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

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

Sin Soon Li Mee Hoon Kueh in Johor Bahru, Permas Jaya 新顺利面粉粿专卖店

I was on a solo food hunt in Permas Jaya, combing the streets of Permas on foot for good food.

It was past breakfast time and not yet lunch time.

The shops were generally quiet. The hawkers were taking a short breather before the lunch crowds.

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I spotted Sin Soon Li mee hoon kueh 面粉粿 shop.

Sin Soon Li is the low key type of neighbourhood food stop, not much talked about beyond the local area.

Stepped in to check it out :P

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Two ladies were quietly tearing pieces of thin dough. "Hand torn mee hoon kueh, must check this out", I told myself.

I ordered a RM5 bowl of mee hoon kueh to try.

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My steaming hot bowl of old style mee hoon kueh. I like it that the mee hoon kueh was served in a heavy deep porcelain bowl.

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The irregular shaped mee hoon kueh were stretched so thin! And, they were so smooth and still have a slight al dente bite. The kueh were also not greasy.

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Ingredients were just some tender pork slices, hand kneaded balls of minced pork, fried anchovies, an egg dropped raw into the broth, and sayur manis leaves.

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According to tradition, mee hoon kueh is always best eaten with fresh sayur manis.

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The savoury, slightly sweet broth had nice round body. It was also not greasy. Lovely broth actually.

The flavours were mild and gentle.

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You can give it some kick with this fresh ground chili.

This mee hoon kueh is just like the way it is done in any many Hokkien homes.

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Mdm Lim told me the broth was made by boiling pork socket bones, whole old hens, anchovies and soy beans i.e. in the time honoured way.

Mdm Lim cooks her mee hoon kueh, the way her grandmother did it at home.

I sat and chatted with Mdm Lim for a while. Mdm Lim ran a mee hoon kueh stall at Gek Poh hawker centre in Singapore for over 10 years. She returned to JB due to escalating hawker centre rent.

Mdm Lim is proud and grateful that she raised her 3 (now adult) children selling the humble mee hoon kueh.

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Mdm Lim's best friend Ah Mei 亚梅. The BFF (Best Friends Forever) have been together for decades.

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I asked Mdm Lim if she serves the trendy chili pan mian aka Kin Kin style of KL (and now Singapore).

"No" she said. Preferring to stay faithful to the traditional recipe. All soup, no "dry' version.

I respect her for that. 

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Unfanciful and unfancied, but close, very close to my heart.

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As lunch time approached, the lunch crowd streamed into the shop like patrons streaming into a cinema for the next screening. They walked in and walked to their seats like their own homes, into a space familiar and comforting.

If you are looking for simple homecooked style food, Sin Soon Li mee hoon kueh would be comforting, and satisfying.

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Restaurant name: Sin Soon Li mee hoon kueh 新顺利面粉粿专卖店
Address: Jalan Permas 10, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Johor Bahru (few doors from Sin Yong yong tau foo shop)
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/NMY4k
GPS: 1.496832,103.815347
Hours: 8:00am to 8:00pm (Closed on Tues)
Non Halal

Date visited: 30 May 2013

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

Famous Seremban Beef Noodles at Pasar Besar Seremban

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I have long wanted to visit this legendary beef noodle 牛腩面 stall at Pasar Besar Seremban.

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I was so excited.

The moment I spotted the stall, I dashed up to the boss and ordered a bowl of beef noodles immediately. Then, I suddenly realised that my bladder was still full from the long drive from Johor Bahru. After I placed my order, I asked the boss, where is the toilet.

After giving me directions to the toilet which is some distance away, the boss told me that he will make the noodles only after I returned from the toilet.

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"Beef noodle is best eaten when it is hot", the boss said. 

How's that for outstanding service for an out-of-town stranger?

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Here's my RM7 bowl of the famous Seremban beef noodles, finally.

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The pearly white rice noodles (lai fun) slick and dyed brownish by the gooey beefy sauce.

The noodles were invitingly slurpy.

The beefy aroma pulled our noses down towards the bowl. Bowing our heads willingly.

The lai fun was tender with a slight bounce. The sticky sauce was savoury and just mildly beefy.

There was a good mix of textures in the bowl from the tender spring of the lai fun, to the soft beef slices to the slightly chewy beef jerky and the crunchy peanuts and pickled cabbage.

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I especially love this homemade beef jerky in Mr. Chong's beef noodles. It's like beef rendang. Tenderly chewy beef slices deeply infused with spice perfume fragrance released with each chew.

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Curious about what we were doing, firing more shots at the noodles per minute than a bride on her wedding day, conferring intensely with noodles in our mouths, and furiously writing down copious notes instead of just enjoying his beef noodles like other customers, the boss joined us to chat.


The boss, Mr. Chong, a Hakka is the second generation owner. Mr. Chong's father-in-law who started this stall over 60 years ago is Hainanese, and this is traditional Hainanese style beef noodles.

Everything at this stall is made from scratch from raw ingredients. Since Mr. Chong's father-in-law's time, the rice noodles (lai fun) are homemade without preservatives.

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Mr. Chong brought this bowl of radish and beef soup for us to try.

Over a warm bowl of old school beef soup, Mr. Chong was beaming proudly as he shared with us his acting role in Malaysia's highest grossing movie The Journey (一路有你).

We shared his joy and were so happy for him :D

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Seremban Beef Noodles is now in the safe hands of the third generation, the young handsome Mr. Chong, Ah Kang  亚康.

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Mr. Chong explaining the best cut of beef for Hainanese style beef noodle, the flank 牛腩.

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The beef noodles before the gooey beefy sauce was poured in. Noodles topped with fried peanuts, braised beef spices, beef jerky slices, and chopped pickled cabbage.

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Laying on that signature thick blanket of gooey beefy sauce.

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Stole this picture of another customer's beef noodles - the soup version. Here we can see the tender beef slices, crunchy pickled cabbage and chopped scallions more clearly.


The other beef noodle stall in the same food centre, stall number 742 has it's own loyal following and I shall be trying that on my next Seremban trip :D

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Restaurant name: Seremban Beef Noodles
Address: Stall No. 748, Pasar Besar Seremban, off Jalan Dr Tun Ismail, Seremban, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/pobFe
GPS: 2.730913,101.936870
Hours: 7.30am to 3.00pm (Closed on Tuesdays.)
Non Halal

Date visited: 26 May 2014

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Thistle Port Dickson Resort (Malaysia) Chinoise Restaurant

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Ms Bobby from Thistle Hotels and Resorts invited me to dinner at Chinoise at Thistle Port Dickson Resort. 

Chinoise serves traditional Cantonese and Szechuan specialties.

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Inside Chinoise, the decor is well appointed, simple yet elegant. Because it is located inside a resort, there is less of the pressing crowd and rowdiness sometimes seen at popular Chinese restaurants.

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Chinoise also sports a spacious breezy al fresco dining area in the patio. I think this is a brilliant idea to take advantage of the sea breeze at this seaside resort. hmmm... steamboat would be great here :D 



Chef Lam is the man behind the scrumptious dishes we tasted at Chinoise Restaurant. Unassuming, Chef Lam has nearly thirty years of culinary experience under his belt. 

Let's take a look at what Chef Lam had for us :D

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First up was the deep fried cod fish. The breaded cod fish was bathed in Chef Lam's own blend of "superior sauce".

The well executed golden brown slab of cod was topped with a small cone of diced garlic, ginger, scallions, and fried shallots.

The cod was lightly crispy on the surface and inside, the white meat was tender and moist.

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Next up was the traditional poached chicken - one of my favourite dishes :D

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The chicken meat was just the right doneness - tender and juicy. I like to enjoy my poached chicken without dips so that I can taste the natural sweet flavours 鸡味 of the meat.

Chef Lam's own special dip was savoury, garlicky spicy, and aromatic, and would be well appreciated by people who like robust sauces with their chicken. 

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Hong Kong style BBQ lamb cutlets.

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Wok fried lamb cutlets coated with a flavourful tacky sweet, savoury and spicy sauce. As I chewed the slightly firm meat, I could still feel the presence of the lovely aroma and flavour of lamb bursting through the thick sweet and spicy sauce - love it.

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Classic seafood bean curd. It's a traditional treat of tender bean curd skin wrapping a soft filling made with chopped scallop, mushroom and fish maw doused with a sweet and savoury sauce.

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Vietnamese style pan fried prawns. Good sized fresh shelled prawns marinated with local herbs, milk and butter, and fried. Served with slices of lemon and curry leaves for that refreshing tangy note and subtle aromatic touch.

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Homemade stewed vegetables with oyster sauce. Simple yet masterfully executed. All the natural colours, flavours, juices and crunchy textures were captured for our enjoyment. The bits of fried dried scallops added savouriness and crispy bite to the soft greens and spongy mushrooms.

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Classic Szechuan soup - Chinoise's version was mildly sour and spicy so it can be enjoyed by most people. Lots of soft and silky smooth textures from the tofu, mushrooms, sea cucumber, crab and more.

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Chilled peng peh 冰皮 with red beans. Chef Lam's signature dessert of peng peh wrap filled with mashed red beans and lotus seeds. Lovely layers of sweetness, flavours and tenderness.

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When you are looking for a nice Chinese meal in a well appointed restaurant in Port Dickson, Chinoise Restaurant at Thistle Port Dickson Resort would be a good choice.


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Disclosure: My stay in Port Dickson was supported by Thistle Port Dickson Resort.

Restaurant name: Chinoise Restaurant
Address: Thistle Port Dickson Resort, KM16 Jalan Pantai, Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
GPS: 2.431786,101.859344
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday Dinner - from 6:30pm to 10:30pm  |  Friday to Sunday Lunch: 12:00noon to 2:30pm Dinner: 6:300pm to 10:30pm (Monday: Closed)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date visited: 26 May 2014

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

Pork Knuckle at Western Food 85 Stall in Singapore

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As soon as I posted about Newton Roast's pork knuckle in Newton Food Centre in Singapore, my makan kaki Martin reminded me about another pork knuckle stall in a hawker centre that should be highlighted.

Martin said I should try Western Food 85 stall in Bedok. When it comes to Singapore food, I listen to Martin's suggestions :D

So, I wasted no time and headed to Bedok in Singapore to check out Western Food 85's pork knuckle.

As usual, Martin's recommendation was spot on :D

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This is Henry's stall at Blk 85 in Bedok where he ran his business for the past 12 years. At Western Food 85 stall, Henry and his wife serve a variety of common Western style fare like fish and chips, and chicken chop. 

Western Food 85 is also popular for their balacan fish and ikan goreng, but our hearts were set on their crispy pork knuckles today.

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I asked Henry where did he learn how to cook such a mean pork knuckle.

It turned out that Henry worked many years in Singapore's first German restaurant, Werner's Oven owned by Werner and Nancy Hochbaum. 

Henry is the brother of Nancy Hochbaum and the pork knuckle at Western Food 85 follows the recipe developed by his brother-in-law, Werner Hochbaum. 

Epicure Asia magazine named Werner's Oven's pork knuckles as one of Singapore's Top 10 (in 2011).

Now you can have Singapore's best in a kopitiam for SGD16 :D 

How's that for a makan lobang (foodie tip) :D

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Henry only uses pork knuckles imported from Brazil, and also from Germany.

Western Food 85's pork knuckles are marinated for 24 hours using spices and salts imported from Germany. The knuckles are slow cooked for three hours and then chilled. They are then deep fried on order, and served immediately.

The idea is to serve a flavourful pork knuckle that is moist and tender inside, and crispy outside.

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Henry cut up the pork knuckle with scissor and tong before presenting it to customers.

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The pork knuckle is served cut into bite size pieces.

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The pork knuckle is served with sachets of chili sauce and disposable chopsticks. Might be a bit of culture shock for some :P

Henry told me that brown sauce is available on request but few customers asked for it, so chili sauce is the default.

I didn't ask about the chopsticks but I guess metal cutlery may not be practical in a Singapore hawker centre.

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As I won't eat anything with industrial chili sauce in sachets, and I didn't know about the brown sauce available on request, I ate these pieces of pork knuckle neat.

No regrets!

In fact, neat is the best way to enjoy pork knuckle.

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The pork knuckle meat was moist and tender. The savoury flavour was mild and gentle, and there was no porky taste at all. (Most people like it this way, but I actually don't mind a little slight porkiness.)

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The golden brown skin is crispy and light. The skin was also thin and quite smooth compared to Cantonese style siu yok 
燒肉 (crispy roasted pork belly). There was very little fat or grease.

The crispy skin crackles in the mouth like a cream cracker.

I like Western Food 85 stall's pork knuckle.

A lot.

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The side is a small heap of sweet crunchy fresh coleslaw. Henry said that sauerkraut (fermented sour cabbage) is available on pre-order.

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There was a small pile of generic crinkled French fries, nicely fried and not greasy at all.

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Western Food 85 won't be at Blk 85 for long.

Escalating rental has forced Henry to move on 1 Jun 2014 - fortunately, he found a stall space at the kopitiam next door at Blk 86. 

Henry's stall will still be called Western Food 85.

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One of Singapore's best pork knuckle is waiting for you at Bedok Blk 86 :D

Restaurant nameWestern Food 85 stall
Address: Blk 86, #01-165, Bedok North Street 4, Singapore
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/Ro2bG
GPS: 1.332473,103.938911
Hours: 11:30am to 9:00pm (Closed on Weds)
Non Halal

Date visited: 25 May 2014

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.