Visitors meet-up at Mee Ho Seng Kee


I met Sarah Lee and Evonne Lee in 2018 when I participated in their pie-making workshop in Kluang.


Evonne Lee [Standing behind me] and Elton Ho
with the visitors at Mee Ho Seng Kee

When I discovered the success of their recipe book, I shared it with readers in the story on the Asian Pie Ladies in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People.


Evonne, one half of the Asian Pie Ladies, is based in Singapore and she often arranged for group visits to Kluang in an itinerary for visitors to taste and experience Kluang and which often ended with a pie-making workshop held in Sarah’s place.


When the borders between Malaysia and Singapore reopened after more than two years since the global pandemic reached our shores, Evonne could finally reunite with her family and friends who lived on this side of the causeway.


As travel conditions across the causeway gradually improved, Evonne was happy to arrange group visits to Johor again, with each trip tailored to the group’s requirements.


Elton Ho [Left] supervising the 
order for my takeaway noodles
 from Mee Ho Seng Kee

Because the Asian Pie Ladies had a link to Kluang, I shared with Sarah and Evonne about the recent milestone event I witnessed with the family who operates the Kluang RailCoffee kopitiam at the Kluang Railway Station to celebrate its induction into the Malaysian Book of Records as the oldest railway station kopitiam in the nation.


And because the story of the Kluang Rail Canteen was also documented in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, my books were presented to the VIPs who graced the event.


In the course of our conversation, Evonne commented that another heritage trader whom I featured in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, Mee Ho Seng Kee, was also doing well in spite of the challenges due to the lockdown.


She said that this new generation operator, Elton Ho, had digitised their business and even had a delivery service for their frozen noodles, not only to various parts of Malaysia but also to Singapore.


I agreed that Ho did the right thing to adapt his family business to the prevailing conditions to keep loyal noodle customers satisfied during the difficult past two years.


A section of the group having noodle lunch
at Mee Ho Seng Kee, Johor Baru City Square

I told Evonne that during the peak of the pandemic when travel distance was limited, I too ordered Mee Ho Seng Kee frozen noodles delivered to our doorstep and when conditions improved, I went to buy takeaways from him.


Evonne went on to tell me that she was arranging a group visit to Johor Baru in mid-August and one of the destinations in their itinerary was to Mee Ho Seng Kee for a taste of their famous wantan noodles.


I was deeply humbled when she said, “I will bring along your book for a “Show and Tell” during our trip to JB.”


Evonne explained that my book bears a deep significance to her personally because she was born in Hospital Sultanah Aminah and that her father lived here but she could not visit him due to the border closure.


A serving of noodles by Mee Ho
Seng Kee; Spot my book on the 
table, My Johor Stories 2: 
Interesting Places and
Inspirational People

I was deeply saddened to learn that her father had asked Evonne for a copy of my book to read and even had a desire to meet me. Her father, however, passed on in mid-March, just two weeks before the border between Malaysia and Singapore reopened.


Arranging day trips to JB, particularly to the Heritage Quarter where her late father used to live, was something that Evonne wanted to do as a way to honour his memory.


After I had checked my calendar and saw that I was free that morning of their visit, I told Evonne that I would meet her and the group at some point in their itinerary.


When Evonne shared their itinerary with me, I saw that the group would move from Jalan Tan Hiok Nee to Jalan Trus before heading to Johor Baru City Square where Mee Ho Seng Kee was located.


In response, I proposed a bit of walking from one end of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee to the opposite end to appreciate more attractions at the Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk.


Elton Ho [Left] with Chef Benny Se Teo
at Mee Ho Seng Kee

Evonne thanked me for the suggestion but explained that there were three elderly people in the group who cannot walk much and do not wish to walk the distance.


She said that this group of 15 was made up mainly of retired ladies and four men, one of whom was Singapore celebrity chef, Benny Se Teo.


It was my pleasure to meet with Evonne and her group of visitors at Mee Ho Seng Kee and over a delightful lunch of tasty noodles made with duck eggs, I had the privilege to chat with them and shared briefly about my journey to My Johor Stories.


My journey to publishing My Johor Stories was truly unique, one which will be documented in Book Three, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, the final instalment to complete the trilogy of My Johor Stories.


Aware that the next item on their itinerary was (more!) shopping in the mall, I took my leave from the group.


Mee Ho Seng Kee [Non-Halal] noodle café is located at Level 6, Johor Baru City Square, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Baru.

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