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Taroko Teppanyaki Grill near Sutera Mall in Johor Bahru


I always liked teppanyaki because I love to watch chefs in action. The sometimes random, sometimes rhythmic clanging, clinking and clapping of the teppanyaki trowels sound like music to my ears.

Today, I had the opportunity to watch the chefs in action when Thomas invited me to visit his newly opened Taroko Teppanyaki Grill. Thomas is an old hand in teppanyaki cooking. Actually, Thomas has many years of experience in operating teppanyaki grills as he used to run the popular teppanyaki stall in City Square Mall food court in downtown Johor Bahru.


I wasted no time in making my way to the front row seat to watch the action at the griddle. These inviting prawns were sizzling on the griddle, glowing like red hot charcoal.


Taroko Teppanyaki customers can choose to sit inside the aircon comfort of Bangkok Village Thai food restaurant which also belongs to the same boss i.e. Thomas. In fact, the Thai dishes like Tom Yam from Bangkok Village go along well with the teppanyaki dishes.


Our first order was Taroko Teppanyaki's popular Seafood Fried Rice. The chef mixing and tossing the rice and seafood in the hot griddle while we watched.


I like this Seafood Fried Rice (RM7.90). The savoury rice was fluffy, not overly greasy, and the shrimps and squid were nicely done too. There were fried eggs and also crunchy chopped long beans in the rice.


We also had this Mixed Seafood Set at RM35.90 which is a combination of large and thick USA scallops, prawns and cod fish fillet.


Close up of the succulent prawns in the Mixed Seafood Set.


We had a serving of Australian Wagyu beef which the chef expertly cuts up into bite sized cubes at dazzling speed on the griddle.


I like to sit at the al fresco area near the griddle because you never know when you will be entertained by spectacular fireworks. Here the chef doused the Wagyu beef with whisky and then torched it in a spectacular plume.


Our freshly cooked Australian Wagyu (200 grams) at RM88.90.


Wagyu beef comes with smokey fat which can be eaten guilt free as it is high in artery friendly omega oils - according to health experts, no kidding :)) 


Tender and juicy Wagyu beef, no marinade, great beefy flavour on it's own.

Taroko Teppanyaki Grill offers a wide range of teppanyaki dishes. Teppanyaki fans, check it out :)

Taroko-Teppanyaki-Johor Bahru

Taroko Teppanyaki Grill is just beside Bangkok Village.

Restaurant name: Taroko Teppanyaki Grill
Address: 99, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2, Taman Sutera Utama. Skudai
GPS: 1.515040,103.667732
Hours: 12:00noon to 11:00pm
No pork, no lard, no Halal Cert

Date visited: 29 May 2013

Grill Bar Steakhouse in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru


This is my second visit to Grill Bar Steakhouse in Taman Pelangi. Gary, the boss, has a gathering for family and friends to celebrate his sister-in-law's birthday and I am honoured that he invited me to join in. I am also glad to visit Grill Bar Steakhouse again because during my last visit, I missed the chance to chat with Gary and to photograph him in action.


Grill Bar Steakhouse was full house during our visit (it was a Sunday lunch). Grill Bar Steakhouse is so popular and is the favourite of so many that I was surprised to learn that it will only be its third anniversary this coming July :)

Gary was going to present this surprise dessert to a regular customer who has become a friend.

But after meeting Gary and his wife Eva, it is not hard to understand the success of Grill Bar Steakhouse. Grill Bar Steakhouse is brimming with energy and passion for good American style food. Customers also enjoy the warm service of the attentive Grill Bar Steakhouse folks.  


I noticed that Gary is very customer and service focused. Gary enjoys mingling and interacting with customers. Whenever he has the time, he will "sneak out" from his kitchen and chat with customers. Here Gary was helping to cut our steak.

Where did that passion for good food come from? Well, making and serving good food is literally in Gary's blood. You see, Gary's father and grandfather were the owners of the legendary Ah Yong Nasi Padang in old town Johor Bahru. To their fans, Ah Yong Nasi Padang defines good food in Johor Bahru during it's days.

How did Gary jump from nasi padang warung to American grill and steakhouse? Gary's first job about 15 years ago was with the restaurant at the American Club in Singapore and then he moved on to Morton's Steakhouse Singapore, and other grill houses. Over 2 years ago, Gary suddenly decided to start his own grill bar, and since then, it was no turning back :) 

Here's all the good stuff we had during our visit :)


Our first dish was an appetiser which Gary calls his "Well Dressed Sloppy Joe". Well, this appetiser is certainly no sloth in taste. The crispy, crunchy oven dried toast is eaten with Ozzy's rich beefy chili dip. (Ozzy is Gary's nickname. I forgot to ask him how that came about :P )


Wild Mushroom Soup RM14

The "Sloppy Joe" was followed by another appetiser, the "Wild Mushroom Soup". Made with fresh chopped mushrooms with a touch of truffle oil luxury, this mushroom soup is creamy, wholesome goodness.

Manhattan Seafood Soup RM14 per serving

There were 9 of us in the party, so we had room to try another appetiser. This time the Manhattan Seafood Soup. Slipper lobsters and calamari cooked in tomato soup - full bodied, savoury and sweet with a touch of tangy.

USA Sea Scallop with Spaghetti RM22

My share of the USA Sea Scallop wrapped with turkey bacon served with a mouthful of spaghetti. I love this spaghetti cooked with lobster bisque gravy - that umami (savoury) flavour from the lobster is especially addictive.

Hardcore Solo Jerk Cheese Burger RM39

Gary calls this his "Hardcore Solo Jerk Cheese Burger". I took only a small bite of the patty to taste as I am not a big burger fan. The patty was chunky, beefy, juicy and wholesome. That deep fried chicken sausage perched on top looked like the crowning glory of this burger. I enjoyed the small bite that I took of this bouncy meaty sausage. The younger folks at the party were raving about this burger but I didn't pay enough attention to recall their exact words (sorry :P ). I was busy composing my photos :P This happens also to be my first outing with my new camera and the dim lighting was a challenge :)

Leather Jacket Short Ribs RM55

I am crazy about any kind of braised meats, so this huge "Leather Jacket Short Ribs" really got me excited. Gary slow braised this chunky short beef rib in low heat for over 10 hours before serving. Pardon the overused cliche "melt in your mouth" but this short rib was super tender and the fatty and gelatinous parts literally melted into savoury jelly. Good braised meat melts my heart, again.

Prime Filet Mignon RM50 (5 Oz)

Another tender steak, this Prime Filet Mignon had a slight savoury crust and the inside was thick and moist with that nice beefy flavour.  

After all that scrumptious meal, it was time for dessert.


We were all really stuffed and Gary wanted us to try this Danish Waffle.


Stuffed as we were, some dainty ladies in the party asked for this Chocolate Lava Cake - "Must Have"  they say. I was a little hesitant but have to admit that they were right :P Sweet and slightly bitter, warm and cold, soft and crusty - Grill Bar Steakhouse's chocolate lava cake is an interesting blend of flavours, mouth feel and temperatures. No wonder it is so irresistible.


Grill Bar Steakhouse serves many different interesting hot and cold drinks as well as beer. For today, I just have ice water to cut back on cream and sugar. This was one of the pretty drinks ordered by one of ladies :)

I am always happy to be back at Grill Bar Steakhouse. Great passionate folks, delicious food, lovely ambiance. 


Restaurant name: Grill Bar Steakhouse
Address: 202, Jalan Sri Pelangi, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.480602,103.773548
HoursMon: 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm | Wed - Fri: 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm | Sat - Sun: 12:00 noon - 10:30 pm

No pork, no lard, alcohol (beer only) served

Date visited: 2 May 2013

Return to Johor Kaki home page.

Dizi - A Traditional Iranian Dish at Parsia Restaurant in Taman Universiti, Johor Bahru CLOSED


One of the greatest joys of food hunting for Johor Kaki blog is to stumble upon unique dishes that I would have otherwise never have a chance to try. Today, I want to share with you, Dizi - a unique traditional Iranian staple available at Parsia Restaurant in Taman Universiti in Skudai, Johor.

Homemade Bak Kut Teh with A1 Soup Spices by A.K. Koh Enterprise

Homemade- Bak-Kut-Teh-A1-Soup-Spices

I had a sachet of A1 Soup Spices tucked away in a kitchen drawer, given to me by Jonathan during my visit to A.K. Koh Enterprise, the makers of A1 products. I had told myself that I would make Bak Kut Teh with it, one day. So, since today is a chilly and rainy day, and I wanted to stay indoors, I decided that today is the right day for homemade Bak Kut Teh.

Nan Bei Restoran 南北 in Taman Gaya, Johor Bahru


Allan from Nan Bei 南北 restaurant messaged me inviting me to drop by his parents' shop to try their Hainanese mutton soup which they had just added to their menu. I was excited to try Nan Bei's Chinese style mutton soup as I love this dish that is rarely found in restaurants in Johor. I was also keen to enjoy Nan Bei's Tung Po Rou which I blogged about earlier this year.

I dropped by with blogging kaki Semi Han, creator of Bonding Tool, one of my favourite food blogs. Semi's good friend Tyng also joined us.

Allan and his parents whom I have met earlier this year received us warmly. We had an impromptu party and got a chance to try most of the food served at Nan Bei 南北 restaurant.


Semi is a very serious food blogger and Tyng a very supportive friend.


Semi is very meticulous and I learnt a lot about food photography from her today. We even roped in Allan to help in the food photography.

Hainanese Mutton Soup RM15

This is Nan Bei's Hainanese mutton soup. The soup is mildly herbal and it did well to balance the characteristic gaminess of mutton. Following the Hainanese tradition, black woodear fungus and fried beancurd sheets are used in the soup. The chunks of white radish added sweetness to the broth while soaking up the flavours. The crunchy chunks of radish are coveted pieces in the pot as they are loaded with flavours. 


The mutton was tender with smokey fatty streaks and only had mild hints of that distinct mutton flavour. We all liked Nan Bei's Hainanese mutton soup. For me, I liked it that the tastes and flavours of Nan Bei's mutton soup are mild with nothing overpowering.


Cabbage with Roast Pork in Claypot RM10


The Nappa Cabbage with Roast Pork in Claypot is another new dish at Nan Bei restoran. The soup is a tasty blend of savouriness from the roast pork and the refreshing sweetness from the fresh cabbage. I love the juicy cabbage as it sponged up the delicious soup and had a tender yet crunchy mouth feel. The Cabbage with Roast Pork won the hearts of the ladies through their stomachs.


We like the Tung Po Rou 东坡肉 or braised belly pork. Those layers of fat are to be enjoyed either fearlessly or recklessly. Today, the fatty layers weren't as thick as that during my previous visit, which would make this dish appealing to more health conscious people.


For me, I prefer my Tung Po Rou to have a thicker layer of savoury, sweet giggly fat since I indulge in this treat only once in a while.

Pig Trotters with Ginger and Vinegar RM7

The braised pig trotters with ginger and vinegar 猪脚姜醋 was quite mild in taste and flavour, so it would appeal to more people. I haven't eaten this dish for a long time and I always had the home made version which is more robust and more herbal.

All of Nan Bei's dishes are eaten with boiled rice. Semi and Tyng both finished their bowls of rice, which is pretty unusual these days especially for calorie counting ladies. When I commented about them finishing the rice, they mumbled something intelligible through their food but their expressions said that Nan Bei's dishes hit all the right notes with them.

Nan Bei restoran is a simple, basic shop serving delicious food at reasonable prices - definitely worth a visit.


Restaurant name: Nan Bei Restoran 南北
Address: 68, Jalan Gaya 1, Taman Gaya
GPS: 1.563158,103.800834
Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Non Halal

Date visited: 16 Jan 2013, 21 May 2013

Restaurant is Closed. Arab and Iranian Food at Shahrzad Restaurant in Taman Abad, Johor Bahru

Shahrzad Restaurant opened for business just a month ago along Jalan Dato Sulaiman in Taman Abad, Johor Bahru. Mohammad, the boss invited me to try out Shahrzad's authentic Iranian and Arabian food.

Shahrzad-Restaurant-Taman Abad-Johor-Bahru

The gracious lady boss, Marjan, sharing the fine points of Iranian food and culture with us. Both Mohammad and Marjan emphasised that they wanted to showcase Iranian hospitality through Shahrzad restaurant. Hence, visiting Shahrzad felt like visiting an Iranian home. In Iran, it is customary for the hosts pull out all stops to make sure that the guests feel at home and welcome. And, the best way to do so is to serve the best food.

Inside the Shahrzad, the decor is clean and simple. There is a comfortable air conditioned dining hall and a cosy, casual outdoors dining area.


But what fascinated me most was Shahrzad's private dining rooms. Shahrzad has two private rooms, that are set up like Arabian tents where hosts treat their guests with their best food. Mohammad and Marjan wanted to recreate this atmosphere in Johor Bahru. The walls and ceiling are draped with beautiful fabric personally sewn by Marjan. This is the non smoking private room.

This is the popular smoking room where guests enjoy authentic Iranian cuisine seated on comfortable cushions. Many guests enjoy shisha gatherings in this room.



In the kitchen, Chef Ahmad is the man behind all the authentic Persian cuisine at Shahrzad restaurant. Chef Ahmad hails from Iran and he has many years of experience working in 5-Star hotels in Dubai. Chef Ahmad was handpicked at the recommendation of Shiraz Restaurant, the top Persian restaurant in Singapore.


Mohammad gave me permission to visit the kitchen. I spotted these green chilies and the halved tomato. They looked so fresh, succulent and inviting, I couldn't resist snapping a picture of them :)



We started our lunch with a traditional Iranian welcome dish - freshly baked flat bread (naan) with basil leaves, cheese and olives. 

Hummus RM11

Hummus and bread - the classic Arab staple that reminds me of my own travels to the Middle East. Shahrzad's hummus is a blend of chickpea paste and imported sesame paste generously doused with olive oil.

Shirazi Salad RM8

Next, we had Shirazi Salad which is a colourful mix of crunchy chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and herbs tossed in a tangy and sweet sauce. Very refreshing and seems to appeal especially to ladies :)

Mushroom soup RM9

Shahrzad's rich mushroom soup is made from fresh vegetables, herbs and butter.


The skewered chicken, lamb and tomatoes on the charcoal grill. The marinaded meats toasting over slow fire from white hot charcoal letting off puffs of aromatic greasy fumes.

Shandiz Kebab RM58

Shandiz is a small town in northeastern Iran renown for their lamb kebab. Shahrzad restaurant uses prime cut imported Australian lamb to recreate this dish in Johor Bahru, hence the premium pricing. The char grilled meat was tender, juicy and savoury. The fats were creamy and smokey. Chewing the meat and fats together releases that pleasant flavour that lamb lovers love. I also love those juicy grilled tomatoes and chilies :)


The chicken saffron kebab at RM29.


The chunks of chicken leg were fragrant, tender and savoury. The chunks of meat were juicy as they were made with chicken leg and skilfully grilled by Chef Ahmad.

All of Shahrzad's kebabs are served with a generous portion of top quality Basmati rice. The rice is fluffy and not starchy. The rice is flavoured with aromatic saffron and special ingredients that give it satisfying body.


Shahrzad restaurant is conveniently located near major hotels like New York Hotel, KSL Resort and Hotel Grand Paragon. Shahrzad is just 15 minutes drive from downtown Johor Bahru or JB CIQ.

If you want to experience authentic Persian cuisine in Johor Bahru, Shahrzad restaurant is the place.

Restaurant name: Shahrzad Restaurant
Address: 94, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.481487,103.757157
Hours: 11:45am to 3:00pm and 5:30pm to 11:45pm (Closed on Monday)

Date visited: 22 May 2013