After the last One Day Johor Bahru Food Trail in March 2013 together with Tony and Maureen, the three of us finally has time to organise another trip across the causeway to check out the food scene in our neighbouring country. It was another full day trip filled with delicious food and great company.
Our first stop brought us to Taman Tasek Guo Tian Zi (南滨园粿条仔). In our previous trip, Tony has shared with us that Kway Teow Kia is staple dish of Johor Bahru where you can't really find it elsewhere in Malaysia. Kway Teow Kia is actually quite similar to our Kway Chap in Singapore except that the kway is thinner and firmer.
Kway Teow Kia 4.2/5
The problem with eating innards is that it has a gamy smell if it is not cleaned probably which I did not get from Taman Tasek Guo Tian Zi (南滨园粿条仔). It shows the hard work behind the dishes. Unlike the kway teow kia I have tried in the previous trip, the braising is lighter allowing the natural flavour of the ingredients to shine. The meal cost $18 ringgit.
Taman Tasek Guo Tian Zi (南滨园粿条仔)
Address: Taman Tasek, Johor Bahru (near the Maybank branch) [Map]
Daily: 7am - 2pm
Next stop Tony brought us to this popular braised duck stall, Da Jia Fa Duck (八里半大家发鸭肉) which is interestingly located under a big tree. There are many photos of the owner with celebrities and politicians hanging around the restaurants as well as all the media coverage. Accordingly to one of the article in the framed newspaper interview, he used quite a number of herbs to braise the duck and he only uses duck that is more than 3kg.
Duck Neck 4.2/5
Duck Meat 3.5/5
I enjoyed the duck neck which is very tender and flavourful. For the duck meat, I found it a bit too dry for my liking.
Pig's Blood 4/5
According to Tony, in Johor Bahru there were some changes to food regulation and hence you can't get duck blood now. My disappointment is substituted with this delectable bowl of pig's blood which we can't get it in Singapore anymore. Te meal came to about $34.50 ringgit.
Da Jia Fa Duck (八里半大家发鸭肉)
Address: Jalan Kilang Nenas (Jalan Skudai Batu near Lee Pineapple Factory and SJK Kuo Kuang school). [Map]
Daily: 830am - 4pm
After 2 heavy meals kickstarting our Johor Bahru Food Trail, we slowed things down a bit to reserve our stomach for more good food. Hence we went to Restoran You Kee XO Enterprise (友记XO烧腊之家) for some herbal soup.
Herbal Soup 4/5
The herbal soup here is brewed in the 2 giant size earthen urns outside the shop by slow burning charcoal at the bottom. Upon order, the staff will retrieve the smaller pot of soup from the urn and serve. We had the Don Chong Cao Herbal Soup which cost $28 ringgit.
Restoran You Kee XO Enterprise
Address: 93 Jalan Pendekar 2, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Sukdai, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 10am - 10pm
In our previous trip, we wanted to try the chee cheong fan in Johor Bahru but I think we were too full to do so. I am glad that Tony brought us to Restoran G.Cheong Fun (金宝手工猪肠粉) and I got to try the different style of chee cheong fun compared to Singapore.
Chee Cheong Fan 4.2/5
The Chee Cheong Fan here is thinner and thicker with a nice bite. Instead of sweet sauce, it is drenched with a curry gravy. More interesting is people here eats chee cheong fan with side dishes. We ordered the pig skins with long beans and cockles to go with the chee cheong fan.
Three Colour Milk Tea 4/5
Another new for me is this drink called Three Colour Milk Tea (三色奶茶) which is tea with evaporated milk and gula melaka. It is a very sweet drink but super shiok. We paid $17 ringgit for the meal.
Restoran G.Cheong Fun (金宝手工猪肠粉)
Address: 176 Jalan Pahlawan 2, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 630am - 1pm (Closed on Tue)
Next stop was Restoran Chin Chin (晶晶云吞面) for the wanton mee. It is understand that they handmade their own noodles. Looking at the crowd, it seems like their wanton mee is pretty well received.
Wanton Mee 3.8/5
Can't say much about the char siew but their egg noodles were really springy. The bowl of char siew wanton mee costs $4.50 ringgit.
Restoran Chin Chin (晶晶云吞面)
Junction of Jalan Lawang and Jalan Kaloi, Skudai (next to MPJBT). [Map]
Daily: 730am - 4pm (Closed on Thur)
After wanton mee, we made a quick stop at 士乃糕点 to pick up some kueh to bring back to Singapore. The stall is located at Kim Wah kopitiam next to the overhead pedestrian bridge. I was pretty fascinated by the different selections of kueh they are selling.
士乃糕点 (at Kim Wah Kopitiam next to overhead pedestrian bridge)
Address: Jalan Senai 10, Kampung Baru, Senai, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 1030am to 3pm (Closed on Wed)
What brought us to Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock (兴福肉骨茶) is not the bak kut teh but the poached fish. The bak kut teh is quite popular with the local but I did not like the style that is served here.
Poached Fish with Fried Garlic 4.2/5
Using fresh fish from Pontian, the fish is dipped into boiling water and served in a bed of golden brown fried garlic, spring onions and a savory soy sauce. This is really very good with each mouthful filled with the freshness of the fish and aroma of the fried garlic.
Sweet Potato Leaves 4/5
The eatery also served other cooked dishes such as the sweet potato leaves and tofu. All are very delectable dishes that came with very yummy sauce.
Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock (兴福肉骨茶)
Address: 74 Jalan Dato Toh Ah Boon, 81200 Tampoi, Johor [Map]
Daily: 830am - 430pm (Closed on Mon)
I am glad that we have Tony as our guide as we get to visit Restoran Sam Kong (三江饭店) which is one of the oldest laksa in Johor Bahru since 1930s. Now in the 3rd generation, the restaurant is run by Mr Yong. The soul of the laksa, the broth is prepared daily using the same recipe handed down by his grandfather such as garlic, lemon grass, shallots and other ingredients.
The bowl of Laksa comes with generous ingredients such as fishball, fish maw, cockles and tofu stuffed with fish paste. The smooth and springy beehoon was partially cooked and air dried, upon servicing it is then blanched with the laksa broth. Lots of thoughts and efforts into a single bowl of laksa. No matter it is so popular and famous.
The last time I have fishball in Johor Baru, I did not enjoyed it because I felt that there were too much flour and not bouncy. The handmade fishball at Sam Kong is quite different. It is packed with fresh fish paste where the ratio of fish is more than flour. May not be as bouncy but had a nice chewy bite that is quite similar to eating sotong ball. No wonder Tony ordered a separate bowl of fishballs for us to try. We spent $14 ringgit here.
Restoran Sam Kong (三江饭店)
8-H, Jalan Ungku Mohsin, Kampung Ungku Mohsin, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 11am - 11pm (Closed on Mon)
After conquering 8 places in a single day, we need to take a break and recharge so Tony broough us Cafe Niniq to have cakes and coffee. The cafe is really nice and it shows that the food and beverage scene in Johor Bahru has also evolving with more western influence. Unfortunately I forgot to take picture of the cakes and pastries we had. You can find out more from Tony or Maureen's blog. We spent $48.80 ringgit here.
Niniq Bistro & Bakery
52, Jalan Setia Tropika 1/24, Taman Setia Tropika, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 11am - 10pm (Closed on Sun)
We were already having a bit of food coma after all the food in a single day. Since we still have dinner to go, we decided to go for some desserts first. Moshi Moshi is known for the handmade ice cream. It seems like the place is opened up by 4 good friends with themselves as the ambassadors of the cafe.
Can't really remember what exactly is this called but the bowl of grass jelly, red beans and tapioca balls topped with a scoop of black sesame ice cream is quite similar to those Taiwanese dessert.
Moshi Waffle 4.5/5
What caught my attention is their waffle. It comes with a chewy texture like mochi and yet still has that buttery flavour. We were asking ourselves why no one in Singapore is serving this?
19 Jalan Mutiara Emas 10/19, Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru. [Map]
Daily: 1130am - 1130pm
Boneless Chicken Wing 4.2/5
For dinner, we went to the stretch of restaurants at Taman Sentosa to have zichar. Food was not fantastic so I will not recommend it. However, there is something that is rather interesting along the stretch of restaurants selling these Boneless Chicken Wing. The way they skewered the chicken wing made it quite easy to eat. The chicken wing was also very fragrant with all the seasoning and spices grilled over charcoal fire.
For those that is interested in Johor food, you can check out Tony's blog. I like to take the opportunity to thank Tony for the time showing us the great food in Johor Bahru again. Am already looking forward to the next one.