Sunday, July 14, 2013

Suddenly Johor Mini Food Hunt

Few words: With Dwight Howard trade to Rockets, they are a promising 2014 championship contender. But wait, Nets just got massive upgrades too. God Bless!
Here is a spoiler for you: Dinner Crab.

If you are looking for what to eat or photo of good foods, please proceed to other food blog. This is merely a food hunt log with good friends.
It all started when three curious men babbled on the recent food victors of Singtel hawker foods challenge, we then came up with a rough idea to go food hunt for all these hawker foods that beat Ramsay in Singapore. That already sound attractive enough for me. Plus I haven’t had any nice food hunt recently, so why not?
But how we actually ended up in Johor, I have no idea.
To keep my story short - our friend, Mek who is a frequent traveler to Johor and also our driver that day decided to change course to his favorite makan place in Johor. We were told beforehand that the area is famous for their Bak Kut Teh (BKT) and Crispy Duck Rice. Of course we couldn’t have both for lunch, that would be too intense for our stomach to handle. So judging by the number of customers, we opted for BKT which has a larger crowd instead.

But how we ended up eating both, I have no idea too.
Anyhow, the foods weren’t really something to brag about. The BKT broth was really dilute, even it is safe to say to the extent of typical herbal chicken soup or perhaps we're way too used to the richer and more concentrated BKT herbal broth back in Perak. Meanwhile, crispy duck rice is just crispy duck rice, despite all the hype and publicity.
From my food hunting experience, the trick to good food hunt is to not set expectation too high. The point is to enjoy the ride and accompaniment, and the second is to always stay positive and hopeful for more good foods. With that being said, of course there is time when I came home frustrated with almost none good foods to share but the great accompaniment alone is already worth the shot.
Thus, with a hopeful heart and after a whole afternoon of burping, we arrived at Restaurant Todak for a scrumptious seafood dinner. The whole place is actually a fishing port or a port near a fishing port (whichever make sense to you) which is a good sign for fresh seafood. The crowd there were really no kidding; if you want a comparison, it would be at least 10 times the crowd in BKT.
This is actually my second visit to Restaurant Todak, so I do have a little experience on how to order fast. Upon arriving, first stop is to check their fresh catches of the day at the back of the restaurant. Then find the lady in yellow shirt with notepad and ask for her recommendation for fresh catches. Order everything there. Also, don't forget your table number. In the end, we ordered 2 kilos of crabs, a proclaimed absolute vodka drunken prawn by Mek, handful of escargot and suspicious snail, some mussels, stir-fry vege, butter sotong (squid) and later a top up of sambal crawfish and lala (small white clams).
Although the foods were overally good, one thing that annoyed us the most was their slow serving especially for the crabs. The crabs were literally cool when it reached our table, in fact the meat was a little soggy too. We suspected that the crabs are all cooked in advance and simply pan-fry with sauce prior serving to customer. Another thing is their magenta light which I guess is to keep the flies away. It distorted my camera white balance massively – foods turned to be not very appealing in photos. Thus, there are no photo of the foods. Blame the light!
Lively ambience, fresh catch, great seafood and that summed up our amazing seafood experience in Restaurant Today. It was by far, one of the best dinners that I had in Johor and was of good value. The damage was around MYR 60 per pax which I assumed still in a considerably cheap region. We left with a full stomach and a cheerful mind. In fact, Mek regretted for ordering so much.
But how we ended up in another place for burgers half an hour later, I really have no idea.

The burger was equally good as the seafood, nonetheless.
As I said, great accompaniment alone is already worth the trip. This is, after all, a very good food hunt.

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