When we think of foodie destinations in Malaysia, the state of Johor doesn’t naturally come to mind. However, be prepared to change your perspective with this list of Johor’s most tantalizing local dishes and our recommended restaurants below!
Not many people know about this dish inspired by Egyptian origins that is the perfect hearty breakfast for an empty stomach. Cooked with fava beans, spices and minced meat, it has a rich flavour topped with onions, chillis and lime juice. It’s served with thick Hainanese-style toast for you dip with. You can find stalls that sell this treat near the Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru.
Restaurant: Gerai Makanan Kacang Pool Haji
Working hours: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
Adrdess: Medan Selera Bomba Larkin, 26, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak (Susur 5), Taman Larkin, 80350 Johor Bahru, Johor
A Malaysian dish, foodies flock to Johor to try the Muar version of the dish that is wrapped in banana leaves just waiting to be devoured. The ingredients include fresh mackerel, coconut milk and curry. This dish brings meaning to the perfect balance of spices. Additionally, there are other versions in Johor like otak-otak gelang patah and otak-otak kempas that shouldn’t be missed as well.
Restaurant: Xiao Mei Famous Muar Otak-Otak 麻坡小妹乌达
Working hours: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Address: 24, Jalan Hashim, 84000 Muar, Johor
Another dish easily found all around Malaysia, Laksa Johor stands out mainly because they use spaghetti instead of Asian noodles. Paired with thick curry-like paste that is made from grounded fish, dried shrimps, coconut milk, asam gelugur and tons of other garnishes that vary depending on which restaurant you eat at. It makes for a perfect bite especially with the sambal belacan and lime juice normally served on the side.
Restaurant: Bumbu Asli
Working hours: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM (closed on Sundays)
Address: No.36-L Jalan Kolam Ayer, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Originating from Muar, this Johor dish has everything you need to satisfy your spicy soup cravings. Yellow noodles with a thick broth made of chili, onion, shrimp paste, and dried shrimp. With this strong combination, you can already imagine that a spoonful of this dish is like an explosion of flavour and heat to warm your weary bodies.
Restaurant: Mee Bandung Muar Bai Omar Pt. Bulat
Working hours: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Address: 21A, jalan masjid kg melayu, majidee (191.28 mi) 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Get ready for a wide selection of fresh fish when roaming around Johor as it is known for being a seafood state. However, a speciality you have to look out for is Asam Pedas Telur Ikan Mayong which is rare to find elsewhere. This sour stew includes steamed ladyfingers making them extra juicy.
Restaurant: Cafe D’Santai Mesra Asam Pedas Telur Mayong Viral
Working hours: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (closed on Fridays)
Address: BP 110 B, JALAN PT BILAL, Bukit Pasir, 83050 Batu Pahat, Johor
via nashriq mohd on Shutterstock
Lastly, this cheesy almost sinful street dish will have you cooking your own version at home. Murtabak cheese is normally stuffed with chicken or beef and is quite new in the Johor food scene. It’s larger than your typical murtabak and stalls that sell these cheesy versions are common in Johor Bharu, Larkin, Pontian and Kluang.
Restaurant: Murtabak Majid Special Cheese No. 1
Working hours: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Address: 38, Lot 5581, Jalan Kurniawan, Kampung Kurnia, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor
So there you have it, a list tasty enough to make Johor your next destination for a foodie getaway and while you’re there work up an appetite having tons of fun at LEGOLAND Malaysia, with their wide variety of rides and attractions. You can book your tickets to this amazing theme park on our website.
Words by Trisha Ganan
Featured image via Ikhwan Aris on Shutterstock