JB Eat: Hua Mui (华美茶餐室) Hainanese Chicken Chop @ Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
Restoran Hua Mui (JB) is located at one corner of a row of pre-war houses along Jalan Trus, a short walk from the archway of Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk. Hua Mui has another 4 branches in Austin, Sutera, Eco Botanic and Seri Alam.
The Hainanese restaurant is popular for its traditional toasts and sandwiches, especially its kaya and butter toasts with coffee and soft-boiled eggs, and "original" Hainanese chicken chop. I visited Hua Mui twice after the border reopened, once for breakfast and once for lunch.
On my first visit to Hua Mui for breakfast, the kaya and butter toasts were already sold out — at 9:40am on a weekday. So I ordered the butter kaya bun with two semi-boiled kampung eggs and Hainanese kopi-O.
The yellow corn bun was nice with buttery taste and the semi-boiled kampung eggs were perfectly-boiled with firm egg yolks and no still-raw egg white (albumen).
I was in a group of five on my second visit to Hua Mui. We aimed to try more local delights but our primary target was the restaurant's signature Hainanese chicken chop. We ordered 3 sets of the Hainanese chicken chop, one Hua Mui Mee with chicken and one Mee Mamak with seafood.
The Hainanese chicken chop was served with a buttery mushroom sauce with green peas and potato wedges. The nicely-fried chicken thigh was tender, juicy and not oily. It was not salty also and matched well with the sauce.
The Hua Mui Mee was stir-fried with chicken meats, slices of fishcake and vegetables. This tasted like home-cook Hokkien noodle in mild-sweet gravy and quite nice.
The Indian noodle, Mee Mamak, with two big fresh prawns, fish meat and egg, tasted great but a little on the spicier side.
In addition to the main course, I spotted the chef-recommended Kopi Gu You (咖啡牛油) on the menu and ordered it — not realising that it was "kopi" with milk, not "kopi-O" that I would prefer. Traditional coffee with butter was the way to have coffee in the olden days. The kopi had a mild buttery taste but was sweetened by the milk — I will try Kopi-O Gu You (咖啡乌牛油) next time (solely a personal preference).
And I was back again a third time to try those that I had missed previously. I ordered the traditional kaya and butter toasts, two soft-boiled eggs and Kopi-O Gu You (咖啡乌牛油). The toasted breads were crispy on the outside and soft inside with thick butter and kaya. And yes, I preferred the buttered kopi-O without the milk.
Apart from the traditional butter kopi, Hua Mui also have Taiping-specialty hor ga sai (虎咬狮, kopi + cocoa powder) and sai ga hor (狮咬虎, tea + cocoa powder) on its menu.
Restoran Hua Mui JB (华美茶餐室)
131, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
8:30am to 5:30pm | Daily