Updated: May 22
When visiting a local town, the best thing to do is to eat like a local and trying the original tastes of the food — in other words, a local food hunt. And prices are usually cheaper than the cities and tourist towns with no "tourist frills".
In Pontian Kechil, a little town in the southwest corner Johor, Malaysia, the average price of each dish is about RM6.00 or less per person. And the list of local food below are mostly below RM6.00. Check them out.
1. Ah Chuan Pontian Wanton Mee (亚泉面店)
One thing that is a must-try when in Pontian is the local wanton mee. Different from Singapore's style, Pontian-style wanton mee uses tomato sauce to mix its noodle and topped with thinly sliced barbecue pork. And apart from just meat dumplings in the soup, they add fish balls too.
At Ah Chuan, you can even request to change the sauce. But we went for the most original taste — tomato sauce. That's the best way to try the local taste. Personally, I like the noodle here as it is not too wet.
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm daily
2. Heng Heng Wanton Mee (兴兴云吞面)
Heng Heng Wanton Mee is hailed as the "original" Pontian noodle and that attracted many customers. We went to try the noodle dish on our recent visit to Pontian. The style and taste are similar to Ah Chuan's wanton mee but Heng Heng's version is wetter with generous amount of tomato sauce. Take your pick!
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 3:30pm | Closed on Friday
3. Kedai Makan Hong Ying (好运烧腊)
Located a short distance from Ah Chuan Wanton Mee, Hong Ying serves roasted delights. They have roasted duck, stewed duck, roasted chicken, roasted pork, barbecue pork and others. If you are in a group, ordering a platter of everything is the best way to try all of them.
Opening Hours: ?
4. Kheng Guan Hiong Kopitiam (琼源香)
Located near to Pontian Fish Market, Kheng Guan Hiong serves nice traditional coffee. Not to be missed is their signature charcoal-roasted bread with kaya (coconut jam) and butter. The breads are nicely roasted to keep its softness and add a charcoal flavour. Paired with half-cooked eggs and you will have a truly traditional breakfast set in a traditional coffee shop.
Opening Hours: 5:30am to 4pm | Closed on Monday
5. Penang Duck Egg Char Kway Teow Stall (开心人)
This Penang char kway teow stall is located in Kedai Makanan Ong Siew Lian (泉珍茶餐室), just next to Kheng Guan Hiong. You can order from the stall while having coffee at Kheng Guan Hiong. The duck egg makes the fried noodle tastier as compared to using chicken egg. The noodle is also not oily — we finished the char kway teow and noted the bottom of the plate was dry.
Opening Hours: ?
6. Restoran Assalam
Restoran Assalam serves all kinds of Muslim-Indian food that I can name offhand — oh well, except satay. You can say that it's a one-stop restaurant for trying local Malay, and some Indian, food. They serves traditional Indian masala tea too. I tried their mee goreng (fried noodle) which goes with tomato sauce and not oily.
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
7. Kedai Biskut Chai Huat Heng (再發興饼家)
Chai Huat Heng makes a wide variety of traditional biscuits in their own shop. I tried a couple of their biscuits and found them to be less sweet than those from other shops. The biscuits won't leave a ticklish sensation in the throat after eating, which is often caused by sweet fillings. They make sun biscuits (太阳饼) too — although a popular Taiwan biscuit, Chai Huat Heng created the Pontian version.
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 8:30pm | Sunday till 7pm
Find out more about Pontian Fish Market and cook-for-you restaurants in Pontian Kechil in the link provided at the end of this post.
For more information on getting to Pontian Kechil and other things to do in the small town, check out the article below.
Planning a weekend staycation in Johor Bahru? Go Pontian: