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

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Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice. Chinatown Folks' Little Secret 釗记砂煲飯 Stall #02-053

Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice. Chinatown Folks' Little Secret 釗记砂煲飯

Actually, I have eaten at Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice in Chinatown Complex for more than five times since last year (2017). I liked it but had held back on sharing about Zhao Ji as I have not yet tried the reigning King of the Hill, Lian He Ben Ji. After trying LHBJ, I can now say confidently that Zhao Ji is a worthy alternative.

Stall name: Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice 釗记砂煲飯

Address: 335 Smith St, stall #02-53, Singapore 050335

Hours: 12:00 noon - 7:00pm (Mon off)

Heng Long Bak Kut Teh in Tanjung Pinang. Bintan Island


During recent my 5-day trip to Tanjung Pinang (on Pulau Bintan), I saw that there were several bak kut teh shops at Jalan Potong Lembu - a popular area where locals go for eating and shopping. I can't fairly recommend any bak kut teh shop as we tried only Heng Long, but I did enjoy their BKT which was among the tastiest I've tried anywhere.

Acong Ota (Otak Otak) in Tanjung Pinang. Bintan Island


During my visit to Tanjung Pinang, I had the chance to see how otak otak is made at Acong Ota. While in Tanjung Pinang, I tried otak otak from only three different places. Out of the three, I prefer Acong Ota. But, I need to try more otak otak in Tanjung Pinang before recommending any.

The Manabu Sedaap Bintan. Resort Style Restaurant in Tanjung Pinang


The Manabu restaurant in Tanjung Pinang was recommended to us by Marc Thalmann owner of Mutiara Beach Resort when he heard that we were going to spend the night in the port city. Marc knew The Manabu's owner, Chef Gaku for over a decade when Chef was working with the resorts such as Nirwana Gardens in Bintan.

Fascinating Tanjung Pinang Food. See & Eat in Bintan beyond 5-Star Resorts


Like many people from Singapore, I have been to the luxurious Bintan Resorts along its north shores. But, I have never been anywhere else on Bintan Island (which is bigger than Singapore in size). So, I jumped at the first opportunity to visit Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Riau Province on Pulau Bintan.

 ⚠ Warning: Extra Too long post ahead.

Zai Shun. Restaurant Quality Fish at Kopitiam Prices 载顺咖喱鱼头


When I was living in Choa Chu Kang some 15 years back, we used to go trekking at Bukit Timah hill every weekend. After the work out, we would reward ourselves with a sumptuous lunch. One of our top favourite after-trekking prizes was a lunch at Zai Shun near Yuhua Market & Hawker Centre in Jurong East. We love their steamed fish dishes which go perfectly with porridge.

No. 1 Food Theater Cuisine 一号糧倉. Best of Taiwan Produce & Award Winning Beef Noodles

Restaurant name: No. 1 Food Theater Cuisine 一号糧倉
AddressNo. 2, Alley 3, Lane 346, Section 2, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei
GPS25°02'50.8"N 121°32'42.2"E
Nearest MRTNanjing Fuxing station 南京復興站
Tel: +886 2 2775 1689
Hours11:30am - 2:30pm | 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Monday closed)

Lai Xing Prawn Noodle 来興蝦面. Hidden Gem in Marsiling Lane Food Centre. Singapore


Whenever I walked past the old Marsiling Market & Cooked Food Centre, I will see a long queue at Lai Xing Prawn Noodle. This morning, the queue was shorter, so I quickly joined in as I had long wanted to find out why Lai Xing is so popular with residents. It was near closing time 10:30am, and I was one of the last customers for the day.

Meili Restaurant for Authentic Taiwanese Food in Taipei 美麗餐廳

Restaurant name: Meili 美麗餐廳
AddressNo. 146, Jinzhou Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei
GPS25°03'37.1"N 121°31'45.1"E
Nearest MRTXingtian Temple Station 行天宮站
Tel+886 2 2521 0698 (advance booking is highly advised)
Hours: 5:30pm - 9:30pm

Mao Yuan 茂園餐廳.梁靜茹最爱 Fish Leong's Favourite Taiwanese Restaurant in Taipei

Restaurant name: Mao Yuan 茂園餐廳
Address: No. 185, Section. 2, Changan E. Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei
GPS25°02'53.9"N 121°32'33.5"E
Nearest MRT: Nanjing Fuxing Station 南京復興站
Tel: +886 2 2752 8587 (phone booking and pre-ordering at least 1 week ahead is highly advised)
Hours: 11:30am - 2:00pm | 5:00pm - 8:30pm

Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh in Taman Sentosa 哥打正宗肉骨茶. Finally, Kota Tinggi Style BKT comes to JB


I was in Singapore, watching Johor Bahru social media buzzed with excitement about Restoran Kota Zheng Zong which opened less than a month ago, reputedly by family of the famous Kiang Kee bak kut teh near Kota Tinggi. As I don't like that 1.5 hour drive from JB to Kota Tinggi, I was eager to find out if I could really get Kota Tinggi style bak kut teh, right here in JB. So, checking out Kota Zheng Zong was top of my to-do list for this JB trip.

Dean Briyani Hyderabad. A Hidden Gem in TNB Staff Quarters in Kempas


Dean Briyani Hyderabad was one of the first restaurants I shared in Johor Kaki blog back in 2012. Six years on, I can't remember the details of Dean Briyani except for fond memories of how much I enjoyed it. So when Dean invited me to drop by his restaurant, I thought it was timely to revisit.

My Stove My 灶. Restaurant for Authentic Taiwanese Food in Taipei

Restaurant name: My Stove My 灶
Address: No. 9-1, Lane 100, Songjiang Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei | 台北市中山區松江路100巷9號之1 
GPS25°03'03.7"N 121°31'54.3"E
Nearest MRT: Steps from Songjiang Nanjing 松江南京站 (use Exit 3)
Tel+886 2 2522 2697
Hours: 11:30am - 2:00pm | 5:30pm - 9:00pm (Monday off)

Yang Ji 194 Garlic Steamed Fish Head · Singapore Hawker Gems in Chinatown 养记.香港特式蒜蓉蒸鱼头 · Closing on 17 Mar 2024

Yang-Ji-194-Garlic-Steamed-Fish-Head- 养记.香港特式蒜蓉蒸鱼头

✍Update 21 Feb 2024. Yang Ji's will be doing its last day of business on 17 Mar 2024 (Sunday). 

✍18 Mar 2018. Buddy had been raving about the "garlic steamed fish head" at Yang Ji 194 in the Green Zone of Chinatown Complex Food Centre (stall #02-057) for a long time. This is yet another old school Canto style zhi char which Chinatown is well known for.

My Sweet Home Small Kitchen in Taipei. Mum's Cooking, that's All 我家小廚房

Restaurant name: My Sweet Home Small Kitchen 我家小廚房
Address115 Yanshou Street, Songshan, Taipei | 延壽街115號
GPS25°03'25.3"N 121°33'54.4"E
Nearest MRT: Nanjing Sanmin 南京三民站
Tel+886 966 558 669 (best to call before coming)
Hours5:30pm to 9:00pm (Mon & Tue off)

Jian Hong Beef Noodles. 24 Hours Restaurant in Taipei 建宏牛肉麵

Restaurant nameJian Hong Beef Noodles 建宏牛肉麵
AddressNo. 7, Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
GPS25°02'53.8"N 121°30'27.5"E |  25.048270, 121.507639
Nearest MRTBeimen Station 北門站
Tel+886 2 2371 2747
Hours: Always open. Round the clock 24/7. 

Liu Shandong Beef Noodles. 70 Years of Authentic Hometown Flavours 劉山東牛肉麵

Restaurant nameLiu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵 
AddressNo. 2, Lane 14, Section 1, Kaifeng St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
GPS25°02'44.6"N 121°30'49.6"E
Nearest MRTBeimen Station 北門站
Tel+886 2 2311 3581
Hours: 8:00am to 8:00pm (Sunday off)

Kukoh 21 Food Centre Ri Tao Fu. Best Teochew Pig's Organ Soup in my Memory


Today's makan outing was at the old Kukoh 21 Food Centre, off Chin Swee Road (near Chinatown). Our usual thing at hawker centres is to order food from a few stalls and share. Our table was already full of food when Catherine brought back this pork organ soup. At that time, I already set my sights on another dish and so just took obligatory shots of the pork organ soup. I didn't even bother to take it off the serving tray - too much food already and pork organ soup wasn't on my Must Eat list.

Lao Shandong Beef Noodles. What to Eat in Ximending 老山東牛肉家常麵店

Restaurant nameLao Shandong Homemade Noodles 老山東牛肉家常麵店
AddressB1, 70 Xining South Road, Wanhua, Taipei (inside Ximending 萬年商業大樓 building, basement 1)
GPS25°02'36.7"N 121°30'21.1"E | 25.043527, 121.505855  
Nearest MRTXimen Station 西門站
Tel+886 2 2389 1216
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm

Niu Dian Beef Noodles ● Ximending Best Food 牛店精燉牛肉麵

Story on Niu Dian starts at 6:10 

Restaurant name: Niu Dian Beef Noodles 牛店精燉牛肉麵
Address: No. 91, Kunming Street, Wan Hua District, Taipei | 昆明街91號
GPS25°02'33.3"N 121°30'17.4"E
Nearest MRT stationXimen Station 西門站
Tel: 02 2389 5577
Hours: 11:30am - 2:00pm | 5:00pm - 8:30pm (Monday off)

Peng Family. Cantonese Restaurant in Taipei. 彭家園.粵菜

Restaurant namePeng Family 彭家園
Address: No. 60, Dongfeng Street, Da'an District, Taipei | 台北市東豐街60號
GPS25°02'08.9"N 121°32'51.5"E | 25.035791, 121.547641 
Nearest MRTDa'an 大安站
Tel(02) 2704 5152
Hours11:30am - 2:00pm | 5:30pm - 9:00pm (off on first day of lunar month)

HangZhou Xiao Long Bao in Da'an District Taipei 杭州小籠湯包 (大安)

Restaurant nameHang Zhou Xiao Long Bao 杭州小籠湯包 
Address: No. 17, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District | 台北市大安區杭州南路二段17 號 (shop is a short walk east from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial)
GPS25°02'02.8"N 121°31'25.2"E
Nearest MRTDongmen Station 東門站
Tel02-2393 1757
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm (close at 11pm on Fri & Sat)

Dian Shui Lou - Shanghai Restaurant in Songshan Taipei 點水樓 (松山)

Restaurant name: Dian Shui Lou 點水樓 
Address: No 61, Section 4, Nanjing E Road, 105, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan District | 南京東路四段61號
GPS: 25°03'06.6"N 121°33'10.1"E | 25.051823, 121.552810
Nearest MRT station: Just a short walk from Taipei Arena Station 台北小巨蛋站
Tel+886 2 8712 6689
Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm | 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Making Sak Kei Ma at Chinatown Tai Chong Kok Hue Kee 牛車水大中國餅家餘記


Soon after I blogged about Pan Ji stall in Chinatown and stated that it is the only place in Singapore I know that makes Sak Kei Ma by hand, I was introduced to Chinatown Tai Chong Kok (Hue Kee) - the famous old name in Chinatown which also makes Sak Kei Ma by hand 😄 I am so grateful for the opportunity to observe how Chinatown Tai Chong Kok (Hue Kee) make the iconic pastry, the traditional way.

Yuet Loy. Amazing Little Canto Zhi Char in Chinatown Complex Food Centre 悦来熟食 ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Update 13 Oct 2020. This was my fourth or fifth time at Yuet Loy Cooked Food stall over 2.5 years. It felt and tasted exactly the same, nothing changed since my first time here. This is great news actually to me at a time when everything changes constantly, and not always for the better.

Singapore Song Fish Head Pioneer. Seng Kee 119. Chinatown Complex Food Centre


Steamed Song fish head is a popular dish among Cantonese from Guangdong who brought it to the world beyond. The best place in Singapore to get the quintessentially Cantonese dish is Chinatown Complex Food Centre - there are over a dozen Song fish head stalls here. Kreta Ayer 牛車水 (the original name of Chinatown) was a Cantonese enclave, and there are still pockets of old school Cantonese food here.

List of Best Food in Chinatown Complex. Babas Peranakan. Nyonya Economic Rice 娘惹小吃


When I do my Chinatown Complex Food Centre crawl, one of the 200 stalls that always catch my attention is Babas Peranakan at Blue Zone stall #02-225.

Lian He Ben Ji. Famous Sisters Claypot Chicken Rice. Chinatown Complex Food. Blue Zone Stall #02-199


So, I finally tasted the famous Lian He Ben Ji 联合本记煲饭 claypot chicken rice in Chinatown.

Stall name: Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

Address: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Stall #02-197/198, Singapore 050335

Tel: +65 6227 2470 (Note: Do not come here without calling in to pre-order your food)

Hours: 4:30pm - 10:00pm (Thurs off)

Pan Ji Sak Kei Ma. Chinatown Complex Food Centre Green Zone 潘記殺騎馬

Chinatown-Pan-Ji-Sak -Kei-Ma-潘記殺騎馬

Sak Kei Ma 殺騎馬 is a traditional Chinese pastry made of fried dough crisps held together with maltose and sugar syrup. The once ubiquitous sweet snack popular with children, is now more a nostalgic reminder for adults who enjoyed it during their childhood. With dwindling demand in Singapore, there's perhaps only one place left that still makes Sak Kei Ma the traditional way - at Pan Ji Cooked Food in Chinatown Complex stall #02-078.

Old Amoy Chendol ● Chinatown Complex Food Centre Yellow Zone Stall #02-008


The newly opened Old Amoy Chendol stall in Chinatown Complex Food Centre generated quite a lot of buzz in the old hawker centre. Several people tipped me off to it. Thank you 😃 (Keep your tips coming 😉 )

Hong Kong Lung Hwa Roasted Delights 🦆 127 Toa Payoh West Food Centre 香港榮華燒臘


So happy to finally taste the roasted delights of Hong Kong Lung Hwa stall at Blk 127, Toa Payoh West Market and Food Centre (5 minutes walk from Braddell MRT station) 🦆

Blue Zone Stall Directory of Chinatown Complex Food Centre Singapore. 4 of 4 Parts


Chinatown Complex Food Centre is Singapore's largest hawker centre but also the hardest one to find our way around inside. Most of the 226 food stalls are hidden behind pillars, blind corners, dim alleys, dead ends and secluded nooks. To help myself around Chinatown Complex, I have put together a 4-part directory of the food stalls. The idea is to "walkabout" the food centre on our handphones first, then proceed to the specific stall by stall number. Hope this helps you and me 😄

Red Zone Stalls Guide for Chinatown Complex Food Centre Singapore. 3 of 4 Parts

Red-Zone-Chinatown -Complex-Food-Centre-Singapore

Every time I come to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, I am thrilled by the sheer number of food stalls in Singapore's largest hawker centre with 226 stalls. But, the problem is, I often don't know where to go or even where to start. Friends told me that they feel the same. So, I've put together a stall directory to help me navigate the sprawling complex and hope that it is useful for you too.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Directory of Stalls in the Green Zone. 2 of 4 Parts


Opened in 1983, Chinatown Complex Food Centre on level 2 is the largest hawker centre in Singapore. It has 226 stalls, including a few which lineage trace back to the street side hawkers that once plied the lanes and alleys of Chinatown since the early 1900s. Chinatown hawker centre is still the focal point of heritage street food in Singapore, though it is fast fading as the original hawkers retire or pass on.

Singapore Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Yellow Zone Stall Directory. 1 of 4 Parts


Chinatown Complex was built in 1983 with a food centre on level 2. Most of the hundreds of street side hawker stalls that operated around Chinatown since the 1950s were moved into the food centre then. 226 stalls in all, making Chinatown Complex, Singapore's largest hawker centre - a record she still holds today. That was 37 years ago. The old Chinatown Complex remains the centre of authentic Singapore street food in Chinatown though I wonder how many of the original stalls are still here today.

Ten Dollar++ Fried Seafood Hor Fan at Mandarin Gallery in the Middle of Orchard Road? Yay!


A piping hot plate of seafood hor fun is a comforting staple one plate meal for many busy, always on the go folks in Singapore and Malaysia. Seafood hor fun is on the menu of most Chinese restaurants in Singapore but good, tasty ones are harder and harder to come by these days.

What can you do when you are hungry in the middle of Orchard Road, want something simple, quick, tasty and doesn't burn a hole in your pocket? I suggest going for this $10++ plate of seafood hor fun at Dining Place in Mandarin Gallery level 4. It's as good as seafood hor fun comes in Singapore.

Good Restaurant for Singapore Style Chinese Favourites at Orchard Road. Revamped Dining Place at Mandarin

If you are at Orchard Road and want to experience iconic Singapore style Chinese food in a comfortable environment with attentive service at reasonable prices, I believe the fully revamped Dining Place by Fei Siong Group at Mandarin Gallery is the right place for you.

The Other Hill Street Fried Kway Teow (in Chinatown Complex Food Centre Yellow Zone) 禧街炒粿条


[ ✍ 9 Jan 2022 ] We were in Chinatown Complex Food Centre to try out a different stall when we walked past Hill Street Fried Kway Teow stall. Buddy Jen couldn't resist getting two plates, enticed by the sight of the long queue and heady smell of caramelised sauces billowing from the little stall. The muffled but furious clanging from the busy wok was like a ringing ice cream bell to children - irresistible how to resist? 🤷

Stall name: Hill Street Fried Kway Teow 禧街炒粿条

Address: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, stall #02-32 (Yellow zone), Singapore 050335

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown or Maxwell station

Hours: 11:00am - 6:30pm (Mon, Weds, Fri, Sun off)