Motormouth Eating His Way Down South @ Johor BahruDecember 23, 2013 | 31,605 views
This past week has been a case of real life turmoil with our new office in a state of havoc; the year end break looming like a dangling carrot tempting for one to spend and eat in a dangerously care free manner and Motormouth started his reflections much earlier. However, here’s a rundown of my short 3 days, 2 nights food trip down south to Johor. You know we all love travel stories …
1. Tangkak Beef Noodles @ Restoran Do Do Do, Tangkak, Johor
The journey down south was a relatively smooth one; thanks to the forgiving traffic on a working Thursday. The same can’t be said of course, if it’s a Saturday as we bore witness to a snaking line of deadlock southbound when we were on our way back to KL on Saturday. Anyway, we stopped over for a taste of Tangkak famous beef noodles at Do Do Do Restaurant. Unlike the conventional single bowl pile up of all things beefy and a noodle base in a robust, peppery broth, Tangkak style of beef includes various beef dishes such as claypot spicy beef that includes beef tripes, brisket and scallions in a ginger-laden sauce, claypot beef soup with melt-in-mouth cuts of beef brisket and soggy bean curd sheets, and even their special steamed beef (minimal portion for two at RM55/USD18 per serving), served with the thick, slithering cuts of rice noodles/kuey teow.
2. Johor Premium Outlets (www) at Kulaijaya is one stop away from Johor Bahru exit on the highway; take the Senai airport way and you’re on your way there for some good old shopping spree.
The Do Do Do Tangkak Beef Noodles restaurant has since moved from its original location deeper within Tangkak town to a mere 200 metres away from the Tangkak toll exit. So please take note as our GPS and even Waze were not pointing towards the right direction. Once exiting the toll, turn LEFT at the traffic lights towards Muar’s direction if I recall correctly. Then look for the shop with bright red and yellow signboard on your RIGHT.
RESTORAN DO DO DO
(Tangkak Fei Zai Niu Nan Mian – Tangkak Beef Brisket Noodles)
No. 90 & 91, Jalan Teknologi 1,
Taman Perindustrian Tangkak,
84900 Tangkak, Ledang, Johor
Tel No : +6016-236 9298, +6012-978 9811
Business Hours : 9am – 5pm
3. San Low Seafood Restaurant (read my previous review for more information) was our pick for dinner simply because I could not get enough of the signature San Low fried bee hoon; still as good as ever. The fried baby octopus and stuffed you tiao (dough fritters stuffed with fish paste and served with mayonnaise) were delectable snacks to go along with the noodles, while the yam basket was a miss, albeit the much-hyped signature of theirs. By the way, their Teo chew steamed pomfret is a wise choice, and apparently their crabs and prawns too.
San Low Seafood
Jalan Biru, Taman Pelangi,
80400 Johor Bahru
Business hours : 4.30pm – 1.00am
Tel No : +607-332 3869 / +607-334 3623
4. Hua Mui Restaurant – A 67 years old treasure of JB town; this colonial style Hainanese kopitiam still serves an excellent Hua Mui breakfast platter (RM6/USD2) of eggs and sausages, grilled tomato and pan fried potatoes with a buttered bun. The toast with butter and kaya, half boiled eggs and thick coffee jumpstarted the morning.
HUA MUI RESTAURANT (pork-free)
No. 131, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru 80000
Tel No :07-224 7364
5. A Walk around this Older Part of Johor Bahru revealed so much more than a city in dire straits; as depicted commonly through crime reports. The street arts exhibition “Connect Disconnect” that has gotten the seal of approval (hopefully, else the colourful paints will vanish in days just like the Lego fiasco) and the area around Jalan Tan Hiok Nee – Jalan Dhoby – Jalan Trus deserves a walking tour for that preserved outlook of a heritage Johor; unlike the lifeless malls and skyscrapers that have since grown from strength to strength.
6. Taman Tasek Kuey Teow Kia – One of the Johor’s ingenious street food that has not picked up steam yet in the other states, nor gone commercialised. Try Kuey Teow Kia (literally translated to the ‘son of kuey teow’) at this stall that opens early in the morning around Jalan Tasek area near Danga Bay, or the stall named 3rd Floor (San Low) Kuey Teow Kia at Stulang Darat.
Waking up early for breakfast the next day (after a seriously exhausting day trip to Singapore; commuting by bus and stuck in the Friday traffic after office hours!), we decided to go for something lighter for a change. Okay, lighter as in Motormouth’s definition anyway.
Kuey Teow Kia is definitely something you should try at least once in Johor; the bowl of kuey teow in herbal soup paired off with your choices of side dishes; ranging from various braised items (Teo Chew style) such as pork, pig’s offals, eggs, etc to preserved vegetables (mui choy), braised chicken feet, and even Taiwanese sausages. This stall at Taman Tasek may not look like much from a quick glance, but damn the noodles and the braised items were delicious. Only RM12/USD4 for the two of us; with 5 dishes orders and 2 bowls of noodles.
TAMAN TASEK GUO TIAU ZI
Taman Tasek, Johor Bahru
Turn in from Maybank Taman Tasek, and look for stalls under some tall trees on the LEFT
GPS : 1.485423,103.7226
Opens from 7am until 2pm
7. The Johor Bahru Street Arts War – Now allow me to rant for a short while. The bottom pic in the collage with black walls actually had a very interesting mural painted by the famed street artist; Ernest Zacharevic (preview the now destroyed Lego bicycle art HERE). In total, the hardworking Johor Bahru city council has decided to remove his second piece of art in the city; after the first ‘controversial’ one (preview HERE) was removed last month. Unlike his arts in Penang where they are revered and became such hot tourist attractions, apparently down south, he’s not garnered much fan base yet. Or the local council simply have too much time on their hands.
8. Hiap Joo Bakery – Don’t forget to try and buy back their excellent banana cakes; really fresh from the wood-fired oven, and coconut buns. A good 90+ years in business since 1919. Queue up for the soft and non-artificial flavourings banana cakes (RM8/USD2.60 for full slab) (see the baskets of fresh bananas being delivered above?), and the toasted/dessicated coconut buns.
HIAP JOO BAKERY
13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
80000 Johor Bahru
Directly opposite of Kim Wah Coffee Shop, within the old town of Johor Bahru
Look for the archway of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and you will see this lovely place
Tel No : +607-223 1703
Mon – Sat : 7am – 6pm
Sun : 9am – 1pm
9. Kin Wah Kopitiam – While waiting for our coconut buns, we ended up with traditional coffee roasted to a slight sourish tinge, perfectly toasted breads sandwiching cold slabs of butter and kaya within, and half boiled Omega eggs with yolks as orange as the melamine plates.
Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Kin Wah (Hainanese Kopitiam)
Corner of Jalan Tan Hoik Nee & Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours : 7am – 6pm
Tel No : +6016-748 4262
10. Salahuddin Bakery @ Jalan Dhoby has traditional breads baked in a brick oven with wood fire; and their specialty includes the triangular curry puffs with either chicken, mutton or potatoes. The other breads and confections will surely remind you of the good old days.
26, Jalan Dhoby,
GPS: 1.456915, 103.763428
Business Hours : 8am – 2pm
11. Lai Kee Fish Ball Noodles Shop – A crowd that is beyond your imagination for a simple meal of fish ball noodles; almost half an hour wait and rewarded with succulent slices of fish cakes; bouncy to the bite with crisp corners. The homemade fish balls made from fresh ‘ikan parang’ (wolf herring) has none of the artificial texture or taste of the usual fish ball noodles stalls. Pity that the spicy noodles was drenched in an oily, chilli paste. Go for the soup version or dry one with soy sauce only.
LAI KEE FISH BALL NOODLES
90, Jalan Pahlawan 2,
Taman Ungku Tun Aminah (TUTA)
Skudai 81300 Johor Bahru
GPS : 1.522671,103.664653
Business Hours : 7am – 4.30pm
12. Wah Cai 3-in-1 Chinese Cakes – The Durian Fritters are reasons enough for the excursion to Skudai for some snacking. Burping-ly good, pungent, creamy and sinful. The 3-in-1 chinese cakes refer to nian gao (glutinous rice cakes) sandwiched between yam and tapioca; coated in batter then deep fried. However, go ONLY for the durian version for something different. The 3-in-1 cakes were nothing to shout about.
WAH CAI 3-in-1 Chinese Cakes
86, Jalan Pahlawan 2,
Taman Ungku Tun Aminah (TUTA)
Skudai, 81300 Johor Bahru
Just two doors away from Lai Kee Fish Ball Noodles Stall
Opens from 7am – 4.30pm
And there you have it. 12 stops in 3 days; including a day spent eating and walking around Orchard Road (to come later, but we had lunch at Wild Honey @ Mandarin Gallery and dinner @ Toss & Turn by Cedele @ ION Orchard). There are many other food finds that were on the list yet we could not afford the time to try them all. Anyway, if you have run out of idea on where to go and wanted to avoid the common tourist haunts like Penang, Melaka or the Highlands, maybe an escapade down south might just do the trick.
*Special thanks to Johor Kaki for the detailed write-ups of food outlets in Johor.