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

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Legency Mee Jawa & Curry Mee • A Taste of North Peninsula Malaysia @ Blk 128 Toa Payoh

Buddy SP who hails from Penang was thrilled by Legency's Jawa mee which is her hometown's iconic comfort food. SP has been living in Singapore for several years and she said Legency's Jawa mee is as authentic as it gets here. I am thrilled by SP infectious enthusiasm, although truth be told, I tried Jawa mee in Johor before and wasn't overly excited then.

Stall name: Legency Jawa Mee 传奇

Address: Blk 128 Lor 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310128

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Braddell station

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

Lai Hin Fishball Kway Teow Mee @ Bukit Merah Central Food Centre • Noodle from the Heart 来興鱼圆果条面

Stalking Bukit Merah Central Food Centre, I noticed that Lai Hin Fishball Noodle is consistently the stall enjoying the longest queue in the sprawling hawker centre with some sixty to seventy Stalls. Couldn't resist joining the queue to see what Lai Hin is about.

Stall name: Lai Hin Fishball Kway Teow Mee 来興鱼圆果条面

Address: 163 Bukit Merah Central, #02-11, Singapore 150163

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Redhill station

Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Che' Rose Nasi Padang @ Blk 128 Toa Payoh • Best Rendang in Singapore?

Nasi Padang stalls always pique my curiosity, it always has a certain pull at my heart strings. The colourful spread, aroma of spices, the craving for a good rendang. 

Che' Rose's signboard declares that it was founded in 1968 and immodestly, "Probably the Best Rendang in Singapore". The presence of matriarch Che' Rose at the stall made the stall even more enticing.

Stall name: Che' Rose Nasi Padang

Address: Blk 128 Lor 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310128

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Braddell station

Tel: 8102 7855

Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm (Fri off | closed at 2pm on Sat & Sun)

Hup Kee Fishball @ Blk 158 Ang Mo Kio • Malaysia Style Handmade Fishball Noodle in Singapore 合记鱼丸

Stumbled upon the long and growing queue at Hup Kee Fishball stall at the Hong Kong Street Zhen Ji coffee shop at Blk 158 Ang Mo Kio (5 minutes walk from Mayflower MRT station). This was our third food trail stop and fishball wasn't on the agenda. But, we went for it anyway as our curiosity was killing us - we can't wait to find out what Hup Kee was all about, why it commands a constant queue.

Stall name: Malaysian Hup Kee Fishball Noodle 合记鱼丸

Address: 158 Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, #01-590, Singapore 560158

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Mayflower station

Tel: 8812 2138

Hours: 8:00am - 12:00 noon (Mon off)

History of Peranakan Itek Tim • Salted Vegetable Duck Soup 土生華人咸菜鸭汤 • 炖鸭汤


I love kiam chye ark or salted vegetable duck soup (actually I love everything duck 😬 ). In Singapore, this savoury sourish duck soup dish is rarely found in hawker stalls. The favourite of most people is sold at Hup Seng Duck Rice at Blk 22, Sin Ming Road.

25 Minced Meat Noodle @ Bukit Merah Central Treasures Coffee Shop • Bak Chor Mee Best Newcomer 2022

Came to try 25 Minced Pork Noodle after hearing so many friends recommend it. 25 is the favourite bak chor mee of many of my buddies.

Stall name: No. 25 Minced Meat Noodle

Address: Bukit Merah Central, Blk 161, #01-3749, Singapore 150161 (Treasures coffee shop)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Redhill station

Tel: 90368744

Hours: 10:00am - 3:00pm (Sun off)

Fascination & Kitchen in Masai • Hidden Western Food Gem in Johor Bahru

Catching up with Carol today, we went to Fascination & Kitchen restaurant in Masai, one of her favourites in JB. Carol has been a fan of Fascination & Kitchen since before Covid. The Western cuisine restaurant in a residential part of JB away from the tourist belt pulled through the pandemic and now enjoys near capacity crowds with its quality fare at reasonable prices in a simple yet warm and elegant setting.

Restaurant name: Fascination & Kitchen

Address: 39, Jalan Bina 1, Bandar Baru Seri Alam, 81750 Masai, Johor

Tel: 07 382 2069

Hours: 12:00 noon - 10:00pm (opens at 11am on Sat & Sun | Mon off)

JD Wan Tan Mee @ Mount Austin • New Takes on Tradition 简单云吞面 总行

Wandering around Taman Mount Austin during the "dead zone" between 2pm to 5pm when most restaurants take their afternoon breaks in JB, I stumbled upon JD Wan Tan Mee. I am always curious about successful one dish restaurants as it takes a lot of self confidence to put all of one's eggs in one basket. Anyway, JD Wan Tan Mee opens from 12 noon to 12 midnight, so it was my lifesaver today when I was famished at 4pm.

Restaurant name: JD Wan Tan Mee  简单云吞面 总行

Address: 47, Jalan Mutiara Emas 9/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

Tel: 011 3333 3789

Hours: 12:00 noon - 12:00 midnight

Mee Hoon Kueh with Fried Fish in Johor Jaya Hawker Centre • Ong Yoke Ying Stall 佳佳咖啡店

Wandering around Johor Jaya, I stumbled upon customers enjoying this mee hoon kueh and fried fish nugget combo. Curious, I went to order for myself but it was sold out  It was almost 2pm then.

Stall name: Ong Yoke Ying  佳佳咖啡店

Address: Taman Johor Jaya hawker centre, Jalan Dedap 20, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

Tel: 016 722 8033

Hours: 8:30am - 4:00pm (Mon off)

Famous Food in Pangkor Island • Portuguese Seafood BBQ • Ikan Bakar Portugis

Ikan Bakar Portugis is one of the best known food stalls in Pangkor Island in Perak state of Malaysia. I love BBQ stingray and like the so-called Portuguese way of grilling the fish in sambal and the fish's own juices wrapped in banana leaf and aluminum foil.

Stall name:  Ikan Bakar Portugis

Address: 5, Tingkat Seri Pangkor 2, 32300 Pulau Pangkor, Perak

Tel: 017 299 8722

Hours: 5:00pm - 11:30pm

90 Year Old Senai Noodle Shop with Coconut Shell Fired Stove 士乃干捞面


This is a quaint little shop well known among Senai residents for its old school noodle and stove fired by coconut shells.

Stall name: Senai Noodles 士乃干捞面

Address: 44-42, Lorong 2, Taman Bahagia, 81400 Senai, Johor, Malaysia (beside Senai Proton Anggerik Motor)

Hours: 8:00am - 3:00pm (Fri off)

History of Fried Oyster Omelette • Orh Luak • Orh Chien • A Dish Born of Famine 蚝烙 • 蠔煎


Known as orh chien in Hokkien and orh luak in Teochew, oyster omelette is like a minor luxury as it costs more than a typical serving of noodles in Singapore and Malaysia. The dish is still commonly found in Singapore though not every hawker centre has an orh chien or orh luak stall. Most Teochew or Hokkien restaurants have oyster omelette on their menu as it is popular among Singaporeans.

Though a slightly premium hawker dish today, orh chien / orh luak was actually created during famine in southern China. The dish helped fed people during famine and survived in the cuisine of southern China (and Southeast Asia) to this day.

Jiangsu Grand Canal Promotion Conference • Touring the Eight Canal Cities of Jiangsu through their Cuisine


I have very fond memories of my visits to China's Jiangsu province, so I was excited to be invited to attend the Jiangsu Grand Canal Culture and Tourism Promotion Conference. The event hosted by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture of China was organised by Jiangsu Tourism (Singapore & Malaysia) Promotion Centre on 8 Sep 2022 at the Jiangnan-themed Nanjing Impressions restaurant at Plaza Singapura, Orchard Road. (Visiting Nanjing Impressions' Nanjing headquarters was one of my best memories of Jiangsu province.)

In Search of Old School Mee Goreng Mamak in Singapore • An Unending Journey We Hope

Three of us were at a mamak stall sipping teh tarik halia keras kurang kurang manis (pulled milk tea with extra ginger juice and as little milk as possible. By our order, you can guess our age 😬 ). Somehow our conversation drifted to how difficult it is today to get a mee goreng mamak like the ones we had when we were growing up.

169 Hainanese Chicken Rice • Silky Smooth, Juicy Soft Chicken, Top Notch Rice @ Chinatown Food Centre


✍ 13 Sep 2022. After my MRI at National Heart Centre today, I took a short walk to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, about 10 minutes away. Yeah..., I walk everywhere even if sometimes it is not within walking distance for most people. I walked from Eunos to Chinatown a few times (stop, eat, go, repeat). I walked many cities around the world this way but that's a story for another post.

Anyway, it was worth the short walk as today I was rewarded with an excellent chicken rice.

Stall name: 169 Hainanese Chicken Rice 

Address: 335 Smith Street, stall #02-169, Singapore 050335 (Chinatown Complex Food Centre red zone)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Chinatown station

Hours: 11:00am - 2:00pm (Weds off, close at 1pm on Sat & Sun)

Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup • Kembangan Changi Road Zhi Char with over 100 Dishes


Every time I passed by Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup on a bus or in a car, I see a big milling crowd and full house - it makes me hungry 🤤 I told myself that I must come here, one day.

So when I saw buddy Cat shared her visit to Seng Kee on Facebook, we quickly arranged an encore with a few more kakis (buddies).

Restaurant name: Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup

Address: 475 Changi Rd, Singapore 419892

Nearest MRT: 3 minutes walk from Kembangan station

Tel: 6746 4089

Hours: 11:30am - 2:00am

Free & Easy Ipoh Tour • Hire Good Car with Safe Reliable Driver & Expert Local Guide


Ipoh is a rustic old town renown for their Malaysian style Cantonese cuisine. Tourists flock here for Ipoh white coffee, dim sum, hor fun, chee cheong fun, gai si hor fun, chicken rice, roasts, bean curd, etc in quaint old coffee shops. Ipoh also have a hip and modern side hence it is widely appealing to visitors of all ages.

Ping Xiang Wanton Mee @ Toa Payoh Blk 93 Palm Spring Market • Crunchy Noodle & Unique Flavours 品香云吞面


This was the second stop this morning of our Toa Payoh food safari. People have described this style of WTM as Malaysia wanton mee but it is not - to me it is Ping Xiang's own unique take on the dish and I like it 😋 Malaysia black sauce wanton mee tastes different 😬

Stall name: Ping Xiang Wanton Mee 品香云吞面

Address: Stall #01-46, 93 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310093

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Braddell station

Tel: 9755 7741

Hours: 5:00am - 1:00pm (Mon off)

Toa Payoh Macpherson Teochew Bak Chor Mee @ Blk 95 Lor 4 • Rediscovering my Childhood Places


Stalking Toa Payoh Lor 4 today. I know this area well as I grew up in Toa Payoh in the 1960s to 70s and my childhood friends live in blocks 96 and 98. A lot have changed since then, so I have to rely on buddy Wei on the current good eats here.

Stall name: Macpherson Teochew Bak Chor Mee

Address: Blk 95 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310095

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Braddell station

Hours: 8:00am - 2:00pm (Tues off)

Sin Anteli Cafe • Klang Star Hokkien Prawn Noodle 巴生明星虾面

Sin Anteli Cafe in Klang near Kuala Lumpur serves a limited edition Hokkien noodle which is very popular with locals. 

(Known as Hokkien noodle in Penang, this dish is called prawn noodle outside Penang such as in Klang and in Singapore.)

Stall name: Sin Anteli Cafe

Address: 50 Jalan Tapah (off Jalan Goh Hock Huat), Kawasan 18, 41400 Klang, Selangor

Hours: 3:00pm - 12:00 midnight (Hokkien noodle only on Saturday)

True Cost Suntec Singapore • Is it Worth the Cover Charge?


True Cost Singapore was launched three months ago with a bold and novel concept of charging a nominal cover charge for entrance. In return, patrons enjoy premium dishes and beverages in a beautiful setting in a prime city location at a pocket friendly price (substantially lower than at similar restaurants in the city centre).

Is it worth the money, calories and time?

I share with you my experience and let you be the judge.

Restaurant name: True Cost SG

Address: 3 Temasek Blvd, #03-302/303 Suntec City, Singapore 038983 (@ rooftop Sky Garden)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Promenade station

Tel: 8894 0615

Hours: 12:00 noon to 11:00pm

Best of Margaret Drive Hawker Centre · People's Favourite Food Stalls


Singapore's newest hawker centre, the spanking new Margaret Drive Hawker Centre with 38 food stalls opened in Aug 2022 but it has much older roots. MDHC was one of my favourite haunts for lunch and supper when I was working and living nearby in the 1980s. Despite its name, very few of the stalls at the new MDHC came from the old Margaret Drive food centre. Most stalls are from Tanglin Halt Food Centre which is slated for en bloc redevelopment.

After stalking MDHC for over a month, these stalls are the most popular with the folks here and I enjoyed them too.

Margaret Drive Hawker Centre

Address: 38A Margaret Drive, Singapore 142038

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Queenstown station

Tora Tora Tora in Oxley BizHub 2 · Giant Tuna Fish Head @ Hidden Japanese Restaurant & Rooftop Bar in Ubi Industrial Estate


This was the largest fish head I ever had and it is marvellously delicious. The happening place, good friends, great drinks and delicious Japanese dishes at Tora Tora Tora made the evening 
fun and an absolute pleasure.

Restaurant name: Tora Tora Tora

Address: 62 Ubi Road 1, #11-19, Singapore 408734 (Oxley BizHub 2, level 11 rooftop)

Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Tai Seng station

Tel: 9852 9148

Hours: 6:00pm - 1:00am (Mon off)

Tora Tora Tora 🐯 Website