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

Adventurous Culinary Traveler's Blog with 64 million+ reads 📧

Kerala Indian Restaurant in Johor Bahru


Came back to Kerala Restaurant in Johor Bahru for their popular traditional Indian rice meal served on banana leaves.

Soft Serve Ice Cream in Johor Bahru - Koone and By Grace, Trus JK1350

Henna by Koone at Jalan Dhoby. Chocolate soft serve, lava molten cake, bits of brownie, crushed nuts, coco cookies soils, passionfruit puree, royal hazelnut feulletine, red velvet donuts.

Soft serve ice cream is the latest food fad to sweep across the globe and arrive in Johor Bahru's oldest streets.

Soft serve ice cream is really exactly the same as regular ice cream, but softer. The ice cream machine is simply set to put more air in the ice cream to make it soft. (That's all really, except for new twists which we shall see later :-D )

Serkam Medan Ikan Bakar in Malacca Umbai Pantai Beach

We were in Malacca on Boxing Day and instead of having our dinner in the city centre which is jammed packed with tourists, our friend Sheik took us to the fishing village of Serkam for their popular Malay style sea food.

Nasi Ambeng in Singapore at Bedok Enak Stall


Uncle Martin has been raving about his newest discovery - the best value and tastiest Nasi Ambeng in Singapore. When a veteran foodie like Uncle Martin who has tasted a lot more salt than me gets excited about a stall, I pay attention ;-D As most of us happened to be free this Christmas morning, we assembled at Block 16 Bedok South hawker centre for an Indonesian style Christmas lunch.

It was special, indeed.

Xiang Xiang Fish Ball Noodles Chong Pang Singapore 香香鱼圆面


I was introduced to Siang Siang by a friend who grew up with this fishball noodles from the Kampong Chong Pang days. We come to Chong Pang Hawker Centre for lunch occasionally and we would often have Siang Siang fish ball noodles. We would never get tired of it.

Black Castle Bistro Bukit Indah Johor Bahru CLOSED


Chef Eddie invited me to visit Black Castle Bistro, his new restaurant in Bukit Indah (near the JUSCO mall).

Sprout Modern European Fine Dining in Johor Bahru JK1345


Last night, I was invited by Chef Mui to visit Sprout, his newly opened modern European fine dining restaurant in Johor Bahru. I've heard good things about Sprout from my JB friends and was looking forward to the visit.

Nasi Padang Qin Garden in Johor Bahru JB Old Downtown 沁园咖啡馆


The Nasi Padang stall at Qin Garden coffee shop along Jalan Trus Dhoby in old downtown Johor Bahru is one of the most popular in JB. (The Nasi Padang stall has been around for 20 years. The stall used to be at Kin Wah kopitiam, a couple of shops further south along Jalan Trus.)

Toddy Coconut Wine Shop in Johor Bahru JB 椰花酒


Tody or toddy is fermented sap from the flower of coconut palm - an alcoholic treat which I enjoy whenever it is available. Toddy is banned in Singapore but we can get it at the tody shop here in old JB town, near the JB CIQ 😄  The tody shop is actually just across Jalan Wong Ah Fook from Komtar JB (where the Angry Bird theme park is).

Tai Chiang Coffee Shop Saleng near Kulai and Senai Johor 沙令大眾茶餐廳


You want to step back in time to 1950s/60s Johor, sip thick black bitter sweet coffee and eat kaya toasts like a local? If you are shopping at Johor Premium Outlet in Kulaijaya or trekking at Gunung Pulai, I suggest you swing by Tai Chiang Coffee Shop 大眾茶餐廳 in Saleng between Kulai and Senai.

Choy Ban Hakka Dumplings & Lei Cha @ Man Ting Fang, Kelapa Sawit Kulai Johor 满庭芳茶餐室菜粄

Choy Ban Hakka Dumplings Kelapa Sawit Kulai Johor 满庭芳茶餐室菜粄

Man Ting Fang 满庭芳茶餐室菜粄 in Kelapa Sawit (near Kulai) is our favourite one stop shop for Hakka dumpling (choy ban) and lei cha (Hakka ground tea rice). Everything is made right there at the eatery / house, so all the food are super fresh.

CLOSED Hay Chooi Coffee Shop Johor Zhi Char - Ah Mah's Cooking 海水餐室

(CLOSED as owner chefs retired.) My Johor friend John brought us to Hay Chooi Coffee Shop 海水餐室 to try what he calls "Ah Mah's cooking".

I rely a lot on the help of locals to show me the best places to eat in Johor Bahru. I must have driven pass along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak a few hundred times, but never knew that there is such a special eatery on the inside road along Jalan Lembah.

Mushroom Pau in Johor Bahru Pasar Malam 養生蘑菇包


Stumbled upon these "mushrooms" while exploring the pasar malam at Taman Johor Jaya on Tuesday evening. These are actually "mushroom pau" - I've seen these at restaurants before but was glad to find these for the first time at a pasar malam (night market).

CLOSED EHHE Art Cafe - Old Johor Bahru Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street on Foot 中間旁邊陈旭年文化街

EHHE-Art-Cafe-Johor-Bahru-Tan-Hiok Nee-中間旁邊陈旭年文化街

In a few days, Johor Kaki blog will be entering it's fifth year. Not surprisingly, the first Johor Kaki posts were about the eateries around the Jalan Tan Hiok Nee cultural district as these are interesting and nearest to Singapore. Though, Johor Kaki blog is basically the same, there are many changes. The same can be said of Johor Bahru's cultural district.

Lemon Tree Kulai - Family Friendly Restaurant near Johor Premium Outlet and AEON Jusco


Met up with my friend Puan Chong and her family at the new Lemon Tree outlet in Kulai. We are all fans of Lemon Tree in Taman Melody and decided to have lunch at their new Kulai outlet. I also wanted to visit Chef Jeffrey whom I first met at Lemon Tree's parent outlet in Taman Melody.

Friday Pasar Malam Johor Bahru Puteri Wangsa JK1332


Visited the pasar malam at Taman Puteri Wangsa in Ulu Tiram, Johor this Friday evening :-D

Singapore Chefs Association SCA Annual Dinner 2015 JK1328


Last night, the Singapore Chefs Association held it's annual dinner at Orchard Hotel Singapore. It was great family time for members and guests to mingle, catch up with old friends and make new connections to mark the end of another fruitful year for Singapore chefs.

Mana Lagi Nasi Lemak Johor Bahru Taman Perling


As usual, some customers were already waiting outside before Mana Lagi nasi lemak shop in Taman Perling was opened. That "empty" table on the right was already "choped" (reserved) by me with my haversack and water bottle.

Yi Bao Mee Hoon Kueh near Pelangi Mall Johor Bahru 顺利面粉粿


Even though Johor Bahru is known as "Little Swatow" because its Chinese community is mainly Teochew, JB has more shops and stalls serving the Hokkien comfort food, mee hoon kueh than Singapore - which is mainly Hokkien.

Chap Chye Png Mixed Vegetable Economy Rice in Johor Bahru Desa Tebrau 旺来美食阁杂菜饭


While having breakfast at Kang Wei coffee shop in Taman Desa Tebrau this morning, we noticed that the mixed dishes or chap chye png 杂菜饭 stall here is very popular. Many people were eating in and more were taking away boxes of rice and mixed dishes.

Bubur Nasi Istimewa No. 1 Johor Bahru Sentosa JB

Bubur-Nasi-Istimewa-No. 1-Johor-Bahru-Sentosa-JB

Bubur Nasi Istimewa No.1 has been one of my favourite street side eating places in JB since my children were toddlers. We often had our dinner here after shopping at Lien Hoe Complex, then the hottest shopping hotspot in JB of the 1990s. Lien Hoe Complex is now Plaza Sentosa but the Jalan Sutera night time stalls and Bubur Nasi Istimewa No. 1 are still the same.

Malaysian Wantan Noodles @ Yoong Seng Coffee Shop in Johor Jaya Jalan Dedap 17 JB 廣記云吞面


Hungry in Johor Jaya, I stumbled upon 廣記云吞面 in Yoong Seng coffee shop at closing time. I was literally stumbling as I was feeling famished and low on sugar. The friendly shop owners came to my rescue - making me this nice, satisfying old school wanton mee for RM4.50 (2015 price).

Soon Chiang Bak Kut Teh in Johor Bahru 顺江肉骨茶


Soon Chiang bak kut teh is the place in Johor Bahru to get the Klang style of pork bone in a savoury dark herbal broth. It's a stone's throw from Plaza Pelangi along Jalan Maju, usually referred to as 報紙街 or newspaper street by locals (due to the several newspaper offices here).

Jing Seng Restaurant Desa Tebrau Johor 金城小食馆


Last night, we dropped by at the popular Jing Seng restaurant at Taman Desa Tebrau for a simple dinner. Small restaurants like Jing Seng are like Singapore's zi char 煮炒 (cook and fry) stalls which serve restaurant type dishes at affordable prices.

Sembawang White Bee Hoon (You Huak) White Restaurant Singapore 友发餐室白米粉


I have tried Sembawang White Bee Hoon before it became so famous because I lived near by. I was passing by today at lunch. It was raining heavily, so I dashed for shelter inside my old haunt and try to warm myself with white bee hoon - You Huak's claim to fame.

Chua Kee Seafood Gelang Patah Johor 蔡記海鲜


Chua Kee (together with Tian Lai) are the oldest established kampung style seafood restaurants in Gelang Patah. Star Chef restaurant is a relative newcomer, though it also have a good foothold now too. So, here we are at Chua Kee to complete our roundup of seafood restaurants in Gelang Patah.

Chinatown Seng Kee 119 Famous Steamed Fish Head Singapore 成记驰名酱蒸松鱼头


I don't know since when, but I've long been a junkie of the Cantonese classic steamed Song fish head. In Singapore, the best place to get this dish is Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre. There are many steam fish head stalls here, so I will try them one by one, starting with Seng Kee 成记 which is the most famous (going by mainstream media mentions). 

(Thanks to Melvin of Jing Ji braised duck & kway chap stall #02-156 who gave me a guided tour of this sprawling grand old food centre and pointing out Seng Kee to me.)

Bedok 85 Fengshan Bak Chor Mee Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian Singapore 兴记肉脞面


Though Xing Ji rou cuo mian at 85 Fengshan food centre serves a different style of bak chor mee from the others, it is one of the most famous in Singapore. Xing Ji is one of the very rare bak chor mee stalls that doesn't have a "dry" version and their signature noodle is "mee kia" not "mee pok".

Mee Hoon Kueh & Ban Mian at Teck Lai 德来 in Taman Gaya, Johor Bahru


We paid a visit to Teck Lai in Taman Gaya yesterday - one of my favourite places for mee hoon kueh in Johor Bahru. I like Teck Lai's mee hoon kway and ban mian which is served with fish soup loaded with fried fish and tofu.

Sin Tao Yuan Pekan Nanas Johor Seafood Ikan Bakar 兴桃园铁板烧鱼


We planned a trip here at Pekan Nanas to try Tao Yuan's legendary grilled stingray (which we missed the last visit). During our previous visit, we arrived at 6:30pm but Tao Yuan's famous grilled stingray was already sold out :-(  This time we arrived at 4:30pm, 30 minutes before opening time ;-D

Dang Gui Roast Duck Restoran Lapan Dua Dua 822 Johor Bahru 超级鸭王当归鸭

Dang Gui Roast Duck Restoran Lapan Dua Dua 822 Johor Bahru 超级鸭王当归鸭

Updated 25 May 2019. When showing Singapore friends around Johor Bahru, we often stop by at Restoran Lapan Dua Dua 822 to enjoy their dang gui (Angelica root) herbal roast duck and also take away some back to Singapore.

Kak Kak Dim Sum Breakfast @ Jalan Maju near Plaza Pelangi 佳佳点心茶楼


Need early breakfast in JB, on the way up north to Malacca or KL? Restoran Kak Kak opens at 5:00am 6:30am and conveniently located just next to Plaza Pelangi (5 mins drive from JB CIQ off Jalan Tebrau). Nothing exquisite but plenty to choose from, freshly made, tastes good, and very reasonably priced kopitiam dim sum.

Chicken House Kampong Chicken Rice 🐔 Upper Thomson Singapore 甘榜山鸡饭


🐔 Chicken House Kampong Chicken Rice at Upper Thomson Singapore is one of my pre-blogging long time favourites. I like it that the food here is tasty and the pricing is very competitive.

Restaurant name: Chicken House 甘榜山鸡饭

Address: 256 Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574382

Tel: 6456 0698

Hours: 11:00am to 8:00pm

Joez Coconut Jelly in Penang Georgetown Dato Karamat JK1300


Michael was raving since day 1 of our trip about his family's must have coconut jelly in Penang. But, our busy programme was very tight - on the road the whole time through Langkawi, Alor Star, Butterworth and Penang. We finally managed to check in at Joez Coconut Jelly along Jalan Dato Karamat just before boarding the plane in Penang on day 5 ;-P