17 Johor Food and The Best Restaurants to Dine in

As one of the most developed states in Malaysia, Johor allures thousands of tourists every day, and many attractions display Johor’s great heritage and modern society. Today’s topic is great and diverse food of Johor, and its countless restaurants where you can explore the beauty and vibrance of this province.

There are thousands of restaurants in Johor and countless possibilities on the street, where street sellers offer you variety of choices to taste. In this article, I’ll guide you through the best food in Johor, and where to eat it. There are three sections of food specialties: rice, noodle, and special dishes for you here.

Let’s dive in to 17 Johor Food and the Best Restaurants to Dine in.

1. Chicken Rice

There are many variations of this Malaysian trademark dish to choose from. Chicken can be boiled, grilled, baked, or fried with special spices. The rice is normally cooked with chicken broth and butter to bring out the aroma. This dish is a common delight in Malaysia and Singapore and is mostly served during lunch. Johor restaurants and hawker stalls offer many different chicken rice meals for you to taste, and they are all doing their best to meet the standards for the cutting, spicing, and balancing with chili and sauce.

On many places chicken is chopped in front of you, and you may choose what will be on your plate. Average price of the meal is around RM5.

There are so many restaurants serving great tasting chicken rice in Johor and some of the recommendations are:
Johor Bahru: Ah Lee Kampung Chicken Rice 亚李菜园鸡饭
Johor Bahru: Yuan Ji Chicken Rice in Kedai Kopi Yee Chia Ler 源记鸡饭
Skudia: Nasi Ayam Seng Kee 成记鸡饭
Senai: New Swee Kee 瑞记海南鸡饭
Muar: Jie Chun Chicken Rice Ball 家春鸡饭粒
Kluang: Central Cafe 中央鸡饭

2. Lei Cha

This dish has a healthy combination that tastes great; you’ll enjoy the mix of veggies in green broth, made from herbs and thus called Lei Cha – the Ground Tea. When you pour the broth over mixed vegetables and rice, and let them mix, the meal gets better with every second. This broth usually tastes minty. The combination with crunchy peanuts and cereals taste delicious and provide amusing variety of texture and aroma. Some people prefer consuming the broth and rice separately while others like to mix together.

You can enjoy on this meal solo, or combine it with Yong Tau Fu. On several occasions I tried it with meat balls, sliced chicken, and eggplants. The combination with chicken is my favorite. This meal will cost you around RM5-8 per serving.

We love to get this tasty meal at these places:
Johor Bahru: Tai Hong Kopitiam 大丰擂茶
Kulai: Volcano Coffee House 火山
Kluang: 陆丰咸茶 @ 联成美食中心

3. Nasi Briyani

A rice-based dish popular among Malays and Indians, Nasi Briyani is prepared with lots of spices and goes well with meat curry, eggs, and vegetables. You can have the vegetarian version consisting natto, cooked or raw vegetables and eggs. Meat version is more popular as you may choose to have pork, chicken, beef, fish, or shrimps curry with your Nasi Briyani.

Popularity of the meal is big, and many places offer their own versions of Nasi Briyani. In Johor, Nasi Briyani is best served with curry chicken or beef with gentle aroma of spices. Average price of Nasi Briyani is around RM6, and depending on additions you’ll pay an extra RM3-4.

You can try this combination in many places in Johor, and our recommendations are:
Johor Bahru: Dean Briyani Hyderabad
Johor Bahru: Roslin Beriani House
Batu Pahat: Restoran BP Bariani Power
Batu Pahat: Nasi Baryani Mohd Shah

4. Nasi Lemak

As the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is also very popular in Asia. Rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan/screw pine leaves give the aromatic tastes. A meal this popular certainly must not be missed. Many variations are prepared for different states and Johor offers traditional taste with dominating pandan aroma. Nasi Lemak is usually served with fish cake, anchovies, egg, and buah keluak chicken. If you prefer fish more, or beef, this variations taste delicious.

The mini portion of nasi lemak is wrapped in banana leaf covered with newspaper. It really disappears quickly and one serving of this size is definitely not enough.

You can taste Nasi Lemak in many places in Johor and we like to get them in these places:
Johor Bahru: 32 Melaka Nasi Lemak @ Restoran 777 Food Centre
Johor Bahru: Malam Indah Selalu (Senibong Nasi Lemak)
Kulai: Yellow Corner Nasi Lemak
Kulai: Nasi Lemak Wak Kentut
Batu Pahat: Warung Zai (Kak Zai) Nasi Lemak

5. Char Kway Teow

In noodle segment of Chinese food, Char Kway Teow is in the top three most popular dish in Malaysia. Mixture of flat rice noodles stir fried with shrimp, eggs, Chinese lap cheong sausage, eggs, bloody cockles, bean sprouts, and chives combine with the right proportion of seasoning will leave you speechless.

Many stalls in Johor offer Char Kway Teow, with variations and different tastes. You can have it sweet, you can have it salty or spicy. Kway Teow stirred noodles are delicious; the secret is in stir frying in deep and hot wok, where chefs put oil and garlic before the frying process. It is an interesting treat to watch the chef preparing it with big orange flames surrounding the wok.

Recommended places to try the dish include:
Johor Bahru: Ah Huo Char Kway Teow @ Hong Kong Boy Kopitiam 阿火炒粿条 香港仔美食中心
Johor Bahru: Restoran Leong Seng Huat 两成发
Johor Bahru: Penang Fried Kway Teow @ Kim Ling Coffee Shop 金岭美食阁
Johor Bahru: Ipoh char kway teow stall @ Restoran Sing Li Kopitiam 信利美食中心

6. Laksa Johor

Laksa is a spicy noodle and Johor version uses spaghetti and has thicker gravy. It is a fine mixture of vegetables and spices blend well in savory and grainy gravy made from fish. Basic Laksa Johor will cost you around RM5, and additional meat, seafood or vegetables will give more variation and increase in price.

The preparation is very labour intensive so it is not easy to find Laksa Johor. Here are a few good ones:
Johor Bahru: Restoran Bumbu Asli
Johor Bahru: Al Ansar Café

7. Mee Rebus

Mee Rebus means “Boiled Noodles” in English. This is another popular noodle dish in Malaysia and Singapore. Boiled yellow noodles, mixed with thick gravy are decorated with boiled egg and vegetables. The gravy is the main taste factor, and it is made from sweet potatoes, curry powder, soybeans and dried shrimps. Delicate and fragrant, gravy tastes differently in almost every other hawker stall.

There are varieties with more gravy, or more noodles that you can choose to taste. The average price varies from place to place, but it is around RM5-8.

Try the delicious Mee Rebus in:
Johor Bahru: Zainal Place
Johor Bahru: Haji Wahid Mee Rebus @ Larkin Bus Station

8. Wanton Mee

Singapore version is sweeter, with ketchup added. Malaysian version is more salty, and usually has barbecue meat on top. You’ll usually receive two bowls, with broth and noodles separated. Some like to dip the noodles inside the broth.

Best advice you can get while looking for the best Wanton Mee noodles is to try at stalls specialized in this dish.

The places where you’ll find the great stuff:
Johor Bahru: Yap Wanton Mee @ Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Center 葉记云吞面
Skudai: Restoran Wantan Mee 金山楼云吞面
Johor Bahru: Ho Seng Kee Wanton Noodles 何成记云吞面
Johor Bahru: Restoran Yit Foh 益和云吞面
Pontian: Kedai Mee Ah Chuan 亚泉面店
Pontian: Heng Heng 兴兴
Segamat: Yik Kee Wanton Noodles 益记云吞面

9. Kway Chap

Kway Chap comprises rice sheets in a soup with dark soy sauce as base. It is served with seasoned meat, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs. Meat is prepared by braising in soy sauces, onions, garlic, sliced shallots, star anise, and dried chili pods.

You can find meat of different parts like pork liver, tongue, chicken legs, innards, and other. They are prepared in different pots and woks, each at different conditions and seasoning. Precision and patience in preparing this meal makes it exclusive and exotic.

Like every other meal, the dish is best found at specialized stalls selling only this delight. You’ll find great Kway Chap in these places:
Johor Bahru: Kway Chap stall @ Multi Mart Restaurant 满地好
Johor Bahru: Solid Cafeteria Kway Teow Kia 祖传果条仔
Johor Bahru: Restoran Ka Hoe 榕树下粿条仔
Johor Bahru: Taman Tasek Kway Teow Kia
Batu Pahat: Kedai Makan Soon Lai 顺来粿汁

10. Seafood

In rich culinary scene in Johor, seafood is an alternative to pork, beef, and chicken. High amount of omega acids and proteins in fish and seafood is a good reason to add it to your diets. With rich sea fauna, there are numerous choices of exotic seafood meals to be tasted in Johor. Chilli or black pepper crab, oatmeal prawn, steamed fish and fried oyster are some of the most delectable seafood cuisines offered by the restaurants in Johor below:
Johor Bahru: Tian Lai Seafood Garden 天来
Johor Bahru: Star Chef Restaurant 星名廚
Johor Bahru: Restoran Todak 旗鱼海番村
Johor Bahru: Anjung Senibong Malay Sea Food
Johor Bahru: Kong Kong Tai Son Seafood Resort 贡贡太子海鲜度假村
Pengerang: Straits View Seafood Restaurant 海景轩海鲜酒家
Pontian: Zu Qiu Seafood Corner 足球场海鲜茶餐室

11. Bak Kut Teh

The soup base of Bak Kut Teh is made from pork ribs boiling in broth and seasoned with a mixture of spices and herbs. Besidea pork ribs, it is common to find tau pok, mushrooms and offal in the soup. It goes along well with oolong tea as to reduce greasiness and enhance the freshness.

There are mainly three types of Bak Kut Teh, the light color/spicy type, the dark color/more soy sauce/saltier type and the herbal type with strong herbal taste. In Johor, you can find any of the three versions, with darker/saltier type being the most popular. This meal is usually served as breakfast and lunch in many hawker stalls and restaurants.

Try the delicious Bak Kut Teh here:
Johor Bahru: Kedai Bak Kut Teh Hin Hock 兴福肉骨茶
Johor Bahru: Ah Soon Bak Kut Teh 亚顺肉骨茶
Skudai: Pah Li Ban Bak Kuh Teh 八里半肉骨茶
Tangkak: Fa Lai Bak Kut Teh 发涞肉骨茶
Kulai: Restoran Sze Hwa 世华肉骨茶 (Original Shop)
Kota Tinggi: Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh 强记肉骨茶

12. Roti Prata

This flat crispy yet soft “pancake” served with vegetables or meaty curry can be found everywhere in Johor. Kids prefer to dip it in sugar. There is a plain version, or one that is stuffed with cheese, onion or banana.

The chefs prepare the “flying dough” as they spin it around in the air and thin the skin to less than 1mm. After pan frying for a few minutes, you get a delicacy that is fluffy and crispy on the outside with slight browning, and moist and soft on the inside. You can choose from many flavors, at an usual price of RM1.50 per plain pancake.

Recommended places for tasting are:
Johor Bahru: Restoran Selera Selatan
Johor Bahru: Roti Canai Bukit Chagar
Johor Bahru: Restoran Md. Salleh2
Johor Bahru:Restoran Furong 芙蓉华人煎饼
Segamat: Tengah Chinese Roti Canai 登雅茶室

13. Dim Sum

This is a delicate Cantonese food prepared in small bite-sized and traditionally displayed in small wooden baskets. To name a few, you can enjoy Har Gow (prawn dumpling), Guo Tie (fried pork dumpling), Shao Mai, Cha Siu Bao (pork bun) and many more.

Enjoying Dim Sum without a pot of Chinese tea is not complete. Having savory Dim Sum during breakfast and tea break at your leisure time is the best treat you can have.

Enjoy nice Dim Sum at:
Johor Bahru: Kedai Makanan Hao Yu 豪友点心楼
Johor Bahru: Hock Chiang Hin 福振兴餐室
Johor Bahru: Restoran Gim Cheng 锦成茶楼
Johor Bahru: Restoran Gui Yuan 桂苑点心茶楼
Air Hitam: Tang Chuan Kopitiam 东泉包点

14. Fish Head Curry

This is dish with a big red snapper head surrounded by tasty curry broth spiced with a mixture of herbs. Don’t be scared of a fish almost looking at you; this meal is delicious. You get some fried bean curd skin, lady fingers and long bean to go with the head, making the perfect mixture of tastes and texture. There are also some mild and sweeter versions to suit everyone’s taste.

Spicy and tangy, this curry will definitely tingle your tongue and palates, and the experience of eating this exotic meal is exciting. The price starts from RM40.

Try the Fish Head Curry in these places:
Johor Bahru: Kam Long Restaurant 金龙阿仔咖喱鱼头
Johor Bahru: Siang Yuan Restaurant 香园美食馆
Johor Bahru: Restaurant Chua Kee 泉记咖喱鱼头
Muar: Coco Garden Asam Fish 椰树下亚参鱼

15. Otah Otah

Otah Otah is a combination of ground fish meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices wrapped in coconut or banana leaves. This is a common snack that goes well with other meals on the lunch or dinner table.
The steamed Otah Otah is normally wrapped in banana leaves but most people prefer the one with coconut leaves, as it is barbecued and ends up drier and with a more distinct smoky fish aroma.

Different versions may be prepared with prawn or crab meat as well. The spices used in Otah Otah stay in your mouth, reminding you of the meaty piece, and awaking the desire for more.

Try the famous Otah Otah in these recommended places:
Muar: Xiao Mei Otak-Otak 小妹乌达
Muar: Otak Otak Cheng Boi 阿梅乌达
Muar: A Class Otak Otak Products

16. Roast Duck

There are many ways to prepare this famous dish and the best texture is where you have perfectly roasted and crispy skin with juicy and soft meat inside.

The alluring aroma is achieved by herbal spices sprinkled on the skin and different spice ingredients to be stuffed inside the body. For duck to be perfect in taste, marinating process is crucial and sometimes take up to several days, until the ducks are ready for the oven.
For one whole duck you will pay around RM60.

Nice places for tasting the roast duck are:
Johor Bahru: Restoran Lapan Dua Dua 822 超级鸭王
Johor Bahru: Restoran Ya Wang 鸭皇药材烧腊大王
Kulai: Sin Keong Kee Restoran 新强记烧腊

17. Steamboat

Having steamboat as a meal is a unique experience where you have a simmering metal pot at the center of the dining table with loads of ingredients surrounding it.

You choose what you will eat. Vegetables, different sliced meat, seafood, eggs and mushrooms are usual ingredients, and variations are endless. The key to a great steamboat is in the soup base and the fresh ingredients.

Try out variations of steamboat in this places:
Skudai: Sedapnya Steamboat 好食火涡
Skudai: Da Men Hotpot 大门火锅
Batu Pahat: Yong’s Steamboat 海口泳池火锅

Which restaurants do you think deserve a place here? Tell us by leaving your comment below and we’ll send our foodies to try them out and get the possibility to be featured as one of the best restaurants to dine in.

17 Johor Food and The Best Restaurants to Dine in
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