[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
WHILE many people now see Johor Bahru as a rapidly developing city that has way too many shopping centres and cafes, there is more to this chaotic border town than the fact most travellers skip southern Malaysia’s largest city en route to Melaka or Kuala Lumpur.
What most people don’t get to see is the neglected side of this diverse capital city, which makes it fun to explore and a bona fide foodie heaven.
For a taste of nostalgia, venture to Taman Sri Tebrau and you will notice a popular mobile stall for some time (actually, for over 2 decades to be exact) outside the food market in the morning. There is always a crowd of “drive thru” customers waiting in their cars or motorbikes, waiting to take away small packets of chwee kueh.
Good news for those enjoyed this simple Teochew staple food common in Johor and Singapore, where your craving can be easily satisfied over breakfast early in the morning, or even supper later in the night. The sight of Sam (owner) scooping the small white rice cakes onto pieces of wax paper for customers to take away is a sight (and taste) to behold, providing a perfect kick start for your morning with a metabolism-revving breakfast.
The real kick (and magic), however, lies in the sweet and salty topping made using preserved radish that was kept warm with low fire. The finale moment that everyone’s waiting for – when Sam was scooping and pouring the super fragrant chai poh for the finale over these delicious traditional “cup cakes”, and we couldn’t resist but asked for more, a sure way of saying goodbye diet, hello calories.
Much to the delight of many of his regulars or new found customers, Sam also sells other breakfast items like chee cheong fun and yam cake which are equally popular and taste just as great. You now know where to head for a dose of simple Malaysia style breakfast food, where you can expect a real treat with just the right tenderness and savouriness. Nom nom nom…
Location: Outside Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre, along Jalan Keris.