It almost seems unfair that the North-South highway is built right next to Yong Peng, and there is not just one but two entry points into or from the highway. This makes Yong Peng the no-brainer pit stop along the KL to Johor Bahru stretch of the highway, since you’re in Yong Peng town the moment you get off the highway, and you don’t even have to back-track to continue on your journey! Whether you are driving up or down, you can plan your meal time to be in Yong Peng.
I am no expert when it comes to culinary choices in Yong Peng, but I have been to, and can recommend two restaurants – Or Hwu (五湖) and Rong Cheng (隆城海鲜楼). Or Hwu serves traditional Foochow dishes, with the Foochow noodles being the signature dish. This is very similar to the KL Hokkien noodles (maybe it was inspired by this?). The gravy is so gooey and oily you’ll feel sinful eating this, but it is good and exactly how it should be. The pork balls are pretty good too. By the way, the lady boss is very friendly and she comes around to speak to you as if she already knew you.
Rong Cheng restaurant is the one that gets our repeat visit, simply for the fact that their kitchen operates throughout the afternoon, even at odd hours when people would be having their afternoon tea instead of lunch. It is a full fledge restaurant that is big enough for hosting weddings. Their menu is very extensive, so you can order different dishes every time you come by. They do have Foochow specialty dishes too. Prices are fair despite it being a slightly more upscale restaurant in Yong Peng. They do accept credit card for payment, so you can feast here even if you are not carrying much Ringgit with you.
Both restaurants are just off the main road, and here’s how you can spot them (images taken from Google Streetview). Update: the signage is now in black.
Yong Peng is also famous for fish ball (西刀鱼丸), but i’m not a fan of fish ball in general and have never been to any such eatery in Yong Peng, so i cannot comment on them. You can easily spot them off the main raod too.
Update 16 Nov 2017
It’s been some time since i last went to Yong Peng. I noticed that the town is thriving. For one thing, there are more eateries here than the other towns near the North-South highway.
If you are lazy, i counted at least 4 eateries not too far from the northern toll booth (Yong Peng Utara), just slightly beyond the long distance bus stop (which, if you’re driving, you probably shouldn’t be patronizing). Well, checking on Google streetview, there’s Restoran Kim Wah Ki, Old Street Seafood etc.
Anyway, during my KL to Singapore drive today, i decided to try some cheap food at the Banyan tree’s food court (榕树下). By the way, there were 3 trees in front of the food court and they didn’t look like Banyan trees. The Banyan tree could be more of a reference to Fuzhou.
As this is more of a hawker centre, don’t expect the quality of the food to be restaurant standard, but they do have a home-cooked feel. Since the duck noodles stall was closed, i ordered food from the other well-known stall, Li Xiang.
Overall, if you want variety and cheap food (even though half the stalls were closed), i think Banyan tree’s food court is a good place. A lot of locals came to get take-away food, mostly patronizing the economy rice stall and Li Xiang.
I also decided to check out the shop that is famous for selling Kompyang in Yong Peng, Eng Hin. They sell a variety of biscuits, and also the flat Fuzhou noodles.