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

Adventurous Culinary Traveler's Blog with 64 million+ reads 📧

Tiong Bahru Min Nan Prawn Noodle ● Pro Tip: Ask For Bak Kut Mee


Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre is my office today ☕ For breakfast, I chose Min Nan Prawn Noodle. The queue was constantly about 10 deep but moved along steadily.

Stall name: Min Nan 闽南 Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodles 

Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, stall #02-31, Singapore 168898 (stall inside Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Havelock station

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

Soon Heng Famous Toa Payoh HDB Hub Rojak ● Still Going Strong Decades On

I know this famous Toa Payoh HDB Hub Rojak quite well. I mean decades ago when I had to go to the HDB HQ to run errands, I had this popular rojak a few times.

Stall name: Soon Heng Rojak

Address: 480 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, B1-23 Gourmet Paradise Foodcourt, HDB Hub, Singapore 310480

Nearest MRT: At Toa Payoh station

Hours: 11:00am - 9:30pm

Grandfather Food Empire Bak Chor Mee @ Queen Street Bugis Area Coffee Shop 爺爺香菇肉碎面

Had a seminar to attend at 3pm and feeling famish, I looked dashed around the Qwan Im Temple area (Bugis) and stumbled upon a corner coffee shop.

Stall name: Grandfather Food Empire Bak Chor Mee 爺爺香菇肉碎面

Address: Queen St, #269B, Singapore 182269 (stall inside 8383 Eating Place coffee shop)

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Bugis station

Tel: 9140 0009

Hours: 7:30am - 3:45pm

Singapore & Malaysia Bak Kut Teh History 肉骨茶的歷史


Bak kut teh can be found in both Singapore and Malaysia though they differ in form and taste. Generally, the Malaysian variety is savoury herbal in brownish soup while the Singapore version is peppery in lighter colour soup. 

History of Sambal ● Is There Sambal Before the Portuguese? From Piper to Capsicum

The spicy hot relish known as sambal is ubiquitous in Indonesian, Malaysian and Singapore cuisine. Sambal can be a condiment or an ingredient in a dish (e.g. sambal kang kong, sambal squid, etc).

Sambal likely came from the Javanese word sambel. The spicy relish is found throughout Nusantara (Malay archipelago) in many varieties, localised according to local taste and availability of ingredients. 

History of Nasi Lemak & Nasi Uduk ● What is the Difference?

Is this nasi lemak or nasi uduk?

Malaysia's nasi lemak and Indonesia's nasi uduk are often considered the same dish. Nasi lemak is ubiquitous in Malaysia and Singapore, while nasi uduk is a staple in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Nasi lemak means "fatty rice" in Malay and nasi uduk means "mixed rice" in the Indonesian Batawi dialect. How are nasi lemak and nasi uduk related, and what does that relationship tell us about the history of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore?

By the way, the photo above is a nasi uduk box set from Jakarta. Clockwise from top left - shredded fried chicken, coconut milk rice, shredded fried tempe, shredded fried egg, cucumber slices.

Azme Corner Nasi Lemak ● Hidden Gem Uncovered @ Bedok Blk 122

Buddy jio (invited) me to join him to try out a nasi lemak stall in Bedok, popular with locals (but still keeping a low profile below the social media radar).

Stall name: Azme Corner Nasi Lemak

Address: Bedok North Street 2, Block 122, Singapore 460122

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Bedok station

Tel: 9799 5438

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

Smokin' Joe ● Good Steaks for the People @ Yishun Park Hawker Centre

I first heard about Joe when a New York Post article declared that Smokin' Joe's fish and chips at Urban Hawker is the best in New York City 😮

Stall name: Smokin' Joe - Western BBQ Charcoal Grill

Address: Yishun Park Hawker Centre stall #01-37, 51 Yishun Ave 11, S768867

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Yishun station

Hours: 12:00 noon - 9:00pm

Pande Egi Babi Guling in Gianyar • One of Bali's Best According to Locals

My trips to Bali always have the Bali food icon babi guling on the agenda 😬 Our buddy Budi, who is born and raised in Bali brought us to Pande Egi Babi Guling in Gianyar, which is about 30 minutes drive north from the Ubud tourist hub.

Restaurant name: Warung Babi Guling Pande Egi

Address: Banjar Pande, Beng, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80513, Indonesia

Tel: +62 878 8332 8808

Hours: 8:00am - 9:00pm

Overpriced? Overcharged? Singapore Hawkers

Once in a while, my blog posts on certain hawker stalls will attract a curt retort, "Overpriced". I normally don't reply to such one word "comments" because pricing is a complex, even subjective issue which I feel cannot be dismissed with one or two sweeping words. (I learned from business classes decades ago that pricing makes or breaks a business.)

But, I just need to get this off my chest, even if I am walking on very thin ice.

Toa Payoh Blk 177 Hui Wei Prawn Noodle & Lor Mee 回味蝦麵滷麵

Buddy Tim raved about Hui Wei prawn noodle and lor mee at Toa Payoh Blk 177 coffee shop for two days in a row. He's normally not so effusive, so I was really curious to try them 😃

Impromptu jio-ed (invited) Tim and Aaron to go down to check out Tim's latest discovery.

Stall name: Hui Wei Prawn Noodle Lor Mee 回味

Address: Blk 177 Toa Payoh Central, #01-170, Singapore 310177 (stall inside Epic Haus coffee shop)

Nearest MRT: Five minutes walk from Toa Payoh station

Hours: 7:00am - 1:00pm

Ponggol Nasi Lemak @ Kovan ● Iconic Singapore Chinese Coconut Rice Since 1979

I have a friend who is constantly raving about Ponggol Nasi Lemak. I, on the other hand, am not a fan. Had it once in the 1990s at their Tanjong Katong outlet but never went back since. 

It felt too much like "chap cai png" except for rice cooked with coconut milk. "Chap cai png" was what I endured during the worst work day lunches when I had no time to enjoy my food at leisure because of pressing deadlines.

Stall name: Ponggol Nasi Lemal (Kovan outlet)

Address: 965 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534721

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes from Kovan station

Tel: 6281 0020

Hours: 5:00pm - 12:00 midnight (Thurs off)

Fabulous Faloodeh ● Did Cendol Come from an Ancient Persian Cold Dessert?

In Iran, there is an ancient cold sweet dessert known as "Faloodeh". In its simplest form, it is rice or wheat vermicelli (noodles), rose water, sugar syrup and ice. "Faloodeh" goes back to 400 BC i.e. it is more than 2600 years ago.

Li Xin Fishball Noodle @ Toa Payoh Kim Keat Palm ● Best Fishball Noodle for $3.50 立兴潮洲魚丸粿條面

Got up at the crack of dawn for Toa Payoh's famous Li Xin Fishball Noodle. The fishballs, though machine made, were quite tasty. The noodles come with a nice robustly savoury, tangy, spicy, lardy sauce.

Stall name: LiXin Chao Zhou Fishball Noodle 立兴潮洲魚丸粿條面

Address: 22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, stall #01-20, Singapore 310019 (inside Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Braddell station

Hours: 7:00am - 1:00pm (Mon, Tues, Weds off)

Chiderful "Private Chef" @ Dingy Old City Plaza 吃淂福 ● Ability to Take Hardship & to Eat are Blessings

We gathered at Chiderful @ City Plaza for lunch. Catherine's friend tried it, so Catherine went to try, Chua followed Catherine, liked it, went back a few times with his wife, and today seven of us showed up 😀 We all enjoyed ourselves. Yeah, that's typically how we uncover favourite makan (eating) places - the slow, old way 😬

Personally, I like everything slow - slow food, slow travel, slow conversations.... (yeah, I know, the choice of slow is a luxury of the privileged in today's world 🙏 )

Stall name: Chiderful Eating House 吃淂福

Address: Shop #02-73 City Plaza, 810 Geylang Road, Singapore 409286

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Paya Lebar station

Tel: 9895 9972

Hours: 1:00pm - 9:00pm (Mon off)