Having passed by Kampung Serom 3 after having lunch at Sungai Mati not too long ago, I vowed to check out this place, and so i did. Except for a Char Kway Teow stall, there was no other food to be found here, so it’s not recommended for lunch, unless you just want to check out this place.
What attracts me to Kampung Serom 3, as usual, is how old the place is. The two rows of shophouses by the road look like they are at least 60 years old. Locals seem to enjoy hanging around the 3 kopitiams (especially at the two that does not serve food). Just sitting around and sipping kopi.
Sungai Mati means dead river, literally translated. Only now that I’ve read the Wiki entry do i understand why it is named so. You can see the Ox-bow lake from Google Maps (see below).
The detour from the North-South highway into Sungai Mati takes about 25 minutes, which is quite acceptable for a lunch break. Moreover, as with Yong Peng, you don’t have to back-track to the same Toll plaza for re-entry onto the highway, so you save a bit of time. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Sungai Mati
Jasin is probably the furthest from the toll station among the lunch places i have checked out along the North-South highway (not counting Kluang which is considered an intentional detour). I was pleasantly surprised by how historical the place is.
Jasin is located in the state of Malacca, and you can tell when you see the characteristic roofs of the Malay traditional houses (in the same style as those in Negeri Sembilan probably) which are not found in Johor. They are a pretty sight, and they make it worthwhile doing this short detour. Coming from KL, i took the Jasin toll exit, stopping at Jasin for lunch, and thereafter returned to the North-South highway via Chin Chin (what an interesting name) and Tangkak. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Jasin
If you are heading to KL and you had your breakfast in JB, then Seremban would be the ideal lunch stop. It takes almost 3 hours to get there from JB, and by then, you should be ready for lunch.
We used Google Maps to look for a lunch place and chose Keong Kee Recipe as they had about the highest review score. Unfortunately they were closed. There were many eateries nearby and we settled for Pin Xiang Lou, a huge kopitiam.
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
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.
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.