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

Cross Culture · Food · Research 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

Tangkak · Muar · JB · Johor 1-Day Getaway · Food Trail Itinerary July 2022


This day trip from Singapore to Tangkak was planned around eating durian at Mt Ophir Durian (a durian shop in Tangkak town with their own durian plantation). We set off from Singapore at 7am and arrived back in Singapore the same day at 10pm.

We had an itinerary but used it only as a reference and was prepared for changes as situation required or according to our whims and fancy (that's the flexibility and fun of a DIY trip).


The trip took us from Singapore > Johor Bahru > Tangkak > Muar > Johor Bahru and back to Singapore.

Clearing both Singapore and Malaysia immigration was a breeze as traffic was light this Weds morning. We cleared both checkpoints by 8:30am.


There are several breakfast options, we settled on Wang Xiang Noodle at Jalan Keris in Johor Bahru because it is conveniently located 10 minutes drive from the Causeway (near Sri Tebrau market). A few of us have eaten here before and like this pork noodle restaurant.


The noodles do the job of a tasty, filling breakfast that is easily accessible at this early hour. The savoury sweet pork soup was mild and flavoursome but I didn't quite like the green leafy taste from the lettuce in the soup. The pork slices, tendon, liver, etc., were fresh, cooked to the right doneness and naturally sweet. I would have loved pork kidney but didn't see it in the menu.

I couldn't finish my cup of kopi O as it was too sweet, thin and had little coffee taste. (Of course, there are many kopitiam with nice robust coffee but ordering food from individual stalls for eleven of us in a popular busy coffee shop could be messy and can lead to delays. We were on a packed schedule.)

Wang Xiang Noodle

I had some more breakfast options in mind such as Seng Steam Fish and San Lou Cafe but we decided that we had enough food and ready to get on the road to Tangkak. Tangkak is 176km or 2 hours drive from Johor Bahru.


Our destination - Mt Ophir Durian in Tangkak. It is easy to locate this shop - it is just behind the only Caltex petrol station in Tangkak.


Mt Ophir Durian's durians are from their own durian plantation. When we come to their shop in Tangkak, we get fresh durian collected the same morning.


Inside the shop, there are simple tables and benches to enjoy our durians in comfort.

Tekka durian

We had tekka and mao shan wang durians. I prefer the tekka here as it has more bitter taste than sweet, its flesh was more creamy, meaty and good value as the seeds were thumbnail size. The mao shan wang was on the sweet side, not as creamy and mostly had big round seeds.

Needless to say, durian prices are seasonal. When we were there, both mao shan wang and tekka were going for RM40 per kilo. Mt Ophir Durian's signature is "milk bottle" durian but these were not available when we were there.

Mt Ophir Durian contacts ☎ 012 653 1317 ☎ 012 227 6322 ☎ 012 659 1899.


After durian, we planned to do some shopping at the two traditional Chinese bakeries in Tangkak (Hua Bee and Tangkak Traditional Bakery) but we were caught in a heavy downpour.

Our first choice for lunch in Tangkak is the legendary Do Do Do restaurant for their beef dishes but today (Weds) was their off day. So, we decided to proceed straight to our next stop, Muar.

Merlin asam fish

Originally, for Muar, I wanted to go to either Hai Sing or Chun Hui in Parit Jawa for their asam pedas fish and other seafood dishes. However, both were closed the day we were in Muar. So, we settled on Merlin Restaurant.

Merlin was full house when we arrived (it was a small restaurant). But, turnover was quick and we soon had a big table for all 11 of us.


The last time I was in Merlin was 10 years ago. I have forgotten how their signature asam pedas fish tasted but looking back at my old post, I had it recorded as robustly sour with spicy taste. This time the dishes and flavours seemed to have changed a little.

We had both the fish tail and head since we were a big group. The tail is now made with sea bass fish while the head is still snapper fish. The fishes were very fresh. The watery asam sauce had a mild savoury taste with flavours mainly from the savoury spicy hot sambal. The sourness was only slight.


We also had sambal petai and sotong (squid), oyster omelette, otak otak, and their signature fried "dragon tongue" fish.


We always have a cafe stop for our Johor day trips though we don't specify any in the itinerary - we will just cool our heels in any cafe we chance upon.


Sai Kee Coffee 434 spans two shop lots and sports retro hip wall to wall, ceiling to floor. Kopi 434 serves traditional Nanyang coffee and also Western style brews using their own Robusta and Liberica beans from their own plantation and roaster. Kopi 434 also serves light meals like kaya toasts, mee rebus, nasi lemak, sandwiches, etc.


My usual - kopi C kosong. The cuppa was thick mainly from the evaporated milk which slightly overpowered the bitter taste of the coffee.


We overstayed at 434 Kopi as we love the ambiance and couldn't resist shopping for 434 Kopi products here.

To keep to our schedule, we skipped our planned otak otak shopping at Cheng Boi and Xiao Mei. We also skipped shopping at Claytan Tableware as they were closed just before we reached Ayer Hitam.


From Muar, we proceeded straight to The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey to do a spot of shopping before having dinner. It's a large and beautiful mall with most of the shops open for business (post pandemic) though the crowds were not big this Weds evening.


Johor Bahru has too many dinner options which gave me a minor headache deciding where to go. We chose to stay in the Mall instead of getting back into our van to search for dinner across town. We settled on Palsaik Korean BBQ. The restaurant was full house, so we had to wait in line for a table for 11 of us. Palsaik do not take reservations.


The food and service at Palsaik were alright, comparable with most similar Korean BBQ places scattered around Johor Bahru - yeah, JB is a Korean BBQ paradise.


Where Palsaik has the edge is its decor and location. Palsaik is probably the prettiest Korean BBQ in Johor Bahru. For the same food, Palsaik's prices are at a substantial premium over Korean BBQs in Bukit Indah, Pelangi and Mount Austin.


After Palsaik, we headed back to Singapore. We cleared Singapore immigration at 9:30pm and all of us reached home between 10:30pm and 11pm, as planned. Tired but we all enjoyed ourselves.


Total expenditure on food and beverage was RM180 per pax (not including transport, and personal shopping).


Breakfast in Johor Bahru


Stall name: Wang Xiang Noodle 万香生肉面 👈 click

Address: 93, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6019 291 9191

Hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (Mon off)

Johor Bahru Breakfast Option Two


Stall name: Seng Steam Fish 👈 click

Address: 120, 100, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6012 775 0511

Hours: 9:00am - 2:30pm (Mon off)

Johor Bahru Breakfast Option Three


Stall name: San Lou Cafe 
👈 click

Address: 16, Jalan Stulang Laut, Taman Stulang, 80300 Johor Bahru

Tel: +6012 791 7868

Hours: 7:00am - 2:00pm (Thurs off)

Durian in Tangkak


Stall name: Tangkak Mount Ophir Durian

Address: Unnamed Road, Taman Sentosa, 84900 Tangkak, Johor (behind Caltex Tangkak at Jalan Payamas)

Tel: ☎ +606 978 1881 ☎ 012 653 1317 ☎ 012 227 6322 ☎ 012 659 1899

Hours: By appointment

Shopping in Tangkak


Shop name: Chop Hua Bee 和美 👈 click

Address: 10, Jalan Solok, Kampung Padang Lalang, 84900 Tangkak

Tel: +6012 635 2327

Hours: 8:00am to 6:00pm (Closed on Monday)


Shop name: Tangkak Traditional Bakery 👈 click

Address: No. 22-2, Jalan Solok, Kampung Padang Lalang, Johor, 84900 Tangkak

Tel: +606 979 1804

Hours: 9:30am - 6:00pm

Lunch in Tangkak


Restaurant name: Do Do Do 👈 click

Address: No. 90 & 91, Jalan Teknologi 1, Kawasan Perindustrian Tangkak, 84900 Tangkak

Tel: +6016 236 9298

Hours: 7:30am - 4:00pm (Weds off)

Lunch Option (in Muar)


Restaurant name: 
Chun Hui 全妃亚参鱼

Address: Lorong Cempaka 5, Parit Jawa, 84150 Parit Jawa, Johor

Tel: +6019 632 0555

Hours: 11:00am - 4:00pm (Tues off)

Lunch Option (in Muar)


Restaurant name: Hai Sing Seafood 👈 click

Address: 64, Jalan Pantai, 84150 Parit Jawa, Johor

Tel: +6012 694 5564

Hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm (Weds off)


Restaurant name: Merlin 
梅林 👈 click

Address: 90, Jalan Orkid, Taman Orkid, 84000 Muar

Tel: +6012 619 2232

Hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm (Mon off)

Shopping in Muar


Address: No 28-4, Jalan Bentayan, Taman Sri Emas, 84000 Muar

Tel: +6016 644 9119

Hours: 7:00am - 4:00pm (Weds off)


Shop name: 
Xiao Mei Famous Muar Otak-Otak 麻坡正宗小妹乌达

Address: 24, Jalan Hashim, 84000 Muar

Tel: +606 952 3430

Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm

Shopping in Ayer Hitam


Shop name: Claytan Fine China (Tableware)  
👈 click

Address: No. 5449, Jalan Johor Batu 57, 86100 Ayer Hitam

Tel: +607 758 3200

Hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Shopping in Johor Bahru


Shop name: The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey

Address: 1, Persiaran Southkey 1, Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru

Tel: +607 336 9288

Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm

Dinner in Johor Bahru


Restaurant name: Siong Tong Gai 蒲种上汤街 

Address: G-150 & G-151, Ground Floor, R&F Mall, Johor Bahru

Tel: 013-876 8048 

Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm

Written by Tony Boey on 7 July 2022

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