Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore, Johor, Toronto based blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, places, people & overSixty lifestyle

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Cuisine in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

My friend Puan Chong who lives around Kulai / Senai often suggests to me nice places to eat there, which she has tried with her family. Last night, she invited me to join her family at Kulai Wengyaoji 古來甕窯雞.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

If you are like me who is a fan of Taiwanese food shows, you would have seen episodes about 甕窯雞 wengyaoji which is marinated chicken baked in wood fired clay or brick ovens. The hub of wengyaoji in Taiwan is in 宜蘭 Yilan County about 1 hour drive from Taipei City - there are dozens of wengyaoji restaurants in Yilan. Taipei City folks like to take the scenic leisurely drive to rural Yilan for the famous baked chicken - it's a popular day trip / excursion for city folks.



I am excited to visit Kulai Wengyaoji as now we can be just like fortunate Taipei folks by taking the 1 to 1.5 hour drive from Singapore / Johor Bahru to rural Kulai for chicken baked in wood fired brick ovens.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Kulai Wengyaoji is run by Mr. Liew 刘浚发 and his family. Mr. Liew's family makes clay / cement / brick kitchen stoves for village homes around Kulai / Senai - a business started by his father. Mr. Liew who worked outstation for decades, retired at age 56 and returned to his family home to look after his elderly mother. Mr. Liew loves to cook for family and friends. Inspired by the wengyaoji restaurants he saw in Taiwan, Mr. Liew built his own brick oven at his family home in Kulai.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

At first, Mr. Liew only invited his family and friends to enjoy the chicken, pork ribs, pork knuckles baked in his wood fired brick oven. Soon, word got around about the baked chicken and Mr. Liew's special brick oven. Many townsfolk in Kulai and Senai want a chance to taste it.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

So, Mr. Liew opened his home based restaurant to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To this day, eating at Kulai Wengyaoji is by reservation only by calling ☎ 016 777 7760.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Over twenty tables, all full. It looked like the whole town came down for dinner this Saturday night.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

First dish to arrive was salted baked red tilapia. The fish came encased in a pod of salt. Meryl did the honours to break open the salt pod to reveal the plump tilapia fish inside.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

The tilapia fish was meaty and soft. Its subtle natural sweetness was complemented by gentle savoury saltiness from the salt. There was no fishy taste or smell from the fresh tilapia.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Next, the signature wengyaoji or baked chicken (price RM48). The baked chicken had a slight crisp outside. The inside was tender. Most of the savoury sweet flavour was on the skin, while the inside had a bit of natural chicken sweetness.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

During my visit, Mr. Liew's younger brother 刘振发 did most of the cooking with the brick oven.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Nearly three foot long baked pork ribs (price RM68 - top value for money).

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

I like the savoury sweet BBQ sauce which enveloped the outside and infused the fibres of the rib. I could taste a bit of smokey flavour outside and the natural porky sweetness in the meat which I like. This BBQ ribs would be perfect if there was a little more fat and moistness in the ribs.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

There were also several non baked dishes like this battered fried sea bass (price RM55).

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Nice crispy fried battered fish meat and skin. The mild savoury sweet batter allows us to take a bit of the natural fish sweetness. Eat with the savoury sourish spicy dip.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

I like this Ikan Patin stewed in soy sauce with julienned ginger, chili pepper and chives (price RM50).

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

I always love Ikan Patin dishes and this one by wengyaoji was really good. The meaty white flesh's natural sweetness was complemented by slight savouriness of the soy sauce. The ginger and chili pepper added a bit of mild heat. We especially enjoyed the silky smooth fat found around the belly. There was no earthly taste in the fish.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Large prawns in asam pedas (price RM90).

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Simple steamed ladies' finger (price RM15).

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Herbal mutton soup (RM60). The mutton was quite stiff from prolong double boiling but the herbal soup was quite tasty as the herbal flavours and aroma masked most of the mutton's gaminess.

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Cuisine in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Menu with prices.

Puan Chong kindly translated the menu into English (same serial numbers).

1. KILN ROASTED CHICKEN 
2. KILN ROASTED DUCK 
3. KILN ROASTED PIG’S TROTTER 
4. SALT BAKED RED TILAPIA 
5. HERBAL KAMPUNG CHICKEN SOUP 
6. HERBAL RADISH MUTTON SOUP 
7. HERBAL THREADFIN SOUP 
8. PINEAPPLE & BITTER GOURD CHICKEN SOUP 
9. CURRY TIGER PRAWNS 
10. FRAGRANT HONG KONG STYLE PAN-FRIED PRAWNS 
11. ASAM PEDAS PRAWNS 
12. KILN BAKED GINGER RED SNAPPER 
13. PATIN BRAISED IN PREMIUM SOY SAUCE 
14. CRISPY THAI STYLE SQUIDS 
15. CRISPY DEEP-FRIED SIAKAP (SEA BASS) 
16. HONG KONG STYLE STEAMED LADIES FINGERS 
17. STIR FRIED FRENCH BEANS 
18. TAIWANESE 3-CUP (SAN BEI) STYLE BRINJAL
19. STIR FRIED LONG BEANS WITH DRIED PRAWNS 
20. VEGETARIAN DISH OF CABBAGE, CARROT & BLACK FUNGUS 
21. THAI STYLE CRISPY BEANCURD 
22. PIG’S TRIPE (STOMACH) PEPPER SOUP 
23. KILN ROASTED PORK RIBS SLAB 
24. FRAGRANT OIL RICE 
25. PEPPERMINT LEMON DRINK 
26. CHINESE TEA: JASMINE/ PU ER/ TIE GUAN YIN/ CHA WANG 
27. CANNED SOFT DRINKS 
28. BEER

Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Recommended for you 👍 The food is nice. Prices are reasonable. But, it is the kampung ambiance and wood fired brick oven that makes Kulai Wengyaoji special. If you are going to Kulai for a food trail, this is a great dinner spot to round up your itinerary.

Thank you Puan Chong for your recommendation and dinner with your family.

More tasty places for your Kulai food trail 👈 click

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Kulai Wengyaoji. Now we can have Taiwan Style Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Dishes in Johor 古來甕窯雞

Restaurant name: Kulai Wengyaoji 古來甕窯雞 
Address: C48, Jalan Air Bemban 5, Kulai, Johor
GPS1°42'00.6"N 103°29'02.9"E 🌐 1.700157, 103.484142
Tel: 016 777 7760 ☎ 016 766 6362  012 760 6620 (strictly by appointment only)
Hours: 6:00pm - 10:30pm (Fri, Sat & Sun only)

Non Halal




Date visited: 17 Aug 2019


1 comment:

  1. I called up to book a table last week as I had invited two friends from Singapore to jb for dinner. After confirming reservation at 8.30pm, the boss asked how many pax, to which I said there were three of us. And he arrogantly told me they only do big tables and cancelled my reservation. How blardy arrogant is this people! If you look closely at the photo in this post by johorkaki you can actually see there are a table of 3 and 4 pax. Probably he got big headed after johorkaki make him famous. Sheesh!

    ReplyDelete

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