Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore based personal blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Friday, 4 May 2018

Tried & Tasted Best Kway Teow Kia in Johor ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kway teow kia is a uniquely Johor street food not found anywhere else in the world. It is pork and offal braised in savoury herbal stock till it is tender. The braised pork and offal are eaten with narrow flat rice noodles known as kway teow kia which is the name of this Teochew dish.

Kway teow kia has some similarities with Singapore's kway chap but has lighter, milder, herbal stock and use narrow rice noodles instead of broad sheets of rice.

Kway teow kia is still a common street food at the moment in Johor. But, over the last six years of blogging about Johor food, I noticed that it is slowly disappearing. Most of the popular stalls are run by old hawkers. Some have successors, some do not and may have to close when the current owners retire. Equally important, there are no new brands of kway teow kia appearing, unlike say bak kut teh where there are new stalls opening regularly.

This kway teow kia list is selected from the 21 kway teow kia stalls that I have blogged about, and many more that I have tried before (but didn't blog).

A good kway teow kia stall uses stock which has well balanced savoury, sweet, herbal flavours - the intensity varies according to personal taste buds. The pork and offal must be fresh (never frozen) and very well cleaned. The stall should have a full range of braised items from pork belly, tongue, intestines, lungs, ears, blood curd, skin to eggs and tofu. Ideally, the items are braised separately so that there is no cross contamination of flavours i.e. not everything in one pot and all items taste the same.

Note: This is a tried and tasted list. I personally ate at these stalls many times, and did not copy and paste from other bloggers' hard work.

三楼粿條仔 (San Lou or 3-storey) Kway Teow Kia (located in a shack)

Relatively robust sweet savoury herbal braising stock. Fresh well cleaned parts infused with savoury flavours from the stock. Popular with locals. Charming feel as this stall is in a street side zinc and tarpaulin shack. Opens only at night.

Address: Along Jalan Stulang Darat, Johor Bahru 
GPS: 1.472006, 103.777445  |  1°28'19.5"N 103°46'39.0"E 
Tel: +6016 741 9793 
Hours: 5:30pm to midnight

Meng Fang Food Stall 茗芳粿條仔 (Cedar Point Food Centre)  

Moderately savoury, sweet, herbal braising stock. Stall is in a hawker centre just beside Grand Paragon hotel. Mother and son team. Meng Fang is the first kway teow kia that I have eaten. Still love it.

Address: Jalan Musang Bulan 2-16, Taman Century, 80250 Johor Bahru  
GPS: 1.481492,103.762167 / 1°28'53.4"N 103°45'43.8"E
Hours: Daily 6:30am to 2:00pm (closed on Thursday)

Restoran Ka Hoe Kway Teow Kia 榕树下粿条仔  

Moderately heavy savoury herbal braising stock. Very crowded as their pork and offal are fresh, clean and delicious. Also, their location is convenient at JB's "newspaper street" where many newspapers have their offices.

Address: Jalan Maju, Taman Maju Jaya (near Plaza Pelangi), Johor Bahru 
GPS:  1.480835, 103.766704 / 1°28'51.0"N 103°46'00.1"E 
Hours: 6:30am to 12:30pm (Closed on alternate Weds)

Guo Tiau Zi Tasek 果条仔

Lightest braising stock in this list. My favourite as the mild savoury herbal stock allows us to taste the natural sweetness of the thoroughly cleaned fresh parts. May not be your cup of tea if you prefer more robust flavours. Very busy during peak hours. Run by a middle aged couple with their children helping out occasionally. Closed on Sunday (and Monday). Boss said "too many people on Sunday.... ." 😂

Address: Jalan Tasek near the Maybank branch  
GPS: 1.485385,103.722567 
Hours: 7:00am to 2:00pm (closed on Sunday and Monday)

Kedai Makan Ah Tee 亚弟果条仔 @ Labis

Relatively heavy sweet savoury herbal stock. Ah Tee serves a fusion of Teochew braising stock and Hokkien lor (sauce). The heaviest in this list but we are still able to taste the fresh pork's natural sweetness. A local favourite and a destination for tourists to Labis.

Address: 138, Jalan Segamat, Taman Eng Peng, Labis, Johor 
GPS: 2°23'58.7"N 103°01'05.9"E | 2.399642, 103.018304
Tel: +6014 318 3828 
Hours: 7:00am to 1:00pm (Thurs off) | 6:00pm to 11:00pm (Fri to Sun evening hours) 

Kedai Makan Soon Lai 顺来粿汁 

Ok.... this is actually kway chap (not kway teow kia) but Soon Lai is so good, I have to include it in this list 😜 The 80 year old household name serves tender broad rice sheets with braised meats and offal. It serves a robust savoury herbal dark braising stock but not as intense as Labis Ah Tee's. Very popular with locals and tourists to Batu Pahat.

Address: 6-C, Jalan Fatimah, Batu Pahat, Johor 
GPS: 1.849104,102.927711 
Hours: 11:00am to 6:00pm (Thurs off)

The following links have the details to the kway teow kia above ➤

三楼粿條仔 (San Lou or 3-storey) 👈 click
Meng Fang Food Stall 茗芳粿條仔 👈 click
Ka Hoe 榕树下粿条仔 👈 click
Guo Tiau Zi Tasek 果条仔 👈 click
Ah Tee 亚弟果条仔 @ Labis 👈 click
Soon Lai 顺来粿汁 @ Batu Pahat  👈 click

After eating kway teow kia all over Johor hundreds of times, here's Johor Kaki's full list of all 22 blog posts on best Johor kway teow kia 👈 click

I am still adding to this growing list as I try and taste more kway teow kia in Johor. Please share with me your recommendations. Thank you.

Non Halal

Date: 4 May 2018

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  1. I think U missed out 海皇粿条仔. Lol

  2. William Tay said on Johor Kaki FB: "I think San Lou or 3 storey kway teoe Kia is not recommendable because before was prepared by local but now are prepared by foreigners and manage by foreign wife taste not like before and price cut throat"

    1. I think you may be referring to a different shop nearby. this 3 storey at Stulang operates out of shack by a brother and sister without any workers, and not by husband and wife.

  3. Operating Kway Teow Kia stall is most labor intensive and preparation takes many manpower hours. That's why this food business is slowly disappearing. And also profit margin is thin. Hiring local staff is another problem. Bak Koo Teh preparation is a lot easier and simple.

  4. Soo Ling Ong said on Johor Kaki FB: "the most important part of ktk is the chilli. Of all the ones in JB, Ka Hoe's chilli is most authentic and traditional.its the sour chilli sauce, not the oily sambal type. Add a little black sauce into the chilli and pour it into the ktk soup, out of this world!"

  5. Hi Tony,
    My siblings home is located at Taman Tasek hence we frequent regularly Guo Tiao Zi Tasek. Maybank closed down its branch at Taman Tasek a few years back. Basically it is located beside the boom gate entrance into the residential quarters of Taman Tasek. Read your blogs on Labis; unfortunately could only drive by Kedai Makan Ah Tee on a Thursday, alas their off day. In any case went to the nearby Hock Hoe Seng Confectionery and bought some sweet pastries like mama used to make :-). Next time you are anywhere near the town of Segamat where I hail from; May I humbly suggest you try the Ayam Goreng McDota(easily Googled). Uniquely Segamat and frequent by patrons of all races . Thanks Tony


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