Tuesday, December 31, 2013

~ BPDGTravels' Footprint in 2013 ~

We are bidding farewell to 2013 and looking forward to 2014. 2013 has been a very fruitful and eventful year for our family with lovely memories. We would like to sum it all up in a little video on what we did and where we have been through this year.

Thank you for supporting our blog for the past year and BPDGTravels would like to wish everyone 

HAPPY NEW YEAR filled with Love, Health and Peace

Monday, December 30, 2013

~ JB Makan & Shopping Trip Dec 13 - Pasar Malam near KSL City ~

Bringing our friends to visit the Pasar Malam is the main highlight of our Johor Bahru makan trip. After researching and reading through various blogs, there are pasar malams at different parts of Johor Bahru every night (Monday - Sunday). The night market that we often visit opens every Monday evening, stretching from KSL City Mall to Grand Paragon Hotel.

Name: Pasar Malam
Location: From KSL City Mall to Grand Paragon Hotel
(Opens every Monday)

 Roads are cordoned off and mobile vendors started setting up their stalls in the late afternoon. 

Be prepared to walk and squeeze yourself way through the crowd. Unlike the pasar malam we have in Singapore, there is so much more to see and offer here. Get ready your empty tummies as you venture along the streets and tuck yourself into the food cooked up by the mobile vendors.

For first timers, this may look a bit "chaotic" and you might feel lost. But soon enough you will find the beauty of this night market. Being our fifth visit, we knew exactly what we wanted to eat and where to get it. :)

1) Crispy Chicken Chop and Cheese Hotdog - This is probably one of the favourite stall for children. If you yearn for Taiwanese style chicken chop, why not try out the one here which is just as good plus its cheap!
Now you see it.... Soon you don't. :)

2) Penang Laksa and Chendol - This lorry has been converted into a stall selling nice Penang Laksa and Chendol. You should not miss it and definitely worth to give it a try.

After having some fried food, a bowl or packet of chendol definitely quench our thirst. Packet your chendol to enjoy its sweetness throughout your walking trip.

I preferred to start my makan session with a bowl of Penang Laksa. The flavour of the thick asam soup is robust yet not over-whelming. For a person who don't like spicy food, it did not stop me from bending my rules and gave it all I had for this bowl of Laksa.

The rice vermicelli is chewy and slurpy. :) 

Apart from the food vendors, you will notice a variety of stalls set up along the street which added more colours and interests, grabbing the hearts of the locals and even tourists to visit the Pasar Malam faithfully.
Fruit stall
Stall selling "Mee Chiang Kueh" - crispy pancake with peanut fillings
Satay stall

Chinese New Year decorations on Sale already. 

The famous Penang Rojak Man on Mobile! If you love fruit rojak, you must give this a try! Read our previous experience :
Assorted Yong Tau Fu ingredients for sale.

3) Chwee Kueh - When we passed by this stall, I was instantly attracted by the nice fragrance from the Cai Poh (finely diced preserved radish). This was evident and good enough for us to place our orders without hesitation.

Packed in a waxed paper, the chwee kueh, made of rice flour and water, was soft and the cai poh was heavenly. My only 'complaint' was the cai poh was too little to go with my chwee kueh!

4) Jia Jia Soya Milk/Bean Curb - If you read through our previous posts, we are faithful patrons of Jia Jia Soya milk stall (佳佳冰档). Their soya bean curb is smooth and delicious, available in original or brown sugar. Their stall has shrunk in size and we have to keep a sharp look out for their banner.

5) Carrot Cake - Their queue was as long as ever. This shows how popular their carrot cake is! Available only wirh dark soya sauce, the duo always meet their customers' expectations and demands to their best abilities.

Chee Cheong Fun stall - another converted stall from lorry.
More fruit stall
Fish stall

6) Roasted pork belly (Sio Bak) - Hubby nearly had an heart attack.....His favourite sio bak (roasted pork belly) was almost sold out when he arrived at the usual stall that we frequently patron. Hubby ordered the last bit of what was left over to share with the other 2 families.

The last box of Sio Bak. Thankfully we arrived earlier before all was gone!

7) Sushi - Sushi boxes available at pasar malam! 1 box of sushi for RM6, 2 boxes for RM10. Affordable pricing and tasted just as good!
Gladys' personal favourite. :)

Crowds started to swarm in as the sun starts to set. 

Visiting pasar malam in JB never bores us. On the contrary, we immersed ourselves into their culture and lifestyle. It is one of our favourite places to go and here is where we get to sample good food at a cheaper price.

Read our previous visits and reviews -

More photos on BPDGTravels facebook fanpage. :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

~ JB Makan & Shopping Trip Dec 13 - Day 2 (Part 2) ~

Travelling with friends to explore and savour the food around Johor Bahru is really fun and exciting. Not only do we get to travel to more places, we also combine our tummies power to try more variety of delicacies.

11:50am - Good food are meant to be shared. It feels great to bring our friends to Hiap Joo Bakery to join in the queue and wait for their signature Banana Cake. Finding a carpark lot around the area was challenging but we managed to figure our way through based on past experiences. ^_^

Name: Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory (协裕面包西果厂)
Location: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.456701, 103.764421

It was a rainy morning and bringing 8 children along with us was not an easy task. I must compliment all the kiddos for being so co-operative in joining us in our food trail and so supportive in sampling the food with us at every station.

Hiap Joo also sells assorted flavour buns which are freshly baked everyday. 

Why is Hiap Joo so popular? If you walked into the shop, you will realised their buns and cakes were baked over wood fire in a brick kiln-like oven. Trays and trays of buns started coming out around noon time when we arrived. The fragrant aroma of freshly baked bread filled the shop instantly.

Despite the rainy weather, it did not deter the crowd from coming in. Through years of experience and sincerity, Hiap Joo has build trust and good reputation with the buns and cakes that it baked daily. This little box of banana cake is definitely worth queuing for.

Read our previous review on Hiap Joo Bakery:

12:10pm - While waiting for the banana cakes to be ready, we hopped by Kin Wah Restoran (锦华), which is opposite of Hiap Joo, for another round of coffee and tea.

Name: Kin Wah Restoran (锦华咖啡店)
Location: 8, Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.456776, 103.764367

While many choose to order coffee, I have a special preference for Teh Terik. Even though it was lunch hours and many were having nasi padang (another specialty in Kin Wah) , I couldn't help but ordered 2 half-boiled eggs which goes perfectly well with my tea in this rainy afternoon.  

It takes experience and good judgement of time to deliver perfect half-boiled eggs. Its been a long time since I had a good serving of half-boiled eggs boiled to perfection! The yolks were not too hard or too watery. Adding a bit of pepper and soy sauce and giving it a good stir completely satisfied my taste bud as the smoothness of the eggs slide down my throat. Slurp!

Kin Wah also serves nice toast bread but I would go for their half-boiled eggs which deserves more credit. :)

12:30pm - Hubby was chit-chatting with an uncle at Hiap Joo and he recommended IT Roo Cafe as the restaurant serves "The Best Chicken Chop in Town" which was very popular among the locals. There was already a queue before the restaurant opens at 12noon.

Name: IT Roo Cafe Restoran
Location: 17 Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.456845, 103.763546

The small, nostalgic looking cafe was already full-house when we arrived. The waitress were very helpful in assisting our group getting our seats. Denver later mentioned to me that this was the only air-condition eatery that we had in our entire food trail. :)

Our tummies were very full but to repay the hospitality, we ordered 3 Grilled Chicken Chop with mushroom sauce for the children, 2 mushroom soups and 2 Root Bear Floats.

Whenever I see root bear float, it reminds me of A&W. Making our own floats at home always doesn't feel and taste the same as having it outside. Always loving this drink no matter where I am.

Mushroom soup

Grilled Chicken Chop (Mushroom Sauce) - RM13 (~SGD5)

IT Roo Cafe's signature dish was Fried Chicken Chop with Mushroom Sauce. Even though we ordered the grilled version, we can tell from the faces of our kiddos that they enjoyed every bite of it. The children ate all the chicken and only left us with the coleslaw and mushroom.

Check out their menu. We may be back to try out their Fried Chicken on our next visit.

2pm - It's great to be back at the comfort of our rooms after multiple meals. :) To pamper ourselves further, we took turns and went for our well-deserved Thai Massage! How about the children? The daddies took turns watching over them as the kiddos jumped and ran in the indoor playground for 2 hours!

KSL Resort guests get to enjoy a 10% discount!

3:45pm - Chinese New Year is only a month away and I thought it's not a bad idea to pamper my nails and be ready to start the New Year. :)

Totally clueless but managed to walk in one of the shops and had my pedicure (with gel) done for RM70. My nails looked so clean! Truly enjoying myself in total indulgence. Haven't been pampering myself for a long time. My body and legs definitely needed a good massage and rest.

Our final journey for Day 2 will ends with our long-awaited Pasar Malam Food Trail. Stay tune for Part 3! 

~ JB Makan & Shopping Trip Dec 13 - Day 2 (Part 1) ~

23rd December 2013 (Monday) - After a good night rest, we were ready for another day of food hunt around Johor Bahru! What food would you think of when it comes to having breakfast across the border? Prata is one of my top choice as children loves them too!

8:30am - Thanks to Johor Kaki, our trusted food guide, we were able to savor many delicious food in JB. Our first stop is Md. Salleh Restoran which has been serving nice prata for 20 years.

It is also Johor Kaki's preferred prata stall :) :

Name: Md. Salleh Restoran
Location: 22 Jalan Pingai, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.482688,103.77312

I love to see how each dough is stretched, spread, flipped, tossed and folded. It takes years of experience to make these into perfection. The prata dough were pan-fried till its golden yellow in colour.

Even though there are many flavours available, I love to have my roti prata plain (kosong) and with egg. I must say I adore Md. Salleh's prata the moment I took a bite! Their roti kosong is crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside. Tasting the prata which was dipped into the dahl was double happiness for me. While hubby felt the dahl was not spicy enough for his liking, it was perfect for me. :p Children will love this too! Prata with egg was exceptionally yummlicious for me too. It is not too oily and the flavour of the egg was thick and smooth. Definitely a good, energetic meal to start our day!


Even the children were very focus while enjoying their prata. Eat first, play later!

9:20am - Since we were in Pelangi, thought it would be a great idea to try another Johor Kaki's recommendation: San Ming Penang Prawn Mee.

Name: San Ming Penang Prawn Mee (三民槟城福建虾面)
Location: 58, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru

The prawn mee stall is located within Heng Heng Food Centre (兴兴美食中心). Hubby and I decided to share a bowl and give it a try.

I believe the most important criteria to determine if the bowl of prawn mee is good is dependent on its soup. Personally, I do not enjoy food that is overly spicy as I think it will overwhelm the entire flavour of the dish. San Ming controlled the spiciness of its prawn soup pretty well and I enjoyed its sweetness with a stench of saltiness and sour. However, I thought the flavour of the prawn can be stronger to give the soup a stronger and thicker taste and boost.

For RM5, San Ming's prawn mee offers a good serving of prawns, egg, fish cake, lean meat and noodles. Definitely a satisfying meal to open my appetite. :)

Name: 何记云吞面
Location: 58, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru

He Ji Wanton Mee is also located within Heng Heng Kopitiam. 

Generally, I find the quality of most wanton mee stalls in JB reasonably good. We ordered mee kia which is tangy but it feels a little too dry. The charsiew and wanton is satisfactory and I enjoyed the sweetness of the sauce. No wow factor but we enjoyed its sincerity and simplicity.

Name: Wah Cai 3 in 1 Chinese Cake (华仔3合1招牌炸年糕)
Location: 86, Jalan Pahlawan 2, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah (TUTA), Skudai, 81300 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 7am - 4:30pm daily
GPS: 1.522640, 103.664664

10:30am - Before embarking in our makan trip, we have read many good reviews of Wah Cai Fried Durians and their signature 3-in-1 Fried Nian Gao (Chinese Cake) from various food bloggers. From Pelangi, we braved through the rainy weather and travelled all the way down to TUTA to try out these fried fritters that has caused so much craze. 

Standing by the stall and watching the frying in action is tempting. Each fritter was beautifully fried and laid aside to drain off the excess oil.

Despite having a heavy breakfast earlier, we could not resist the temptations and buy one 3-in-1 fried nian gao to taste. A thoughtful auntie from the stall helped us to cut the nian gao into smaller pieces so we could share among each other. She also shared with us that it is called 3-in-1 because the nian gao was sandwiched between sweet potato and yam.

One bite into the fried nian gao was HEAVENLY! The crispy crust wrapped around the soft nian gao is a perfect combination. While crunching my way through the crust, the sweetness of the nian gao melted in my mouth! I would love to have more if it wasn't for my persistent cough. Another MUST TRY in JB.

Even though I am not a durian lover, I had to give this a try! The frozen durian flesh was pre-wrapped individually, dipped into the batter and deep fried. The strong aroma from the durian filled the air as hubby sunk his teeth into the fritter. The richness and taste of the durian flesh overwhelmed my entire taste bud. Hubby thought the crust could be thinner to enhance the flavour of the durian further. Nevertheless, the fried durian fritter was so delicious and well-received that even our kiddos gave it a THUMBS UP!

Wah Cai also have curry puffs, fried banana and fried cempedak.

Fried banana fritter is our children's favourite.

After talking to the uncle at Wah Cai, he mentioned there are also outlets in Singapore! I am definitely going to check it out to see if it tastes as good! I am missing the Fried Nian Gao already!

Name: Wah Cai Chinese Cake
Location: Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 98585
Unit No: #B2-K10

We bought some fried fritters back to eat on our journey back. It was a morning filled with FOOD but none of us were complaining. :)

More Food Adventure coming up in Day 2 - Part 2