Thursday, January 2, 2014

MUAR JOHOR | South Food Trail by Best Restaurant to Eat

There are many blogs and TV shows featuring Muar in Johor as a food haven. With that in mind, we decided to make a trip down south to savour this offering.

There is a TV series which highlights Muar streets foo. Today, we will be eating street food rather than restaurant food that we normally featured. After a series of search, we have shortlisted a couple of some of the best of Muar Food to savour for this trip.

We started quite early in the morning at 6am from Kuala Lumpur as most of the food stalls are open for breakfast up to lunch hours. We reached Muar at 830am and drove around town trying to spot the Wai Sek Kai Along Jalan Haji Abu (between the junction with Jalan Meriam and Jalan Ali). 

We notice that there are streets with the colour theme like red where most building along that street is painted with red and yellow as yellow streets and blue streets. A true community spirit of the people of Muar to promote this town.

We took a walk around the main makan street and try to see what was that they were selling and also to find out where our shortlisted store is.

Our first taste was the fried carrot cakes; we saw a big queue already before the store was open. We look around to see what was being ordered by the other patron and decided to order one big packet with eggs to be shared. The normal price for a small packet is RM3.00. For the big packet, it is at RM4.00. The uncle told us his version is the sweet type version (which is black due to the thick black soya sauce) and we also got to know that in Muar there is a white version from one of the fellow patron which she also recommends some places for other Muar favourite makan place.

Taste wise it is, it is a little sweet and they don’t fry it like in KL where the pieces of carrot cake are cut to smaller pieces and a little crispier on the outside. Moreover, we can’t really taste much of the choy poh.

Next, we venture into a restaurant called Hua Nam. In this coffee shop, there is 2 main food served here i.e the popular Muar Laksa and the Teochew Pork soup. The shop was packed when we arrived and took us a while for us to get a table. We look around to see what was being ordered by the other patrons.

The Muar Laksa was noting great compared to the one we had in Kuala Lumpur. The broth was not thick and was not spicy at all. It was quite bland. The saving grace was the cockles which were very fresh and succulent.

Next, we savour the Teochew Pork (Chap Chye) Soup with white rice. This is a totally new dish for me as the one we had in Kuala Lumpur is the Mustard Vegetable Pork soup. Well, this dish is only for lovers of pork spare parts. Taste-wise, it was short of my expectation of a good pork soup.

In this coffee shop, it does allow outside food from the outside to be brought in to be eaten. There are a couple of streets store just outside this shop.

The first one that we ordered is the Teochew Braised Pork and Spare parts. We had the pork, pig skin, pig intestine, eggs and tau foo. Taste-wise, it is not very fragrant as it lacks the taste of spices usually used to cook this dish.

Lastly, we ordered the Woon Chai Koh, compare to those that you normally find from the Pasar Malam, this is a super small bowl and for RM2.00 you get 8 pieces of it. One of the main difference is the garnishing, which is boiling hot, unlike those found in Pasar Malam, which is usually cooked hours earlier. Taste-wise, the texture was quite smooth while the garnishing blended well.

The next to the shop is the coffee itself. Understand that there are many coffee merchants in Muar, so the one we had in the shop truly has strong aroma with the strong aftertaste in your throat. Worth the money you paid for many times over.

We tried the otak-otak on Avenue 4 food court but found it to be too spicy and salty. Not much to shout about. Probably being introduced to the wrong place.

We were told of the best wanton noodle in the area and when we reach the shop, it was beginning to open its shop, so we waited patiently for them to unload box and crates of dumpling, suikow and wantan noodles and the must-have char siew.

At first, we thought we were in a treat, how wrong were we after our first taste, of the soup then the noodles, then the sui kow and wanton. The only saving grace was the price. At 3.50 per bowl, it is a real bargain but I wouldn’t go for a second after tasting the best wanton noodles in KL.

As we were chilling before the lunch break, we wanted to sample the famous chicken rice Jit Fatt, we came about a place where we park our car, the place is Kala Chicken along the makan street, they served the Grass Jelly Tea at RM3.00 per shot. Feeling thirsty after all the food intake, we decided to try one. To our surprise, it was not bad and considering the price we paid for it was good.

We left the place to find the Jit Fatt 119-4, Jalan Mariam. Here like Melaka, the chicken rice is served moulded into a ball. Some say, it is comparable with the one in Melaka, so we ordered a small serving of 3 rice ball with a plate of chicken breast. If you really want to know whether the chicken is good, you have to try the breast meat, you can taste the sweetness of the chicken if any, the tenderness not soft, and the juiciness (breast meat have the least) and if any it will make the chicken especially nice and top quality. To me, it fails all the 3 test.

The rice balls were too hard and not much taste compared to those from Melaka, they are soft and fluffy even when moulded into a ball. I would say the size of the rice ball is also bigger than in Melaka.

It was a truly disappointing food trip and really out of our expectation. So we decided to cut short our trip and head to Melaka.

Before leaving, we remember we passed by a store where they sell this Bentayan Lemon Lime drink but it was in the midst of opening when we had our wanton noodle earlier, so we decided to make t trip there to try it out. The first sips were mesmerising, you can feel the sourish lime lemon flowing down your throat. It was very refreshing and can wake up your senses up if you are sleepy. It was also very intoxicating as you want to have more sips after the first. This is the saving grace of our trip to Muar, Johor. Next stop is Melaka.

Read about our Food Trail to Tangkak Johor

Read about our holiday at Desaru Beach 3D 2N Weekend Escapade, Johor

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