[编辑 Editor 刘大人 中译 Translator 吕大人 郑大人 摄影 Photographer Johor Kaki]
To eat is… bliss!
为时近一年的筹备，这本不插电版的柔佛在地传统美食指南《一传食传百》终于出版了！我想将此本《一传食传百》当作献礼予一群用一生为我们烹煮了那么多美食的饮食业者们，感谢他们的辛勤付出与努力，为我们带来排山倒海的味蕾体验和记忆中的幸福滋味。在此也特别鸣谢MAGistrate杂志大人将之编辑成书，同时也得到马来西亚驰名地产发展商 UMLand Bhd 的热情赞助，使此《一传食传百》得以顺利面世。我已迫不及待想要与各位美食饕客们分享书内的精彩内容啦！
Finally, after a year of preparation, the “Find Dining with Johor Kaki” guide to Johor’s heritage and street food is ready 😀 This guide book is not Johor Kaki‘s alone – it also belongs to the hawkers and Johoreans who generously shared tips on where are the best eats in Johor. My special thanks to MAGistrate杂志大人 and UMLand for their support in producing and printing the guide, which will be available to the public later this month!
The “Johor Kaki” story – how it all began…
令人感到鼓舞的是这原本是以我个人有限的资源 (除了时间、精力与付出) 来消磨退休时间的活动，透过社交媒体的力量竟得以与这么多人接轨， 从而变成了有意义的社区服务。
When I retired 5 years ago, I wanted to do things I enjoy for a short while before deciding what next. I love eating, taking photos, discovering new places, and meeting people. I also enjoy writing. Blogging about food allows me to do all the things I enjoy, together. At that time, I just began to learn about blogging and thought of it as an online digital dairy which few people will read.
Not long after I started blogging, from feedback and response that I am getting, I realised that my blog was making a useful contribution to small stall holders and people looking for food in Johor. My blog was connecting food and beverage businesses with customers.
I felt encouraged that my limited resources (other than time, energy and commitment) could become something valuable to the community by leveraging on the ability of social media to reach and connect people. What was initially a personal pastime became a community service of sorts which I am deeply committed to.
Why Johor? Because I love Johor food and have the vision that one day in the near future, people will talk about Johor food like how they talk about Penang food and Ipoh food today. Because of its rich history and special location at the crossroads between East (China) and West (India) and also North (Asian mainland) and South (Indonesian archipelago), Johor have many unique and delicious food to share with the world. I hope Johor Kaki blog helps more people discover the wonderful whole of Johor food.
The highs and lows
It always leaves me energized and happy for many days whenever a small stall holder tells me that his/her business, and therefore their livelihood, has improved when people share about them on social media. Encounters like this make me forget the considerable difficulties I faced in keeping Johor Kaki blog going.
Paying for my own meals…
The matter of getting paid for food reviews does not arise as Johor Kaki is just a pastime and merely my online personal eating dairy. The only difference between Johor Kaki blog and a traditional dairy is that my food dairy blog is open for everyone to read.
At the moment, I like to stay true to the original purpose of Johor Kaki blog when it was started. Any change will only be when it is absolutely necessary.
We have also decided to distribute this Johor Kaki guide book free of charge as an appreciation to Johor hawkers and also their customers. Because, only when there are both hawkers and supportive customers will any food culture thrive and grow from strength to strength.
Discovering the unique Johor identity…
Johor have it’s unique dishes which the Johoreans identify closely with. For example, we all know that every region of Malaysia have their version of laksa, Laksa Johor being one of them and Asam Laksa Penang is another. The variations are outcomes from historical developments, and the influence of different ingredients from the land and sea. These variations are important as it represents the unique identity of communities of people and differentiates one community from another. From a foodie’s point of view, we have more recipes and dishes to enjoy.
Food gives communities identity and at the same time, food has the power to bond peoples, within communities and between communities. No matter where we are, we find that people celebrate with food. People show love and care by sharing food. Eating together is a form of cultural exchange and strengthens relationships – people who eat together, stay together, be it family, friends and even international communities. So, I hope that greater awareness of Johor’s unique food brings Johoreans and visitors closer together.
Savour the past and taste the future…
It’s natural that food changes over time just as places change, people change, everything changes. Food that do not change much even when many things around it have changed are naturally rare and should be treasured as living legacies.
In Johor, it is fortunate that there are still a few such gems. Sang Heng noodle shop in downtown Johor Bahru is much the same to this day but we are not sure about the future. Hiap Joo’s banana cake baked with a near century old wood fired oven looks secure in the hands of the next generation.
But, we need to recognise that these are living legacies which need to be supported if we hope to continue enjoying them in the future. I am glad that Johor Kaki blog plays a small part in this effort.
Feed or fit?
No, no, no, I am not exactly fit as a fiddle. I am overweight and have too high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. While eating, I have to watch what I eat and also exercise as much as possible. I brisk walk at least 40 minutes everyday and go trekking whenever I have the opportunity.
I am already blogging about healthy lifestyle activities like trekking. Next, I am going to include a healthy eating section in Johor Kaki blog. That will remind me to watch my diet.
Life beyond Johor Kaki…
Johor Kaki 其实就是我的网络日记本，所以只要我有机会到处游走，就会在里面分享我对当地食物、人和景物的看法及感想。
Johor Kaki is at it’s core, just my online diary. When I have the opportunity to travel occasionally, I will share my personal thoughts about the food, people and places that I have experienced.
I am especially interested in representative dishes through which we can understand a place, it’s history and people. For example, Johor’s Laksa Johor, Singapore’s Hainanese chicken rice, Indonesia’s nasi ambeng, Bangkok’s boat noodles, and many more. This food adventure is a never-ending journey of wondrous discoveries.
Behind the scenes