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

International Awards Winner · Singapore Malaysia Food History 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

Popular Public Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Hawker centres are good hunting grounds for foodies looking for traditional heritage food at affordable prices in Johor Bahru. They are also good places for authentic gritty raw local foodie experiences.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Johor Bahru has numerous city council run hawker centres, many decades old, dotted around the city. Known as "medan selera" which in Malay means "food court". 

The hawker centres are usually located near residential areas to serve the neighbourhood with accessible, affordable meals literally at their doorsteps. Most hawker centres are very simply constructed, shielded from the elements with a high roof, furnishings are bare bones, lit with naked fluorescent tubes/ bulbs and cooled with whirling ceiling fans. But, they are comfortable and welcoming - there are no doors, no dress code, everyone is welcome.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

At hawker centres run by the city council, the city council crest is prominently displayed at the stalls.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Individual stalls are rented out at nominal rental fees to hawkers who are independent business owners. Many of them are in the trade for decades and take great pride in their profession.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Some built up huge followings through their food and are like local celebrities.

Hawker centre food prices are very reasonable (possibly the lowest price of all genre / type of eateries in Johor Bahru).

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

This set of 2 pieces of roti canai (one plain and one filled with onion) served with 2 curries cost RM2.50 or US 60 cents (in 2018).

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Hawker centres have a wide range of food representing the communities of Malaysia - there are always Malay, Chinese and Indian food stalls. A visit to a hawker centre is like a visit to "mini Malaysia" - a microcosm of its cultural diversity represented by the mix of heritage dishes served under one roof.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

We can find many heritage dishes at hawker centres. Many of the hawkers have not changed their recipes and methods for decades. Partially due to nominal rental, there is little pressure to scale up or mass produce to meet costs. So, if you are looking for old school Chinese, Malay or Indian hawker dishes done the old artisanal way, you will find it at hawker centres.

Penang Char Kway Teow with Duck Eggs

Some stalls are helmed by young hawkers - the main motivators are to preserve their parents' legacy and also because hawkering, though hard work, is a viable career choice in Malaysia. For us customers, we are glad to see our favourite heritage dishes like this well loved Penang style char kway teow with duck eggs stall thriving into future generations.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Hawker centres are good places to meet locals who gather here for their daily coffee / tea and favourite dish. Most food centres are very laid back and relaxing, especially during off peak. Many meet regularly to catch up on the neighbourhood news so hawker centres are like organic community centres. Humble it may be, the hawker centre is part and parcel of life and living in Johor.

Hawker centres in Johor Bahru have little media and social media exposure. So, they remain almost exclusively local haunts. If you like to go local during your travels, a JB hawker centre is as local as you can possibly get.

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Just note a bit on protocol - relax, there is nothing to it really. When you arrive, first find an available table. In Johor (and Malaysia), sharing a table with strangers is the norm during peak hours. Don't worry about being uncomfortable with strangers. Locals are friendly and welcoming - the kampung (village) spirit is alive and well. I appreciate the opportunity for many interesting conversations with locals at hawker centres - they give me many foodie tips like what are their favourite stalls 😄

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Order your food at the food stall and return to your table. The hawkers will eyeball where you are seated and bring your food to you when it is ready. (Some stalls may issue you an order number tag for easy identification.) Pay the hawker when the food to served to you. When you are done and after you leave, staff will clear your table for the next customer.

Here is the list of Johor hawker centres which I have visited before (needless to say, there are still many which I have not visited yet). For each hawker centre, I highlighted the stalls which I have tried and liked (again, there are many stalls which I have yet to try. Recommend me your favourites - help me to find the best hawker food in Johor hawker centres 😄 )

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre - One of JB's largest hawker centres with over 100 food stalls, the popular ones include Yap Wan Tan Mee, Lim Beef Mee, Penang Char Kway Teow, AB Rahmat Nasi Ambeng, and more.

Address: Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru 
GPS1°29'13.4"N 103°46'05.0"E ðŸŒ 1.487056, 103.768063

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Medan Selera Bomba Larkin Hawker Centre - The famous Kacang Pool Haji with many branches now was founded here. The humble parent stall is still here. 

Address: Susur 5, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Johor Baru
GPS1°29'08.0"N 103°45'00.3"E ðŸŒ 1.485543, 103.750094

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Taman Tasek Hawker Centre - Kway teow kia is one of JB's iconic dishes. In this food centre, we can find one of JB's most popular kway teow kia stalls. I like the feel of this hawker centre as it is surrounded and shaded by huge leafy trees.

Address: Jalan Tasek near the Maybank branch  
GPS:  1°29'07.4"N 103°43'21.3"E ðŸŒ 1.485377, 103.722583  

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Tepian Tebrau Hawker Centre - A very popular food centre famous for its many Malay style grilled fish stalls. Top stalls here include Tip Top Ikan Bakar and Ayong Ikan Bakar.

Address: Jalan Mohd. Amin, Sri Gelam, Johor Bahru  
GPS: 1°27'40.0"N 103°44'17.4"E ðŸŒ 1.461102, 103.738157

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Taman Serene Hawker Centre - Home to several iconic food stalls which JB folks grew up with including Tan Kee ice kacang with chocolate sauce.

Address: Jalan Biru, Taman Serene, Johor Bahru
GPS1°28'20.0"N 103°46'28.4"E 🌐 1.472221, 103.774558

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Selara Mahsuri Hawker Centre - Mat Corner, one of JB's most popular nasi ambeng stalls is here.

Address: Off Jalan Padi Mahsuri 13 (opposite SMK Bandar Baru Uda), Bandar Baru Uda, Johor Bahru
GPS1°29'42.2"N 103°43'08.7"E ðŸŒ 1.495056, 103.719080

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Taman Ungku Tun Aminah Hawker Centre - I just stumbled upon Rosli Roti Canai here.

Address: Beside Block 59, Jalan Perkasa 1, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Skudai, Johor 
GPS: 1°30'27.9"N 103°39'06.6"E 🌐 1.507737, 103.651836

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Pasar Awam Taman Johor - So far, I've tried the Hakka lei cha and the traditional braised duck stalls here. I like both of them as they are old school and delicious.

Address: Jalan Ledang, Taman Johor, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.508579, 103.690554 🌐 1°30'30.9"N 103°41'26.0"E

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Meden Selera Taman Johor Jaya - If you crave for Foochow dishes, there is a stall here serving authentic Hock Chew food

Address: Jalan Dedap 20, Taman Johor Jaya, JB, Malaysia 
GPS: 1°32'27.6"N 103°48'09.3"E ðŸŒ 1.541006, 103.802582

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Kulai Hawker Centre (Jalan Raja) - I like the Indian food stall Restoran Murugan here. It still serves banana leaf rice with free flow of curry vegetables.

Address: Jalan Raja, off Jalan Besar, Batu 19, Kulai Besar, Kulai, Johor 
GPS1°39'12.5"N 103°36'35.0"E ðŸŒ 1.653477, 103.609720

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Sri Kulai Hawker Centre - The stall I like here is ç”Ÿè®°å»æ²™, a local favourite laksa loaded with fresh blood cockles.

Address: Junction of Jalan Bunga Raya 4 and Jalan Bunga Santalia, Taman Sri Kulai Baru 1, Kulaijaya, Johor 
GPS1°39'59.3"N 103°35'23.8"E ðŸŒ 1.666480, 103.589951

Popular Hawker Centres in Johor Bahru Malaysia

Gerai Jalan Mah Choo - This hawker centre in Yong Peng is most famous for their traditional braised duck stall 永平鸭肉.

Address: 2, Jalan Sekolah Melayu, Taman Selatan, Yong Peng, Johor 
GPS: 2°00'59.8"N 103°03'45.8"E 🌐 2.016599, 103.062711


Meldrum Walk

Meldrum Walk - Not strictly a hawker centre but dozens of mobile food stalls in a dingy back lane. Many of these decades old heritage hawker gems were originally from Pasar Kia Hawker Centre, the first city council run hawker centre in Johor Bahru built in the 1970s. Pasar Kia HC was demolished in the 1990s to make way for redevelopment. The hawker stalls were moved to the nearby back lane where they remained till this day. Here you'll find the best orh luak (oyster omelette) in Malaysia and Singapore, one of the best kway teow kia in JB, and the largest collection of top notch Indian style mutton soup in Malaysia and Singapore.

Address: Back lane between Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Jalan Meldrum, Johor Bahru (less than 5 minutes walk from City Square Mall)
GPS1°27'36.1"N 103°45'52.9"E 🌐 1.460035, 103.764699

First Edition Date: 6 Oct 2018

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for compiling this. Very excited to go exploring these places.


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