Simpang Renggam is less than an hour from JB, so it makes sense as a lunch stop when driving up north from JB if one were to leave JB before noon.
There are ample eateries in Simpang Renggam, and we chose Restoran Tai Kai Hock (大家福酒楼) since they are quite highly rated on Google. They are basically a Tze Char restaurant and the standard is above average.
Their signature dish is the crispy duck, and indeed it is pretty good. Overall the food is value for money, and well worth stopping over for lunch.
Bukit Gambir is under 2 hours from KL and 1.5 hours from JB, so it could work as a lunch stop from either direction. It is a sizeable town, comparable to Yong Peng, and offers quite a few dining options during lunch time. It is very near Panchor, and easily accessible from the Toll booth.
I Googled and found a restaurant that has unfortunately already shut down, but just behind to it, there is a Tze Char restaurant that probably has been operating for a long time – Bee Hiong Guan. It is housed in a purpose-built building, and the high ceiling made it feel breezy and airy. It is very clean too. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Bukit Gambir
So, where were you over the long weekend just passed? For a cheap getaway, nothing beats crossing over to neighbouring Johor. This time, we ventured up the east coast which we haven’t been to before (not counting Desaru that is). This turned out to be an excellent choice since the north-south highway was jam packed with holiday makers who ended up getting caught in multi-hour traffic jam.
The islands off Johor east coast, especially Tioman, are the popular destinations in this area, but we avoided those as we wanted to avoid crowds. Instead, we headed to Rompin, where there is a decent beach that is not busy. Continue reading Long Weekend Johor Getaway
Today i found my new favourite lunch stop along the North-South highway – Hin Thoy restaurant at Panchor. It is easily accessible from the North-South highway – merely 8 minutes from the Pagoh toll exit.
Panchor is a quiet village by the Muar river, and i love the sense of serenity here. This was much more pleasant than the other nearby towns, Yong Peng and Tangkak, and even Pagoh.
Today i drove a little faster (okay way above the speed limit actually) and got to Ayer Hitam at 1230pm (in just 2.5 hours from KL), just the right time for lunch. Ayer Hitam is just off the highway, making it a convenient lunch stop.
If you Googled for Ayer Hitam food, you’ll invariably find Tang Chuan among the top search results. Tang Chuan sells Pau and other Dim Sum, not quite the staple people will usually choose for a lunch meal. We certainly did not feel like having Pau for lunch. After doing a quick survey, i settled for Meng Heng, located at the corner unit of the row of shops across the road.
For completeness sake, let me quickly mention that the Kopitiam next to Tang Chuan, called New Mui Thye, had two stalls open at lunch time, selling chicken rice and noodles. The corner unit at the other end of the same row of shops as Tang Chuan sold Wanton noodles. The two shops directly across the road from Tang Chuan sold mixed economy rice (什菜饭), and these two took in the lion’s share of the local lunch crowd. None of these eateries looked appealing, honestly speaking, and from intuition, i felt there was something about Meng Heng that seem just slightly more convincing.
Meng Heng sells various types of noodles, as well as mixed economy rice. I just found out they have been around for more than 60 years. Okay. Wow.
We ordered three types of noodles, and they did not disappoint.
The noodles used was chewy flat yellow noodles, a welcome change from the more common soggy round yellow noodles. There was a lot of (too much) oil in the noodles but no obvious taste of lard, which sat well with me as i do not like a lot of lard in my food.
I don’t have a photo of the coffee which we did order, but as mentioned in the news article, it was pretty good. Yes, despite the coffee being a little milky, as is typical of the coffee around this region (from Batu Pahat to Pontian in the south), there was enough of aromatic coffee taste to convince me i was drinking coffee instead of milk.
Just so that i can check Ayer Hitam off my list of food to try along the North-south highway in Johor, we went to sample the Pau at Tang Chuan after finishing our meal at Meng Heng.
I would say the Pau were indeed nice. We sampled the big Pau and the Char Siew Pau. Both were more savoury than sweet, which suits my preference just nice. The filling were juicy and tender. The coffee from here, however, was no match to Meng Heng’s.
To conclude, i would say Yong Peng is still the best place to do lunch along the North-south highway if you’re not in a hurry.
It is no secret that petrol prices in Malaysia is about one third that in Singapore. At present, the price of RON97 is RM 2.05 per litre, whereas it costs S$2.05 (before applying discount) per litre for RON95 in Singapore. Topping up your tank before returning to Singapore from Malaysia means huge savings, especially for cars with bigger tanks. Some even perform the rather unsightly maneuver of rocking their car in an attempt to get that little bit more petrol into the tank.
Cars returning to Singapore after travelling on the North-South Highway will have to decide where to pump petrol, and it’s best to plan ahead exactly where. One might say this is an easy decision – just choose the station nearest to the immigration checkpoint. Under optimal conditions, when there is no queue at the checkpoint, this is a sensible choice. However, when there queue, pumping at a petrol station near the checkpoint may cost you more time to clear the immigration, since your queue will virtually start at the petrol station. It is demoralizing, i can tell you.
Let me go straight to the point and show you the three options you have in choosing the petrol station:
1. Petrol station near checkpoint
For the second link, obviously the Shell station just before the Tanjung Kupang CIQ is the one, and probably 90% of the cars returning to Singapore will pump petrol here.
Here we go again, making a trip to JB for Durian. Now is certainly the ripe time to go, with Durian supplies ramping up and prices coming down. In my opinion, the prices are still not that cheap. I’ll just quickly state here the prices of those varieties i have sampled for your information (per kg):
Lao Tai Po (老太婆) RM 25 (pictured above – sweet and creamy)
Sultan RM 30
D101 RM 38
Tekka (Bamboo) RM 38
Mao Shan Wang or Musang King RM 48 Continue reading JB Durian trip 2
It is July and it is time for more Durians! This time we ventured further north, all the way to Malacca.
Information on the whereabouts of Durians, whether Durian orchards or stalls selling Durian are scarce as ever. My first target location was an organic Durian orchard near Batu Pahat. Believe it or not, I managed to determine the location of this place based on the markings on a lamppost. No other clues were given except the name of the road and a photo of the roadside. The photo carried the caption “very easy to find us”. Yeah, right.
Undeterred, I started searching using Google Street View, traversing the road, Jalan Sungai Suloh, where they’re said to be located. I found a patch of land that looked promising, and upon comparing the markings on the lamppost, to my amazement, they were a match! Continue reading Johor Durian trip
It’s that time of the year again! While you can enjoy Durian just about anywhere throughout Malaysia and Singapore, the best place in the world to enjoy Durian has got to be my hometown, SS2 Petaling Jaya. You get the best prices and the best variety here, sourced from the mountainous areas in Pahang. Just for comparison, the price of the Mao Shan Wang (MSW) variety in SS2 is RM30-45 per kg, but in JB, it is around RM50. I guess the proximity to Singapore drives prices up. Continue reading JB Durian trip
Pagoh is a very small town, with its commercial centre stretching over just 500m or so. When driving towards JB from KL, Pagoh is after Tangkak and before Yong Peng, making it a suitable candidate as a lunch stop, since it takes slightly over 2 hours to get to Pagoh.
Being the very small town that it is, choices are limited as expected. There are probably no more than 10 eateries in total if you actually combed the entire area. I settled on Gao Yuan Seafood that was almost the only place with an online presence.