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

Food Explorer Storyteller with 63 million+ reads 📧 johorkaki@gmail.com

Kwong Hup Cafe Lei Cha in Kuching 廣合茶餐室 双香擂茶

On our way from Kuching to Lundu, we needed a breakfast stop. SP's friend suggested lei cha or so-called thunder tea at Kwong Hup Cafe 廣合茶餐室. I was glad to go along as lei cha is one of my favourite comfort dishes, as it is so rich in flavours and tradition.

Fiz @ 21 Tanjong Pagar · Tasteful Modern Take on Traditional Malay Cuisine


Elevated Malay cuisine. 

Sedap!

I love traditional Malay food which I grew up with. Chef Hafizzul updates it with touches from his global experiences from renown fine restaurants from London, to Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, and now Singapore. I love chef Fiz's creations which delight with contemporary takes while preserving the essence of its Malay and Nusantara soul that inhabits this ancient land and the sea.

Im-Em Thai Kitchen (Formerly Dee Tongue) @ Aperia Mall

We decided to go Thai food for lunch on a whim, and Marcus suggested Im-Em Thai Kitchen at Aperia Mall near Lavender MRT station. Im-Em Thai Kitchen is the successor of the former Dee Tongue at Golden Mile Centre.

Why Does Thai Cuisine Have So Many Portuguese Sweets? Tragic History of Thailand's Queen of Desserts Maria Guyomar de Pinha

When you enjoy foi thong, the popular Thai sweet dessert of golden threads of egg yolk cooked in sugar syrup, you are keeping alive a 400 year old connection with the Ayutthaya kingdom.

Cute Thai Mung Bean Fruit Dessert @ Baan Luk Chup บ้านลูกชุบ (สาขาอรุณอมรินทร์)


When in Thailand, we all have seen this way too cute mung bean snack / dessert / candy that look like real fruits. They are known as kanom luk chup or "lovely" which they absolutely are ♥️

Jala Jala Seafood Shell Out Bucket Kuching 网红手抓海鲜

Our last dinner in Kuching was at Jala Jala Seafood 网红手抓海鲜 before catching our flight back home to Singapore. Seafood shell out or Louisiana boil restaurants were popular in Singapore and West Malaysia a while back but have since faded out.

It's a pity as seafood shell outs are such great fun, especially for parties. Fun gatherings with good friends and family is an idea that never goes out of fashion as Jala Jala Seafood so well proves.

Chu Huang Hong Kong Royal Concubine Chicken in People's Park Centre @ Chinatown MRT 厨皇香港贵妃鸡


I was quite curious about Chu Huang Royal Chicken after hearing about it, and so was glad that buddy SN jio-ed (invited) me to visit the little restaurant at People's Park Centre.

厨皇香港贵妃鸡 literally translates Chef King Hong Kong Royal Concubine Chicken.

Nimman Soi 9 Thai Hawker Stall in Tampines

We gathered at Nimman Soi 9 stall in Tampines BLK 139 (near Tampines Round Market).

Bak Kut Teh Gazetted a National Heritage of Malaysia in Mar 2024

Klang_Bak_Kut_Teh
In Malaysia, bak kut teh is a meat dish with dark soy sauce, herbs and spices

On 24 Feb 2024, Malaysia gazetted bak kut teh as one of ten dishes as national heritage objects. The other nine are:

Ho Chi Minh Quan Hai San Ut Lien · Local Preferred Seafood Restaurant 乌连海鲜餐厅

Marcus, a Vietnam foodie veteran was full of enthusiasm and eager for us to try out Ut Lien seafood restaurant. Indeed, it is the hyperlocal type of seafood place I would come back for and recommend to others. It serves excellent fresh seafood and prices are reasonable (codeword for not cheap 😄 ).

Hai Ka Lang Seafood Review @ TRX KL ● JB Branch @ Sentosa 海脚人海鲜粉

Buddy Rayner happened to be in KL and wanted to try out the famous Hai Kah Lang seafood place together. Hai Kah Lang has a new outlet right outside the spanking new, swanky TRX shopping mall. 

(Originally from Cheras KL, they also have an outlet in Taman Sentosa in Johor Bahru.)

Year of the Iron Ahat · Championing Bak Kut Teh Tea Culture in Singapore

Since the early days of bak kut teh in Singapore, BKT is enjoyed with hot Chinese tea. Bak kut teh is considered "heaty", so cups of "cooling" hot tea restore the balance in our body.

Feng Ling Cafe Famous Seafood Restaurant in Lundu Sarawak 倫樂楓林小館


Feng Ling Cafe 楓林小館 is actually a zhi char type seafood restaurant, and according to locals it is THE eating place in little Lundu town in Lundu District, Kuching Division, Sarawak.

Lingham's Historic Chili Sauce · Memories from SAF Cookhouse

Everytime I walk a supermarket aisle (I rarely do nowadays unless absolutely necessary), I would check out the chili sauce section to see if they have any Lingham's chili sauce.

It's like checking in on a good old friend and see how are things with them now.

iKKA GOYO Kaiseki @ Hidden Exquisite Gem in Amoy Street Back Lane 一花五葉


We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at iKKA GOYO. Price was SGD250++ per pax which is excellent value for authentic kaiseki experience and exquisite quality of dishes served by a master chef.

Tanyu Review @ Tampines 1 Spicy Grilled Fish 探鱼烤鱼


Had wanted to try Tanyu, the trendy spicy grilled fish chain for a long time, so I was glad that Brandon suggested meeting at their Tampines 1 outlet.

Manila Galleon · How Chocolate Connects Philippines, Mexico & Spain

When in the Philippines you may experience their tsokolate or traditional chocolate beverage. It is made with milk and tablea / pure roasted cacao. It's a frothy, rich, full body, milky, bitter sweet, chocolaty brew.

Pork Chop with Broken Rice @ Cơm Tấm An Dương Vương in Ho Chi Minh City


Buddy Marcus brought me to a chup chai png or Singapore economic rice type affordable restaurant which serves rice with lots of side dishes.

Eco Ca Phe Vietnam · Best Here is Pure Coffee Beans with Nothing Added


Vietnam is perhaps best known for pho, banh mi and ca phe or coffee. That, of course, is a gross simplification - Vietnam has a lot, a lot more than that (more next time).

Tiệm Cà Phê Linh 1975 Cafe @ Ho Chi Minh District 1 · Best Here is the Nostalgic Decor

After a satisfying brekky at Pho Viet Nam, I walked back to my hotel. Just steps away, the rustic coffee shop at the intersection of Pham Hong Thai street and Truong Dinh street caught my attention.

Stopped me in my tracks 👣

Pho Viet Nam Michelin District 1 Menu Review · Best Here is their Fresh Rice Noodle

I came here with some healthy scepticism. This wasn't really my first choice but today I have a plane to catch and I don't want to wander too far from the hotel. I also don't want hotel breakfast.

100 Year Old Traditional Teochew Bakery · Trieu Minh Hiep in Chinatown Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 赵明合

Trieu Minh Hiep 赵明合 Teochew bakery in Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown (Cho Lon) really doesn't need anymore introduction. Many people including tourists know about the century old Trieu Minh Hiep and come to buy their traditional hand made bakes for gifting.

Phở Miến Gà Kỳ Đồng · Soulful Chicken Noodle Soup in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Stumbled upon Phở Miến Gà Kỳ Đồng while on my way to a meet up. When travelling I like to walk and see where it takes me. Like the late Anthony Bourdain once said, you can't really see a city from the window of a taxi (or something to that effect).

Reboot Bistro for Singapore Food in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam


When I am overseas, I don't normally miss Singapore food because I am eager to explore the local cuisine. But, I know many people who crave for the taste and smell of Singapore food, especially people who have to be away for long periods of time. I would be keen to try Singapore food overseas too, if I am abroad for a long time.

Snakehead Fish Porridge · Cháo Cá Lóc Cây Sung · 55km Southwest of Ho Chi Minh City


Secretly, it was quite a relief for me that we decided to have fish porridge for dinner. I had eaten way too much the last few days in Ho Chi Minh City and besides, I love fish and porridge 😁

Pork Noodle Hủ Tíu Mì Cật in Ho Chi Minh City District 1, Vietnam

Buddy Marcus was raving about this Vietnamese noodle shop. Marcus is an independent foodie, meaning he prefers to seek out his own favourites rather than rely on guidebooks or influencers. He travels widely from America, to Europe and Asia, and has been in Vietnam many times in the last decade.

Hủ tíu mì (rice noodle) shops are common in Ho Chi Minh City but this Hủ Tíu Mì Cật is Marcus' favourite.

Michelin Chicken Rice · Ruenton Restaurant Review & Menu · Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok


I was as excited as a child when we decided to go to Ruenton Restaurant for their famous chicken rice (khao man gai), touted as Bangkok's answer to Singapore's legendary Mandarin Hotel Chatterbox chicken rice.

Luk Kai Thong @ EmQuartier in Bangkok · Brings Thai Royal Cooking to All

Luk_Kai_Thong_Bangkok_Thai_Royal_Cooking

At Luk Kai Thong we enjoyed many dishes from their tremendous, I mean extensive, menu touted as Thai Royal cooking. There are Luk Kai Thong outlets in many convenient and prestigious locations across Bangkok. We were at their EmQuartier branch.

Al-Paz Nasi Arab Mandi @ Golden Mile · Arabian Cuisine in a Singapore Hawker Centre


We had eaten a lot since breakfast, all our familiar favourite stalls. We were all full and satisfied but the outing was missing a little something.

We needed something new, a delightful, novel little spark.

Peking Duck in Singapore · Kai Duck @ Nee Ann City near Takashimaya Orchard Road 嘉苑美鸭

Been to Kai Duck twice for their signature Peking duck. Both times I enjoyed myself. The food was delicious and service was good. I look forward to be back.

Nyan Shin Cafe · 100 Year Old Icon with Unique Mutton Noodles @ Carpenter Street, Kuching, Sarawak 源成茶室


When you are visiting Kuching, you will be hard pressed to choose a kolo mee joint to check off that obligatory bucket list item. Ironically, it's because there's kolo mee everywhere you turn. Which one to invest your precious time and calories in?

Repair Luggage Wheels & More in Singapore & Malaysia · Chiang Kong Services Since 1970s 长江 · 各大品牌维修中心


If you had travelled with me, you will know that I use a well worn, decades old luggage. The trusty luggage has gone to many places with me through the past two decades. I get quite attached to my carry on - is it only me? It has served me well and has sentimental value to me (lots of memories of people and places).

Tong Sin Ah Chu Noodle House · Masai Local Favourite 亞珠面之家


Prowling around Masai for food, I stumbled upon Tong Sin coffee shop, Ah Chu Noodle House stall. It's 10 minutes walk from Masai bus terminal.

Fried Carrot Cake (by Former Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle) @ Hainanese Village Hougang Stall #02-04 聚名香


Dropped by Hainanese Village hawker centre in Hougang this morning to try a newly opened fried carrot cake stall. 

The carrot cake is nice 👍

Blue Star Fried Hokkien Mee @ Hainanese Village Hougang 藍星馳名福建面


Blue Star Fried Hokkien Mee at Hainanese Village hawker centre is a local favourite among Hougang residents. It is fried Hokkien mee as I remember it from my childhood, okay.... sans the opeh wrap.

Sien Teck Temple · Liu Shang Bang Shrine in Bau, Kuching, Sarawak 善德庙 · 刘善邦庙

Rainbow on a rainy day in Bau, Sarawak.

We were on our 6 day Kuching Sarawak self drive adventure. After visiting Maw San (Old Bau), Tasik Biru lake, Bau town, and Fairy Cave we swung by Sien Teck Temple 善德庙 on our way to Siniawan town for dinner. (Long but fruitful day! 🤣)

HUAT'S UP! by Daryl Chow ORIGAME · Lo Hei Yusheng Card Game 捞翻天!

During a Chinese New Year 🐲 gathering, I met Daryl Chow game designer and co-founder of Origame, a world famous board game design company from Singapore 👍

Daryl shared that Origame just (in Nov 2023) released a card game based on the Chinese New Year lou hei yee sang (yusheng) tradition.

Dinner @ The Post Siniawan Restaurant Bar · Hakka Dayak Menu 驛站新堯湾

Second night of our 6 day Kuching self drive holiday, we enjoyed a sumptuous dinner at The Post 驛站 restaurant and bar in Siniawan (about 20 km southwest from Kuching city centre).

Sarawak Three Layer Tea · Teh C Special 砂拉越三色奶茶

Sarawakians are very proud of their three layer tea, also known as teh C special or teh C peng.

It is gula apong (nipah palm sugar) at the bottom, followed by evaporated milk, and the top layer of black tea.