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

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Bara Chirashi Don at Hana Hana 華花 in Singapore

Today, I joined buddy Milton at one of his favourite lunch haunts for bara chirashi don at Hana Hana 華花 restaurant at the street level of Orchid Hotel. It's a convenient, light, simple, healthy meal in a bowl which is competitively priced.

Making Tuna Fish Kerupuk / Keropok Crackers in Letung, Jemaja Island, Anambas, Indonesia

At the Letung jetty on the Anambas' Jemaja Island, you will see many ladies braving the blazing sun, selling kerupuk (keropok), grilled fish and rice. These are all made at home for sale to travellers.

Gubang / Gobang Dance at Letung, Jemaja Island, Anambas, Indonesia


One of the most fascinating things I saw during my trip to Letung on Jemaja Island in Indonesia's Anambas group of islands was the Gobang or Gubang dance during the opening night of Padang Melang Festival 2018. Gubang is a mystical dance unique to Jemaja Island and performed only during special occasions.

Eating Gong Gong during Padang Melang Festival: Sea Snail Icon of Batam, Bintan and Anambas

Gong Gong Sea Snail

On Jemaja Island (one of Indonesia's Anambas Islands in the South China Sea), gong gong sea snail is one of the island's iconic food. We had it every day we were here (for the annual Padang Melang Festival 2018 in Letung Village). We ate lots of it as it was so addictive and went well with everything.

Liang Kee 888 Seafood Restaurant in Batam Indonesia 亮记海鲜

Liang Kee 888 Restaurant on Batam Island in Indonesia is a typical coffee shop type seafood zhi char place (like those in Singapore and Malaysia). We had dinner here and had many different fish, chicken, meat, wild boar and vegetable dishes. The most memorable dish was their seafood hor fun which I would be glad to come back for.

Lengkuas Fish Soup at Eatern Food Court in Batam Indonesia 平记鱼汤

When I asked a Hong Kong chef friend who is very familiar with Batam what to eat there, the first thing he mentioned was the fish soup by Lengkuas at Eatern Food Court. So Lengkuas stall at Eatern Food Court was the first thing I went for when I had free time during my Batam trip. It turned out to be a fish soup hotspot of locals and Singaporeans alike. I am a very latecomer to the Batam food scene 😅

Henghua Cuisine in Singapore at Ming Chung @ Maude Road 民众菜馆

✍️ 8 Oct 2023. Back at Ming Chung at Maude Street after five years - was last here in 2018 and I still love the experience today. 

Restaurant name: Ming Chung 民众菜馆

Address: 67 Maude Road, Singapore 208348

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Farrer Park station

Tel: 6296 3428

Hours: 12 noon - 10pm (Mon off)

Da Shi Jia Big Big Big Prawn Noodle at Killiney Road Singapore 大食家大大大虾面

Da Shi Jia Big Big Big Prawn Noodle at Killiney Road Singapore 大食家大大大虾面

Went to Da Shi Jia Big Big Big Prawn Noodle 大食家大大大虾面 at Killiney Road for lunch today. We had the basic Big Eater Prawn Mee and the Big Eater Big Prawn White Bee Hoon. I enjoyed both dishes and was especially delighted with the Big Prawn White Bee Hoon.

History of Sin Kee Chicken Rice from Chinatown Street Stall to Bib Gourmand Singapore Michelin Guide

Sin Kee Chicken Rice Story from Street Stall to Bib Gourmand Singapore Michelin Guide 2018

Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice at Blk 40, Holland Drive has just been named one of 50 Bib Gourmand winners in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2018. This latest accolade will surely expand Sin Kee's already huge fan base to include more tourists.

Vintage Singapore Laksa. Lik Ming Toa Payoh Laksa 立名大巴窑叻沙 CLOSED 12 Apr 2021 Owners Retiring


I have long been a little crazy about laksa. In the 1970s, I used to go from school to school in Singapore looking for laksa. Every school tuck shop has a laksa stall. I never came across a bad laksa in Old Singapore. The best was in Serangoon Garden Secondary School. Lots of spices, laksa leaves, and marvellous sambal chili. So, I was quite excited when Uncle Martin told me about his favourite old school Lik Ming Toa Payoh Laksa 立名大巴窑叻沙.

Nearest Durian Farm from Singapore. Zhong Cheng Durian Farm in Kulai Johor 忠诚榴莲园

Zhong Cheng Durian Farm in Kulai Johor 忠诚榴莲园

Eating durians is a pleasure many JB folks and Singaporeans enjoy. Enjoying durians at home or at the durian shop is fun. But, eating durians at a durian plantation is another level of pleasure. The fruits are farm fresh and prices are lower buying direct at the farm. Fortunately for JB folks and Singaporeans, Zhong Cheng Durian Farm in Kulai is just of 1 hour of leisurely drive away after clearing JB or Gelang Patah immigration.

Best JB Wantan Mee Noodle List. Yap Wan Tan Mee 大马小贩中心.葉记云吞面 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

So, after durians right... we adjourned to the old Sri Tebrau Market & Hawker Centre 大马小贩中心 for one of my favourite wanton noodles at Yap Wan Tan Mee at stall #65. Oh.. man... I have not eaten Yap's wanton mee for 4 years and I must say this is the most improved wanton mee in JB. Yap Wan Tan Mee has gone from very good to one of the very best.

Ipoh Kway Teow Soup @ Old Eight in One in Johor Jaya JB 八合一美食中心唐記雞絲河粉 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After an unsuccessful food hunt this morning, I fell back on an old favourite 唐記雞絲河粉 Tang Kee Chicken Hor Fun stall in Old Eight in One Restaurant coffee shop at Johor Jaya Rosmerah. I fell in love again with Tang Kee's rendition of the Ipoh classic. The more I tried food beyond JB, the more confident I am about the quality of food here - it's just that we need to seek them out one by one.

The Toast @ Mount Austin JB. A Contemporary Kopitiam (Coffee Shop)

The Toast @ Mount Austin JB. A Contemporary Kopitiam (Coffee Shop)

The Toast coffee shop really needs no introduction for Johor Bahru folks - it is a very popular place for traditional Nanyang coffee, toasts, eggs, and the full range of local favourites like mee siam, nasi lemak, etc. I've been to The Toast's outlets in Johor Jaya and Permas Jaya, but was first time here at the Mount Austin branch. (They have one more outlet in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah.) Our experience at Mount Austin was good, as expected of The Toast.

Shang Ji Braised Duck. Johor Bahru's Biggest Braised Duck Brand 上记

If we go by the number of stalls, the Lim family I believe has the largest braised duck brand in Johor Bahru with 4 stalls under the name 上记. One each at Jalan Lumba Kuda, Old Downtown JB, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah and Taman Johor.

Hainanese Eight Treasures Claypot at Restoran Tong in Skudai Johor Bahru 海南八寶菜


On Saturdays and Sundays, Restoran Tong which normally serves bak kut teh, steam fish and one of my top favourite poached chicken, also serves Hainan Eight Treasures Claypot 海南八寶菜.

Roi Spoon Korean Western Food in Mount Austin Johor Bahru

Exploring the area around Taman Mount Austin which is now one of Johor Bahru's hottest F & B and entertainment hubs. There are at least a hundred restaurants, cafes and bars here. Some buddies suggested that I try Roi Spoon for their Korean Western cuisine.

D101 Durian from Johor. Humble but Delicious Mao Shan Wang Alternative


During this year's durian season, I developed a liking for the humble D101 durian from Johor. The bitter sweet D101 could be mistaken for the now abundant average Mao Shan Wang flooding the market but costs just ⅓ the price of the king.

Where to get Early Breakfast in JB? Storia Cafe Johor Bahru 士多利茶餐室 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Yesterday morning, we stopped over at Storia Cafe 士多利茶餐室 at Jalan Storey to wait for our buddy to arrive at the JB CIQ pickup point. We were delighted with the otak otak, nasi lemak, and dry mee siam.

Synthetic Pesticide Free Jin Feng Durian 金凤 from AnA Fruit Trading

Mao Shan Wang or Musang King is no doubt the king of durians in many people's hearts but Jin Feng 金凤, a very different durian, is often spoken of in the same breath and is even in the same price bracket. Jin Feng 金凤 fans swear by their durian like football fans' fierce loyalty to their favourite clubs.

Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu D828 Durian from Yong Peng Johor 柔佛永平美樹/ 美球榴莲

Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu 美樹/ 美球榴莲 (D828) from Yong Peng, Johor is one of the oldest durian cultivars yet it is still relatively unknown. If you Google search Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu D828 美樹/ 美球榴莲 now, you will find very few search results (I mean less than half a dozen).

Happy Garden Bak Kut Teh in Masai, Johor Bahru 快乐园肉骨茶 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Garden Bak Kut Teh in Masai, Johor Bahru 快乐园肉骨茶

More than 6 years having fun, food spotting around Johor Bahru, how did I miss the excellent bak kut teh at Happy Garden 快乐园肉骨茶 in Masai? 😅 It's not that I have never been to Happy Garden BKT before. We were here over 2 years ago but I forgot what I was thinking... what was I thinking? 😂 Well, I always believe that late is better than never 😄

Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh in Johor Jaya Bakawali 顺利树下肉骨茶

Several Johor Kaki readers have suggested that I visit Soon Lee Bak Kut Teh 顺利树下肉骨茶.

Meldrum Walk near City Square. Johor Bahru's Back Alley of Disappearing Hidden Gems


If you are in City Square Mall in Johor Bahru in the evening and feel a little adventurous to try something other than mall food, you might want to check out some authentic back lane dining in Meldrum Walk. It's a nice way to wrap up a day trip to JB with an authentic local street food experience.

Restoran PW Puteri Wangsa Ulu Tiram Johor Bahru 肉筋丸果条汤

So this is not the type of meal that will knock your socks off nor spur you to immediately want to post on social media to tell all your friends what a great food hunter you are 😄 But, it is the type that grows on you because of its simplicity and homely feel. No frills Restoran PW 肉筋丸果条汤 in Taman Puteri Wangsa in Johor Bahru has a strong loyal following for its pork ball noodles.

Pondok Vigen in Tanjung Pinang. First & Only Vegetarian Nasi Padang Restaurant in the World

Coming to Tanjung Pinang or anywhere in Indonesia, a Nasi Padang meal is a must. Nasi Padang is synonymous with Indonesia - it's a hearty meal of boiled rice eaten with robustly savoury spicy side dishes of beef, chicken, fish, squid and vegetables etc. But, what are herbivores to do? Well, if you are in Tanjung Pinang, you can check out Pondok Vigen's vegetarian nasi padang. I've been here twice and the food was nice, even for carnivores 😄

Fat Butchery in Taman Melodies. Johor Bahru has Good Steaks

Just the other day, a friend declared on Facebook that steaks in Johor Bahru CMI i.e. Singlish for "cannot make it". I politely responded with a couple of recommendations for her to try. Today, after tasting the steaks at Fat Butchery (in Taman Melody near KSL Mall), I can add another good place for steaks in JB 😄

Gogirou BBQ Meat Street in Zenith Mall at Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Johor Bahru 烤肉街

We were back at Gogirou BBQ Meat Street, a Korean BBQ joint 10 minutes walk from the nearby JB CIQ (immigration) in Johor Bahru. The menu has been expanded, the favourites have been retained and some recipes were tweaked. If you have not been to Gogirou BBQ recently, your next visit will give you a different experience.

Curry Mee @ Johor Jaya Family Food Court Penang Food Stall Kok Kee 国记

Johor Jaya Family Food Court Penang Food Stall Kok Kee 国记

When I saw YP Yap shared on Facebook this Penang kari mee at the Family Food Court in Johor Jaya, my mind was immediately set on where to go for breakfast. (Most people in Johor and Singapore refer to this dish as laksa.)

Singapore Toa Payoh Blk 93 Lor 4 Kuey Chap • Cheap & Good • Best Night Kway Chup in Toa Payoh 大巴窑4巷粿汁


Many of my makan kakis (foodie buddies) are fans of Toa Payoh Lor 4 Kuey Chap (also spelt Kway Chap). So, I jio (invite) Uncle Bob to try it together on this Sunday evening. Uncle Bob has eaten here many times before.