Foong's "Tyrant" chicken twice when he brought them to the usual haunt to share with the kakis and we ate them along with kopi, teh, or bandung.


Foong said the best way to eat his chicken is to use our hands and fingers. He even provides a couple of limes for cleaning our hands before and after eating. 


Our kakis always eat Foong's succulent "Tyrant" chicken hot, tearing it apart with our fingers like hungry lions.


The chicken is tender and the bones slip off the sweet, savoury meat with just a light twist and a tug. Somehow, there is never enough for everyone, so we got to be quick :P


Foong is a jolly good fellow with a good sense of humour. Ask Foong how good is his "Tyrant" chicken and he will tell you that it is so good that it will make "Ji Gong 濟公 " the drunkard beggar monk of Chinese folklore forget his bottle for a while to enjoy "Tyrant" chicken.

Foong is now offering his "Tyrant" chicken at RM24 a bird, inclusive of delivery in Johor Bahru. So if you want to try Foong's "Tyrant" chicken, give him a telephone call a day ahead at +6017-880-4321 to make arrangements to have the chicken sent to your location in Johor Bahru, piping hot.

Eat it right away :))

Best Steaks in Johor Bahru at Lazio by Danga Bay


I was at Lazio in Danga Bay last night at the invitation of Stanley, the Manager and Executive Chef.


Stanley wanted me to try Lazio's steaks.



Lazio is a well appointed restaurant specialising in Western cuisine. It has a comfortable air conditioned section and a breezy al fresco section outside with a pretty view of the Danga Bay Marina and the yatchs.

Stanley had worked in the restaurants of Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore before assuming the Manager and Executive Chef position at Lazio early this year. Stanley has since introduced a whole new menu at Lazio which included his signature steaks that he showed us last night.

Best-Steaks-Johor-Bahru-Lazio-Danga-BayBest-Steaks-Johor-Bahru-Lazio-Danga-BayBest-Steaks-Johor-Bahru-Lazio-Danga BayBest-Steak-Johor-Bahru-Lazio

Stanley graciously granted me permission to view him and his staff in action in the kitchen. It was such a pleasure for me to watch the maestro doing his magic.

USDA Black Angus Ribeye RM12.00 per oz

From that fire and drama came this (corn fed) USDA Black Angus Ribeye which I asked to be cooked medium rare.


On the outside, the steak was tender and smokey while the inside was succulent and dripping with flavourful savoury juices. My mind quickly registered this as one of the best steaks that I have ever tasted.


Lazio's USDA Black Angus Ribeye was an unforgettable love at first bite for me.

Bone in Ribeye 900 grams RM120.80.

Our next was the Bone in Ribeye (OP or oven prepared ribeye) made with Australian wheat fed beef, done medium.


This hefty, thick chunk of tender beef had that lovely bovine flavour and a nice smokey taste from the charred outside. At 900 grams, it initially looked a daunting challenge to finish it especially after the 10 oz USDA Black Angus. In the end, we dispatched all of it easily because it tasted so good our minds overruled the stop signals from our filled stomachs. So, is this what they mean by "mind over matter"? :P


For the sides today, I had rich, artery clogging ox tail soup which is one of my favourite soups :P I ate up most of the meat and fats which I patiently prised out with a fork from the vertebrae.


I was chilling and chatting with Stanley, and nibbling at this grilled corn. This corn was so good, it hijacked our conversation topic. The USA imported corn was sweet and was saturated with the savoury sauces and juices from the steak.  


Chicky fries made with chicken luncheon meat. Eaten with house blended Tartar sauce. Unique and popular but I didn't have much of this as I was really full after the two large steaks.


To wash our steaks down, we had a couple of wines from Lazio's well stocked bar which has the full range of beers, wines and liquor to complement the food.



I would like to come back to Lazio soon because besides their wonderful steaks, Lazio also offers so many different foods like their oven baked pizzas.

Oh.. if you are coming to Lazio, before you come, please feel free to give Stanley a call at +607-221-7988 or +6010-900-2048 and he will reserve your steak for you and cook for you personally when you are here. How's that for commitment and customer service? I think that's outstanding :))


Restaurant name: Lazio Italian Restaurant and Bar
Address: Danga Bay, Jalan Skudai, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.475931, 103.723533
Hours: 12:00noon to 1:00am daily. Closing time 2:00am on Friday, Saturday and eve of public holidays
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date visited: 23 Apr 2013