Whenever I tell someone that I am from Batu Pahat, the usual reaction will be either they do not know where it is, or they will exclaim, “Ahhhh.. the food.” Yes! The food. Don’t be surprise to see all KL and Singapore plate numbered cars swarming the town, during long weekend, for the local food. It’s a norm, nowadays.
Here is a list of top best food in Batu Pahat that I will recommend:
NON HALAL FOOD IN BATU PAHAT:
Pork Porridge @ Kang Foo Foodcourt (Breakfast and Lunch)
It’s the best pork porridge in town, at least to my standard, and I have been a fan since I was a kid. No balik-kampung trip will be complete until I slurped down this tongue-scalding-hearty bowl of porridge. It does not reek of gamey pork smell even with the pig livers added and perfected with dashes of dong choi (Tian Jin preserved vegetable) and parsley leaves.
Kang Foo is an old run-down foodcourt so one might want to manage their expectation on establishment cleanliness. In fact, I would say, the famous eateries a re always the run-down types.
Kang Foo Foodcourt (no signboard)
Address : 50 Jalan Abu Bakar, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor
Estimated GPS : 1°51’08.5″N 102°55’46.6″E or 1.852354, 102.929605
Wanton Noodles @ Chop See Kee (Breakfast and Lunch)
More famously known as ‘Ah See Wanton Mee’, honouring their late founding father – Ah See, had branched out just like its expanding family. We always return to this old shop, since the other branch (which used to be at Jalan Sultanah cross road) has moved, changed hands and as CS claimed, ‘does not taste the same anymore’.
The noodles are flavoured with their special sesame sauce instead of dark soy sauce, which explains the light colors. Light in visual but not in taste. Chop See Kee pride themselves with own made springy noodles and wanton for decades. Take a peek at the kitchen and most of the time, you will them wrapping wantons at an incredible speed, to fulfill the demands.
Chop See Kee (Ah See Wanton Noodle)
Address : 2, Jalan Jenang, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor
GPS : 1°51’01.5″N 102°55’38.3″E or 1.850427, 102.927310
Kueh Chap 顺来粿汁 @ Kedai Makan Soon Lai (Lunch)
Kueh Chap, Kway Chap or Ger Chap, whatever. Due to the different hokkien pronounciation in Johor vs the northern, the ‘Kueh’ is usually pronounced as ‘Ger’ here. Like any heritage food in Batu Pahat, Soon Lai Kueh Chap started out as street peddler until they finally have enough to move into a shop lot. And like Ah See wanton mee, it too, has decades of history.
Kueh Chap are flimsy pieces made from rice flour, with softer texture than kueh teow. The soup is usually stronger to complement the blander taste of Kueh Chap, not unlike braised duck soup. To top on the taste, there are veritable side dishes to choose from – braised pig intestines, tofu, chicken feet, pig’s ear, pig’s lung, pig’s blood and the list goes on. It’s no wonder that the owner is always busy with cutting and slicing the ingredients like a sushi master.
Kedai Makan Soon Lai
Address : 6-C, Jalan Fatimah, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor.
GPS : 1°50’57.0″N 102°55’39.5″E or 1.849160, 102.927650
Ah Soon Mix Pork Soup 阿顺猪杂汤 (Lunch)
Despite the claim on its signboard – “Fish Head Bee Hoon, Fish Soup and Fish Porridge”, it’s totally pointless to order these, since Ah Soon is more famous for its Mix Pork Soup. Even if you try to order for Fish Bee Hoon, you will ended up with the same pork soup, with slighty more fish slices. If you are curious, Mix is in terms of having pork, minced pork and livers together.
The Mix Pork Soup is Teochew style, considering the high population of Teochew descendents in Batu Pahat. Hence the soup is sourish and appetizing from the additional preserved vegetables and plum on top of the fresh meat and porkballs.
The recommended order will be a bowl of Mix Pork Soup to be eaten with its specialty yam rice.
Kedai Makanan & Minuman Ah Soon (faded signboard)
Address : 5, Jalan Temenggong, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor
Estimated GPS : 1°51’18.7″N 102°55’44.9″E or 1.855194, 102.929130
Laksa (Curry Mee) @ Kedai Makanan 1988. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Yes, when we say laksa, it means curry mee as termed in KL. If you use the term ‘curry mee’ in Batu Pahat, you will get a weird judging look. This is not the most popular laksa stall in Batu Pahat but enough to keep warrant our visit. Also, because it is not famous, this place is our great plan B whenever we can’t get a seat in the other eateries listed above.
Laksa in Batu Pahat are slightly different from KL’s. The curry gravy is lighter and most taste is derived from fish cakes, tau kee (special fish cake rolled in beancurb skin), cuttlefish and juicy cockles, instead of chicken.
Kedai Makanan 1988
Address : 23, Jalan Mohd. Akil, Kampung Pegawai, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor.
GPS : 1°51’06.4″N 102°55’42.0″E or 1.851788, 102.928326
Riverside Food Court (Hai Kee) 海記饮食中心 (Dinner)
A long standing food court that offers every thing under the same roof, well, technically, a few roofs. I will just name a few good ones but feel free to try out other stalls, hit or miss.
Grilled Chicken Wing : There are more than one stalls selling the chicken wing, but the best one is an unnamed stall at the corner end, opposite a small vacant parking lot. This stall also offers delectable Muar grilled otak-otak.
Wu Xiang 五香 : It is the same as Penang Lobak, with crispy deep fried items but somehow the items run out really fast, sometimes as early as 8.00pm.
Fried and grilled seafood : The sambal are extra spicy here but do order them for the aromatic kick. And do note forget the special mini lala fried with birds eyes chillies and ginger.
Zi Char or Dai Chow : There are at least three stalls offering zi char at Hai Kee, and all fares quite well in terms of taste. The more popular items are Fu Chow noodles, which resembles Hokkien Mee (by the way, Hokkien Mee in Batu Pahat usually refers to Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles, which is totally another type of dish). My favourite is “zi char kueh tiaw” which is, in KL terms – wah tan hor.
Riverside Food Court 海記饮食中心
Jalan Shahbandar, 83000 Batu Pahat.
GPS : 1°51’05.7″N 102°55’28.9″E or 1.851593, 102.924699