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

Knowing its history makes food more delicious 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

Tony Boey Johor Kaki Food Blogger Connects People, Places & Cuisines with History


What is Johor Kaki about?

I am on a quest to understand how food connects people and places across time, especially in Singapore, Johor, Malacca and Riau islands.

Johor Kaki blog was read 59,000,000+ times as at Mar 2023


Johor Kaki started in 2012 as a space where I share my eating experiences in Johor. Soon, the inter-connections between the cuisines of Johor, Singapore, Malacca and the Riau islands became clear to me. The roots of our shared food heritage became even more apparent when I delved further into our region's history.


Back in 1299, Sang Nila Utama, a Palembang prince founded the kingdom of Singapura. In 1398, Parameswara the fifth king of Singapura fled to Malacca to escape invaders from Java. There he founded the Malacca Sultanate in 1400.

In 1511, the Portuguese conquered Malacca and Sultan Mahmud Shah moved to the Riau islands. In 1528, his son Sultan Alauddin Shah II established the Johor Sultanate. The Dutch kicked the Portuguese out of Malacca in 1641. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)


In 1819, Raffles signed the Singapore Treaty with Sultan Hussein of Johor to establish a trading post at Singapore River. To develop the port of Singapore, Raffles brought in immigrants from India and China. All these historical milestones of our region, all flow in a river of time everyone of us share.

I am fascinated by how our common history connects us through the culinary heritage of Singapore, Johor, Malacca, Sumatra and the Riau islands. Johor Kaki is dedicated to uncovering and sharing how our region is connected through time by our food heritage, hence you will read about food, people, places and history of Singapore, Johor, Malacca, and the Riau islands in Johor Kaki blog.

Reader comment in Johor Kaki blog

The food in this area is today separated by international boundaries (but appreciation of food is borderless). The food is diverse yet there exists an underlying unity and commonality due to shared history. Through history of the food, I am rediscovering the old ties that once bind us.

Reader message to Johor Kaki

As I strive to be as accurate as possible, my writing will often come across as "honest raw" to readers.


In 2013, I received the best food blog award from Ng Yen Yen, Malaysia Minister of Tourism.


Also in 2013, I received the best food blog award from Lawrence Wong, Singapore Second Minister for Communications and Information.


In 2014, I received the best food blog award from Sim Ann, Singapore Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information, and Ministry of Education.

Through past interviews you can see how Johor Kaki evolved during the last 9 years - from being Johor food-centric to include people and places, and how time (shared history) holds everything together in Johor, Singapore, Malacca and the Riau islands.


In 2016, I shared how Johor Kaki blog started in this interview with Malaysia's MAGISTRATE magazine in conjunction with the launch of my guidebook Find Dining with Johor Kaki.


In 2017, in an interview with Malaysia's Malay Mail newspaper, I shared what Johor Kaki blog is about and what inspired me.

In this interview for Singapore National Heritage Festival in 2019, I shared how I went about uncovering the stories of Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre in Singapore.

Johor Kaki has collaborated with and provided content to BBC, National Geographic Traveller, CNA,, American Express, AirAsia, NHB, URA, NTV7 Malaysia, MyPaper, Iskandarian, Travelution, MediaCorp 938LIVE, Capital 95.8FM, MediaCorp Channel 8, Channel 5, UFM100.3, World Street Food Congress, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Temasek Polytechnic, national tourism authorities (e.g. Australia, Poland, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam etc), independent film makers, and others.

I also translate Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew) video content into English so that more people can access the richness of Chinese culinary culture. It is also part of my own continuous learning journey. 

For speaking engagements or research projects contact

Follow me on Instagram.


Date: 28 Oct 2020

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments submitted with genuine identities are published