I have been to Johor Bahru countless times but have never strayed away from their mainstream shopping centres as I tend to avoid dodgy streets after hearing many horror stories of people getting robbed at knifepoint, etc. Sometime last year, the husband and I took a taxi from City Square to Grand Bluewave Hotel for lunch at The Grand Gem Indian Restaurant. The taxi driver drove past Jalan Meldrum and recommended us some local good eats that we should try there. Hence on our following visit to JB, we put on our adventurous caps and decided to go explore the neighbourhood.
What I want to recommend is this food street on Meldrum Walk that has all kinds of Malaysian/Singaporean local eats that we can think of such as wanton mee, fried kway teow, mee rebus, BBQ stingray, chicken rice and more.
I’ve indicated the walking route (black dotted line is the direction to walk; red line is the entire length of the food street) from City Square to the food street on the map above. First find the exit (next to McDonald’s on ground floor) at City Square that leads to Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Turn left and walk straight ahead, cross the road, walk past Hong Leong Bank and turn left at the first back alley.
And this is the route I’m talking about at street view. The moment you turn into the back valley, that’s already the start of the long food street that stretches all the way past Jalan Siu Nam. This food street may be located in a back valley between buildings but it’s what I call a true-blue and unpretentious Asian street food experience. However, if you don’t like the idea of dining beneath aircon units, next to beat-up walls or leaking pipes with the occasional sight of roaches running here and there, then this place is not for you. I can be quite skeptical of street food as I have a weak stomach but so far nothing has happened to me as I only go for hot food that’s prepared on the spot instead of those ready made ones that’s left out in the open.
The first half of the food street mainly sells Muslim/Malay/Indian food. Some of the notable dishes to try are kambing soup (mutton soup), ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken) and nasi padang style mixed rice that you can scoop your own.
The other half focuses on Chinese hawker food like oyster omelette, BBQ chicken wings, chicken rice and the like.
Been here a couple of times already and this is one stall I’d never leave without ordering a plate of oyster omelette.
This oyster omelette is more on the softer side but not to the extent of being gooey or cloying. I like that it has a generous portion of eggs that’s fried to a lovely brown caramelised exterior and there are plenty of big, plump and juicy oysters too. Those oysters are just fresh – can literally taste the sea water in them. And of course, the chilli sauce with a tinge of sourness will sure liven those tastebuds. At RM7 (approx. S$2.60) for the smallest portion which is good enough for sharing between two persons, this is considered quite a steal.
Most stalls open for business from 5pm onwards. On weekdays including Fridays, this place tends to be less busy but when it’s the weekend, it can be difficult to find a table. Anyway, if you’re sick of the usual food at City Square, why not pop outside for an eat-venture here? Plenty of choices for everyone. Eat, drink and be merry!