Updated 27 May 2019. Good day, I am Tony, the person behind the Johor Kaki blog.
First of all, I would like to thank you for supporting Johor Kaki blog. I appreciate you very much.
(I first wrote this post in 2013. When I stumbled upon the above remarks in Lowyat.NET Forum today 27 May 2019, I thought it is timely to update this post on what Johor Kaki blog is about.)
Photo courtesy of my friend Alan Cole dated 2013
Johor Kaki blog is my hobby, my personal project. And, it has become a very serious hobby, and something that I am obsessively passionate about 😄
I am not a food critic or food reviewer. I am just someone (much like many of you) who enjoys good food, appreciate the hard work of the hawkers who made the food, and I want to share my enjoyment with others.
I have been enjoying the good food in Johor for more than 20 years and in Singapore for longer than that. It recently dawned on me that the good food in Johor has not received much publicity (in 2011); so much so that, there are close friends (even Johoreans) who claimed that “there is no good food in Johor”.
I felt that Johor food and hawkers deserve more recognition.
So, on 20 Dec 2011, I started the Johor Kaki blog to document all the good food and hawker stalls that I have tried in Johor. One by one, I hope to put every good hawker and restaurant in Johor on the World Wide Web.
I hope that by putting good Johor hawkers and restaurants on the World Wide Web, more people will come to realise that Johor is truly a food paradise.
Over time, the coverage of Johor Kaki blog have extended beyond Johor to cover Singapore my home and anywhere I happened to be travelling, be it China, Canada or USA and so on.
I would like to share how Johor Kaki blog is built, hawker by hawker. It is the same whether I am in JB, Singapore or anywhere around the world.
What I do is, I will order my food at a hawker stall, eat it and pay for it - the same way as everyone would. If I like the food, I will speak with the hawker about my project and seek the boss' permission to take pictures of her/him at work to feature the people behind the food. I will ask the hawkers about the history of their stall and listen to their interesting stories. I will then write an article and post it on Johor Kaki blog, and Johor Kaki blog Facebook page.
In writing the post, I do my utmost to be as clear and accurate as possible. I want the post to serve as a reliable documentary record of the food, people and place. I also strive to have the human touch in my posts.
If I did not enjoy the food, I will just eat it (I was taught not to waste food when I was a child), pay for it and do not follow up further. I do not write any negative articles in Johor Kaki blog because:
- The purpose of Johor Kaki blog is to feature the good hawkers and restaurants of Johor
- Food that I do not personally enjoy may be the favourite of others. The reverse is also true. I learnt from experience how peoples' tastes can differ surprisingly widely
- Writing negative articles damages the business and livelihood of the hawkers and their families.
I have adjusted this position a little. I do write negative reviews but only very rarely. When a F & B Goliath's product differs too much from the media hype, I feel it is fair that I provide some balance to the information available to the public. But, it will be based solely on my personal experience at the restaurant. Here is an example on Tim Ho Wan in Kuala Lumpur 👈 click
My no negative review approach to mom and pop hawker stalls still stands.
In May 2012, WGOIJB invited me to post Johor Kaki articles on their Facebook page. I would like to state that Johor Kaki is independent of WGOIJB. I gladly accepted the invitation because it supports Johor Kaki blog's mission to share the good hawkers and restaurants of Johor with more people. (Thanks WGOIJB Admin, Euginn for the invite. The arrangement has ceased around 2015.)
Beginning with the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of WAVES Lifestyle Magazine, Johor Kaki articles are featured in the Food We Love section of WAVES. I am grateful for the invite from WAVES Editor Priya, and for the opportunity to share about Johor food and hawkers with more people through WAVES. (This arrangement which later extended to the Iskandarian paper has ceased around 2016.)
Recently, Johor Kaki has been receiving invitations from restaurants for food tasting. I would like to state here that the same principles and standards upon which Johor Kaki was started, still apply. I do not receive any fees for the articles posted in the Johor Kaki blog. There are no paid food reviews in Johor Kaki blog. Only difference is, the host is not charging Johor Kaki for the food eaten during the invited food tasting session. I make sure that the restaurants understand that Johor Kaki will post only food I enjoyed and which I sincerely want to share with my readers.
I may revisit a restaurant a few times and write a review when I am comfortable that readers will also enjoy the food here. Johor Kaki readers' dining experience is one of the top priorities in my blogging. I wrote this post after the third visit to Hop Sing restaurant (thank you Yvonne for your kind understanding and patience with this quirky blogger 😊 ). About 1 in 30 posts in Johor Kaki are invited tastings (I rarely accept media invites these days) and are fully disclosed 👈 click
I have resisted coming up with a rating system but decided to have one in 2017 after many readers requested for it. The idea is to give readers a convenient and simple shorthand reference on how I feel about a stall or restaurant. After several iterations, this is what I have settled on - the simplest possible two ratings - Information for you 👌 and Recommended for you 👍 👈 click
I am very grateful for all the support that Johor Kaki blog has been receiving from readers since 2012.
I am glad that Johor Kaki is able to play a very small part in bringing greater recognition to Johor food and the dedicated hawkers and restaurateurs that worked so long and hard to bring such good food to all of us.
I am glad that today, there are many social media sites active in Johor Bahru (a far cry from 2012).
Johor Kaki still has a very long way to go, and will keep working at becoming better and more helpful.
Grateful for your patience in reading this long post.
Thank you and wish you happy reading, happy eating.
Email johorkaki [at] gmail [dot] com
Johor Kaki Facebook page
Johor Kaki Instagram
Google+ Johor Kaki
First edition 25 Jan 2013