Johor Bahru Street Food

December 03, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Johor Bahru Street Food


Johor Bahru Street Food is part of the larger tapestry of the cuisine of Johor, Malaysia. This style of Malaysian cuisine is closely similar to that of Singapore and Singaporean cuisine. It's a melting pot of gastronomic influence, largely from the British, Chinese, Indian, and local Malay population. Increasingly, they're also influenced by American, French, Italian, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. The result; a diverse foodscape that is constantly innovating, exciting and surprisingly delightful.

Traditional Breakfast Set



Food in Johor Bahru can be found along the streets in pushcarts or small cafes, in mid-range restaurants, and fine-dining establishments. Malaysian cuisine is largely based around white rice, noodles, and spices, and there is a lot of cross / fusion influences across cultures. Common ingredients used here include coconut, lemongrass, pandan / screwpine leaf, turmeric, white rice, rice noodles, eggs, sugar, beef, mutton, chicken, anchovy, shrimp / prawn, fish, crab, squid, bean sprouts, eggplant / aubergine, cabbage, cucumber, sweet potato, tapioca, yardlong beans, coriander, ginger, okra / lady's finger, kang kong / water spinach, Chinese cabbage / bok choy, banana, calamansi lime, cempedak, durian, mango, guava, honeydew melon, papaya, pineapple, rambutan, soursop, starfruit, peanuts, and chili.

It's very easy to access street food in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia, though there are notable enclaves of famous stalls. They're at a crosscroads of increasing commercialisation and the mass production of dishes, yet there still remains a strong bastion of traditional hawkers who uphold the old ways. While there are many one-dish, individual meals available, the majority of places are best visited in groups, for communal dining.


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The Bak Kut Teh in Johor Bahru differs greatly from the dark herbal version in the north of Malaysia, such as those of Kuala Lumpur or Klang, and also differs from the light peppery version in the south, in Singapore. Here, the soup / broth is light and delicate, a mix of herbs and spices, thin but flavourful with good herbal sweet savoury spicy taste. While the signature stubby pork ribs still feature, it's more firm in texture, and a whole host of ingredients are added, including shiitake mushroom, enoki golden mushroom, pork meat balls, crisp beancurd skin, tofu puffs, pig's stomach, pig's intestines, pig's kidney, pig's liver, pig's skin, and spring onions. It has less vegetables than other versions in the region. Usually served in a huge communal claypot, along with salted pickled mustard greens, braised Chinese cabbage / bok choy, tofu puffs, and Chinese fried dough fritters / you tiao / you char kway.

Bak Kut Teh


Bak Kut Teh


Bak Kut Teh Set


Bak Kut Teh


Bak Kut Teh Set


Bak Kut Teh Set



A simple Banana Cake, intense with floral sweet fruity flavour. Moist, soft, and bouncy in texture, commonly eaten as a snack or dessert throughout the day.

Banana Cake


Banana Cake



The Black Pepper Crab differs from the version in Singapore, because rather than a dry spice coating, you get a wet, thick sauce / gravy. Intense sharp spicy notes of black pepper, contrasted by the sweet savoury freshness of the crab meat... beautiful.

Black Pepper Crab


Black Pepper Crab


Black Pepper Crab


Black Pepper Crab



The Butter Pork Cubes feature diced cubes of stir-fried pork loin, coated in a tangy sweet sour glaze, with notes of butter and curry leaves that lend a slight kick. Tasty!

Butter Pork Cubes


Butter Pork Cubes



The Chendol Ice Cream is a modern dessert, featuring the traditional classic chendol dessert ingredients of rice flour jelly infused with pandan / screpine leaf juice, gula melaka / palm sugar, red beans, corn kernels, but replaces the coconut milk and shaved ice with scoops of coconut and lemongrass ice cream. This shifts the dessert away from a liquid beverage / soup, to more solid. Appeals to most with its pretty looks and traditional taste.

Chendol Ice Cream


Chendol Ice Cream



The Clam Soup is notable for its delicate sweet seafood and clam flavour in the thin but tasty soup / broth, flavoured with ginger and spring onions. The stock uses fish bones, giving it a milky look. Fresh locally caught clams are used, and while small, they do have good meat. Nicely sweet savoury herbal, great communal appetizer.

Clam Soup


Clam Soup


Clam Soup



A typical American Club Sandwich from Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Features layers of toasted buttered white bread, sliced chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, egg, and cheese. Served with thick cut English chips, tomato ketchup, and chili sauce.

Club Sandwich


Club Sandwich


Club Sandwich



The Coconut Ice Cream, Teh Ijo Ice Cream are modern desserts, usually served in cafes.

Coconut Ice Cream, Teh Ijo Ice Cream


Coconut Ice Cream, Teh Ijo Ice Cream


Coconut Ice Cream, Teh Ijo Ice Cream



A cup of Coconut Water is refreshing and cooling on a warm day, and usually features young coconut meat within. Not as commonly sold along the streets as compared to other places in the country.

Coconut Water



Cubes of Fried Silken Tofu Beancurd, slightly crisp with a nice salty savoury flavour outside, while the inside is soft, wobbly, and clean-tasting. Served with mayonnaise on the side.

Fried Silken Tofu Beancurd


Fried Silken Tofu Beancurd



The Hakka Noodles is a dish of 2 parts. Thin yellow egg noodles are tossed in a dry sauce of peanut oil and pork lard, topped with savoury minced pork meat in a braised pork gravy. It's paired with a thin, clear, soybean soup / broth, filled with lettuce, handmade fish balls, handmade fish paste stuffed tofu beancurd, and handmade fish paste stuffed tofu puffs. There is a soup version, which does away with the minced pork gravy, and serves the noodles within the soup. I personally prefer the dry version of this dish.

Hakka Noodles


Hakka Noodles


Hakka Noodles



The Hokkien Mee here resembles the Kuala Lumpur style in looks, but not in taste, being slightly weaker and milder in flavour. Similar ingredients are used, including thick yellow Fujian egg noodles, dark soy sauce, pork, squid, fish cake, cabbage, prawns, and crispy pork lard.

Hokkien Mee


Hokkien Mee



The Honey Chicken Wings feature wok-fried chicken wings, glazed with honey. Due to the heat, the honey slightly caramelises and sticks to the chicken, infusing it with a floral sweet flavour, which is nicely contrasted by the salty savoury flavour of the chicken.

Honey Chicken Wings


Honey Chicken Wings



The Hor Fun is a common Chinese Zi Char dish in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, similar to the versions found in Singapore. It features wide and flat rice noodles, stir-fried with eggs, fish cake, sliced pork loin, choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage, deshelled prawns / shrimp, bean sprouts, squid, and shiitake mushrooms, until the kway teow noodles take on a smoky char. Served in a seafood or chicken gravy thickened with corn starch.

Hor Fun


Hor Fun



Similar to the Hor Fun, the Seafood Kway Teow is instead a premium version of the dish, featuring additional seafood such as mussels, clams, sliced fish, and more eggs, squid, and deshelled prawns / shrimp. Naturally, the price tag is higher as well.

Seafood Kway Teow


Seafood Kway Teow


Seafood Kway Teow


Seafood Kway Teow



Adapted from the Egyptian dish of Ful Medames / Foul Medammas, the Kacang Phool, also known as Kacang Pol or Kacang Pool, is a stew of spiced fava beans. It's made by slow stewing mashed dried broad beans / fava beans, minced beef / minced mutton, tamarind water, powdered fennel, powdered cumin, salt, water, pepper, shallots, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and chili. The result is a thick, creamy, partly smooth partly chunky stew that is incredibly flavourful, being savoury salty meaty and robust. Garnished with diced cucumber, onions, lime juice, and a sunny side up egg, then served along with a slice of thick buttered white bread toast. This dish is enjoyed at all hours of the day.

Kacang Phool


Kacang Phool


Kacang Phool


Kacang Phool



The Kway Teow Kia resembles the Kway Chap dish of Singapore. In both versions, a variety of braised pig's offals are served in a braising gravy, including pig's large intestines, small intestines, stomach, tongue, pork belly, pork loin, pig's skin, eggs, fried tofu puffs and Chinese firm dry tofu. There are 2 major differences; the first is the Malaysian braising gravy is light and delicate in savoury salty flavour, whereas the Singaporean version is usually darker and more robust in taste. The second difference is the noodles, the Malaysian version has a thin and flat rice noodle, instead of the wide and flat rice noodle sheet in the Singaporean version.

Kway Teow Kia


Kway Teow Kia


Kway Teow Kia


Kway Teow Kia



The Laksa Johor is a fusion Italian Malaysian dish, said to be created when Sultan Sir Abu Bakar visited Italy, then ordered his chef to create a laksa dish using spaghetti. Thus, this original, unique dish features spaghetti pasta noodles, tossed in a thick, rich laksa gravy made from seafood stock (fish or prawn stock), galangal, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, dried shrimp paste / belchan, turmeric, shallots, water, coconut milk, dried ikan parang / wolf herring fish, ikan masin / salted mackerel fish, salt, sugar, and mint leaves. It's garnished with cucumbers, calamansi lime juice, onions, coriander, and chili. Sometimes, a hard boiled egg is added. The numerous ingredients, along with the time consuming method of preparing this dish, means it's rather uncommon. It has a strong, pungent salty sour savoury flavour, and the dry laksa gravy clings to the spaghetti.

Laksa Johor


Laksa Johor


Laksa Johor


Laksa Johor


Laksa Johor



The Mee Rebus from Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Similar to the version elsewhere in the country, and in Singapore, with boiled yellow egg noodles, a hard boiled egg, Chinese firm dry tofu, bean sprouts, fried shallots, chili, lime, and chinese celery. Served in a thick, sweet savoury gravy made with water, mashed potatoes / mashed sweet potatoes, fermented soy beans, curry powder, dried shrimp, chicken stock, peanuts, tamarind paste, and chili.

Mee Rebus


Mee Rebus



The Nasi Goreng Kampung here is similar to elsewhere in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Features white rice stir-fried along with anchovies, shallots, onions, garlic, kang kong / water spinach, eggs, and chili. Served with a host of other ingredients, including sambal prawn / shrimp, keropok / crackers, fried chicken, and a hard boiled egg.

Nasi Goreng Kampung


Nasi Goreng Kampung


Nasi Goreng Kampung



A Nasi Lemak from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, similar to elsewhere in Malaysia and Singapore. Features coconut milk and pandan / screwpine leaf infused white rice, fried anchovy fish / ikan bilis, peanuts, fried egg / egg omelette / hard boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, fried chicken wing, and chili paste / sambal belachan. Some places also have additional ingredients such as chicken liver or chicken rendang.

Nasi Lemak


Nasi Lemak


Nasi Lemak



The Otak-Otak Bun is made with the signature otak-otak / spicy fish paste, stuffed and baked within a soft, fluffy bun. You get the sweetness of the bread, then the savoury spicy flavour of the otah.

Otak-Otak Bun



The Coconut Bun has a soft, fluffy bun that is so easy to tear, stuffed with a sweet filling of dessicated coconut infused in gula melaka / palm sugar. This gives it a sweet earthy floral taste, yet it lacks a little moisture.

Coconut Bun


Coconut Bun



The Oyster Omelette differs from the Singapore version, which uses sweet potato starch. The version here lacks any starch, featuring only the fluffy eggy omelette, topped with small oysters, garnished with spring onions, and served with a sharp spicy chili sauce.

Oyster Omelette


Oyster Omelette



The Prawn Paste Chicken has a distinct, unique flavour from being coated in belachan / shrimp paste. The chicken chunks are nicely tender and moist, with decent savoury sharp flavour.

Prawn Paste Chicken


Prawn Paste Chicken



The Roti Canai is also known as Roti Prata in Singapore. A staple dish made from frying a piece of tossed and spinned dough in ghee (clarified butter). Served with a choice of wet curry (chicken curry, fish curry, or dhal). It usually has a crisp exterior, with a semi-thick doughy interior that has a chewy texture.

Roti Canai


Roti Canai



The Salted Egg Squid is a relatively modern Chinese Zi Char creation. Chunks of fresh, bouncy squid pieces / squid rings are stir-fried in a salted egg yolk sauce along with curry leaves. The version here is a dry gravy, almost like a batter, which sticks tightly to the sweet savoury squid rings, giving it an additional depth of salty savoury flavour.

Salted Egg Squid


Salted Egg Squid


Salted Egg Squid


Salted Egg Squid



The San Lou Bee Hoon is said to have been created in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Named for the 3 storey building it was created in, the dish features thin rice vermicelli noodles, stir-fried in a flavourful seafood and light soy sauce stock, till the outside turns slightly crisp. Garnished with eggs, fish cake, sliced pork loin, choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage, deshelled prawns / shrimp, and served flat. Good savoury salty flavour, bold and tasty. The key is the crisp charred edges, which lend a crunch to texture, while the inside remains moist and soft. Really difficult dish to execute though, as it has to be edible without being burnt.

San Lou Bee Hoon


San Lou Bee Hoon


San Lou Bee Hoon


San Lou Bee Hoon



The Satay here can be made with either chicken, mutton (goat), mutton (sheep), beef (Malay), or pork (Chinese). The marinade is made by grinding fried shallots, garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, salt, sugar, powdered turmeric, and belachan / shrimp paste. The meat of choice is then marinated in the ground spice mixture. Served with a flavourful ground peanut gravy, notes of savoury sweet nutty.

Satay


Satay



The Stir-Fried Assorted Vegetables is a typical Chinese Zi Char dish, featuring a medley of vegetables. This usually include the big 4; of yardlong beans, eggplant / aubergine, okra / lady's finger, and petai / bitter beans / stink beans. Accompanied by onions, fried anchovy fish, and a chili paste. Pairs well with white rice.

Stir-Fried Assorted Vegetables


Stir-Fried Assorted Vegetables



A Traditional Breakfast Set here features a trio of items. Charcoal grilled, crisp Toast Kaya Butter, made with toasted white bread spread with magarine or butter, and a pandan / screwpine leaf infused kaya / coconut egg jam. The Soft Boiled Eggs are often sourced from local kampung chickens, and have a robust eggy flavour. Consumed with a splash of light soy sauce, and a dash of pepper. The Kopi / coffee is robust and strong, aromatic on the palate. Typical breakfast meal.

Traditional Breakfast Set


Toast Kaya Butter


Toast Kaya Butter


Toast Kaya Butter


Soft Boiled Eggs


Soft Boiled Eggs


Kopi


Kopi



The Cheesecake White Chocolate & Dark Chocolate is an American inspired dessert cake. The cheesecake has a lovely, rich, creamy, luscious texture, with sweet notes from the white chocolate, tempered by the slightly bitter notes of the dark chocolate. Decadent.

Cheesecake White Chocolate & Dark Chocolate



The luscious and moist Cake Chocolate Banana has rich milk chocolate flavour, studded with sweet slices of banana, layered with a thick chocolate ganache. Fruity sweet and robust, a very good dessert cake.

Cake Chocolate Banana



The Cham is a beverage that is made from a blend of coffee, tea, and milk, giving it a robust earthy roasted flavour.

Cham



A glass of cold Milo is perfect for a warm day.

Milo



The Classic Cold Rose Latte has a smooth, robust body of espresso coffee and milk, with a delicate floral rose flavour overlaid. Served chilled, it's so refreshing.

Classic Cold Rose Latte


Classic Cold Rose Latte



You don't always get strong, robust coffee in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia, but the scene is gradually improving and opening up. This Latte Original is really good, bold notes of espresso coffee with roasted earthy flavour.

Latte Original



A strong Piccolo Latte, an intense perk-me-up with deep, robust flavour.

Piccolo Latte



The Cheese Fries feature piping hot, crisp shoestring fries. The long, thin fries are dressed in a drizzle of mayonnaise and cheese sauce, served with tomato ketchup and chili sauce on the side.

Cheese Fries



The Chee Cheong Fun / Rice Noodle Roll, With Curry Chicken Gravy is a modern fusion Malaysian dish. Featuring thin, slippery sheets of rice noodle rolls, coated in a rich, thick curry gravy of chicken stock, coconut milk, curry leaves, and chili, garnished with steamed chicken slices that have a lovely delicate sweet savoury flavour. The curry makes the dish savoury spicy, with notes of floral earthy. Delicious.

Chee Cheong Fun / Rice Noodle Roll, With Curry Chicken Gravy


Chee Cheong Fun / Rice Noodle Roll, With Curry Chicken Gravy



The Chili Crab Dip With Man Tou Buns features hot, crisp outside fluffy inside, man tou buns. Meant for dipping in the tapas style chili crab gravy, which is sweet savoury in taste from the use of tomato ketchup and chili. Not as spicy as the Singaporean version.

Chili Crab Dip With Man Tou Buns



The Chocolate Cake Entremet has a soft, moist, dense texture, with rich chocolate flavour. The combination of different types of chocolate (dark, white, milk) give this dessert cake a layered depth of bitter sweet flavour. Feels so indulgent.

Chocolate Cake Entremet


Chocolate Cake Entremet



The Tofu Cheesecake is light and moist in texture, with a delicate sweet flavour that is contrasted by the sour tangy flavour of the lime zest. This dessert cake is made with silken tofu beancurd, and it sits on a buttery, crumbly graham cracker crust. Nicely done.

Tofu Cheesecake


Tofu Cheesecake



The Waffle Fruits feature a crisp, crunchy buttermilk waffle base, topped with a medley of fresh seasonal fruits including blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and kiwi fruits. Served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and fluffy whipped cream, along with maple syrup. Drizzle the maple syrup over this vibrant dessert, and indulge.

Waffle Fruits


Waffle Fruits



The Char Siew / Red Roast Pork Loin from Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. I like that the cuts alternate between fatty and lean meat, and each slice has bold smoky sweet savoury flavour. Juicy in texture, tender with a slight chew, so decadent and delicious.

Char Siew / Red Roast Pork Loin



The Sio Bak / Roast Pork Belly in Malaysia is very similar to those in Singapore. Crisp, crackling skin, tender moist texture, good savoury salty flavour in the pork belly meat. Nice.

Sio Bak / Roast Pork Belly



The Roast Duck With Herbal Sauce is a Chinese Cantonese classic, with the duck meat being juicy and tender, with a slight gamey flavour, and notes of savoury salty. The duck skin is crisp, with a slight crunch in texture, and a smoky salty savoury taste. Served in a herbal sauce / gravy, which is sweet earthy herbal in flavour. The layers of fat makes this so luxurious.

Roast Duck With Herbal Sauce


Roast Duck With Herbal Sauce



The Fish Ball Noodles here feature wide, flat egg noodles or mee pok, tossed in a sweet savoury sauce of sugar, dark soy sauce, and pork lard, giving it a slippery texture. The bouncy chewy fish balls and fish cake slices are sweet savoury in flavour, hand made with ikan parang / wolf herring fish. Garnished with fresh lettuce and chili.

Fish Ball Noodles



The Stir-Fried Sambal Sweet Potato Leaves feature fresh sweet potato leaves, with a nice soft texture, stir-fried in a mildly spicy sambal belacan gravy. Slightly savoury spicy, yet still very clean-tasting.

Stir-Fried Sambal Sweet Potato Leaves



The Garlic Dou Miao / Garlic Pea Shoots is a simple, straightforward dish of fresh, crunchy stir-fried pea pod tips / pea sprouts / pea shoots / dou miao, cooked with garlic. Flavour is sweet savoury, very clean-tasting and delicious.

Garlic Dou Miao / Garlic Pea Shoots



The Stir-Fried String Beans are notable for being cooked with minced pork, light soy sauce, and chili, giving the soft, tender, lengthy string beans a savoury salty spicy flavour. The string bean vegetables still retain a bright freshness, which is commendable.

Stir-Fried String Beans



Although this dish usually features a pomfret fish, with the Teochew Steamed Catfish In Sour Plum Broth, a whole catfish is used instead. The fish meat is tender and slighty creamy, coming easily off the bone. Flavour comes from the robust soup / broth / gravy, which has pickled mustard greens, pickled plums, tomatoes, ginger, parsley, spring onions, and chili. The soup / broth is good enough to drink on its own, the savoury sour sweet salty tangy flavours are so yummy and delicious.

Teochew Steamed Catfish In Sour Plum Broth


Teochew Steamed Catfish In Sour Plum Broth



The Stir-Fried White Bee Hoon Noodles features thin, long, rice vermicelli bee hoon noodles, stir-fried with cabbage, bean sprouts, choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage, eggs, squid rings, prawns / shrimp, pork loin, and chili. It has a smoky savoury peppery flavour profile, a bright burst of flavour on the palate. Very addictive.

Stir-Fried White Bee Hoon Noodles


Stir-Fried White Bee Hoon Noodles



The traditional fusion dish of Hainanese Chicken Chop hails from the combination of British English and Chinese Hainanese cuisine. A large, tender, moist piece of chicken chop is coated in a light bread crumb batter, then deep-fried. It's served coated in a bright, tangy, sweet and sour sauce, garnished with onions and peas. The sauce is thick and bold in taste, making the dish stand out.

Hainanese Chicken Chop


Hainanese Chicken Chop


Hainanese Chicken Chop






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