My Johor Stories featured on BFM Radio


It all started from a message I received on January 22 that read like this:


Juliet Jacobs in action recording our interview
for BFM Radio programme, Live & Learn

“Hi Peggy, my name is Juliet Jacobs and I’m a producer/presenter with the radio station BFM89.9.


My colleague, Sharaad Kuttan, formerly of Astro Awani, passed your number to me…”


She continued: “I was hoping to chat with you about My Johor Stories, for a radio interview on one of the segments I host called, Live & Learn.


We are doing coverage on the coronation of the Johor Sultan as the new Agong, and thought it might be nice to talk about Johor, its history and share some stories on the state, in conjunction with the coronation.”


Logo for BFM Radio on 89.9 FM frequency

As I read her message, my thoughts flashed to the meet-up with Sharaad who came to Johor Baru to cover the Johor Elections in 2022.


With all eyes on Johor for the Elections, he also wanted to talk to Johoreans to share more about social and environmental issues as well as culture and heritage.


This was why he got connected to My Johor Stories to do an interview with me for the English TV programme, Let’s Talk, that was aired on Astro Awani in April 2022.


Due to the global pandemic, mask-wearing was still mandatory so Sharaad and I were both wearing masks for this show. It was a pity because viewers probably saw the cover designs of My Johor Stories books more clearly than my face.


My view of the screen in our Zoom meet-up

At that time, I was still working on the manuscript for the third and final instalment of My Johor Stories, so when Juliet of BFM Radio reached out to me, I thought that it was timely to share more about Johor at such a significant moment in Johor history.


Later I thanked Sharaad for introducing me and My Johor Stories to his colleague and his encouraging reply read like this: “It was such a pleasure interviewing you that I had to share the experience with Juliet.”


When he told me that Juliet was also Johorean and who studied at the Johor Baru Convent School, it was good to know that we shared the same alma mater in Johor Baru.


Juliet Jacobs made me feel comfortable 
in our online interview

Even though BFM Radio is not broadcast nationwide but limited only to the Klang Valley for listeners to tune into the 89.9 FM frequency, I am familiar with BFM Radio.


This is because BFM Radio produced a video that featured our Aunty Sylvia, a National and International sports personality, to commemorate International Women’s Day in 2o18.


I replied Juliet’s message with a request for more information about this interview and was pleased to learn that it will be pre-recorded, ready for broadcast later.


Juliet then prepared some questions and a framework to share with me, to let me prepare my replies.


View from the screen at BFM Radio

When I received her list of questions, I scrolled down and took a deep breath when I saw that she had given me 22 questions, some of which were two-part questions. Whew!


Many of her questions were inter-related and quite broad, deliberately kept open for me to elaborate and share what I liked best. This meant that we probably would not be able to cover every single question on her list.


Keen to start on my prep work, I quickly replied with thanks and asked Juliet to tell me which questions on her list that she most wanted me to answer so that I may focus on those.


Her prompt reply was, “I want to ask you EVERYTHING.”


With more time, I could certainly answer everything too but I knew that the time allocated for her Live & Learn show, was limited.


Then she continued more seriously with: “OK let me whittle it down.”


Juliet said that there was about 48 minutes in total for the whole interview so we had to squeeze everything into that space of time.


When she managed to whittle the number down to 15 questions, I reviewed each question and saw that we could combine some of the replies quite comfortably.


We also arranged an appointment on Monday, January 29 for a chat via Zoom to record the interview for the recording to be broadcast on Tuesday, January 30, at 3pm, a day ahead of the coronation of the Johor Sultan as the next Agong.


As I pondered over my replies to the questions, I felt deeply humbled for such a privilege to talk about Johor culture and heritage in relation to the Johor Sultanate and its royal legacy in Johor.


Readers who are familiar with My Johor Stories, know that I started sharing my stories on Johor culture and heritage, first published in the Travel Times, a pull-out section of The New Straits Times dedicated to Travel.

Then my stories were also published in Johor Streets, the Southern section of this newspapers, along with opinion pieces from the column called, Your Johor Stories, which readers fondly called, my grandfather stories.


Over the years, I accumulated a collection of Johor stories that were well-accepted by readers. Looking back, it was indeed a combination of circumstances that developed organically and resulted in the birth of the My Johor Stories series of books.

This, plus opportunities given to me, the support of readers and the collection of my dad's old photos, that encouraged me to publish My Johor Stories.


No one expected it, least of all me, that when My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was launched on 15 July 2017, this title went to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers list on the first week of its launch.


This book stayed on the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers list for consecutive weeks and months, and by December, my book was counted among The Best of MPH 2017.


Photo from 24 November 2018,
a screenshot from Instagram
A book sequel, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, followed in 2018 and to me, the most significant moment happened on November 24.


As you may know, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim has a tradition of building bonds with his rakyat through an annual Kembara Mahkota tour, since he was Crown Prince, to visit various districts in Johor.


The 2018 Kembara Mahkota happened to coincide with His Majesty’s birthday and during an event in Muar, District Officers presented His Majesty with birthday gifts.


My sister-in-law, who follows the Official Sultan Ibrahim Instagram page on social media, shared with me a photograph with info which showed His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim holding a copy of my book, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People!


The contents of this book included stories on Heritage Traders who are still doing the businesses started by their forefathers as well as stories about inspirational people in various districts in Johor like Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kulai, Kelapa Sawit, Desaru and Johor Baru.


Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that my book had literally reached the hands of His Majesty the Sultan of Johor, among the many birthday gifts he received.


The trilogy of My Johor Stories
published by MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur

Meanwhile, I know that a copy of my My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, was presented to Her Majesty Permaisuri Johor, soon after the book was launched in 2017.


And at an event in November 2023, the complete trilogy of My Johor Stories, along with the final instalment of My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, was presented to the Johor Princess, Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim.


My appointment with Juliet via Zoom went on smoothly but I guessed she could not have anticipated the bulk of information that I was about to share with her listeners.


We knew that it was virtually impossible to share the wealth of Johor culture and heritage in such a short time together, so we did our best to cover as much as possible and touched on a few topics that were close to my heart.


Juliet opened the interview with a brief introduction like this:


Author Peggy Loh, who has written extensively about Johor through her My Johor Stories series, which include personal accounts of her own family life, but also stories of former and current personalities who have left their own mark in Johor.”


The old idiom that, Time flies when you are having fun, certainly rang true for Juliet and I.


We chatted on comfortably – had two commercial breaks – until she indicated that our time together was running out. Oh dear!


In the recording studio with Juliet Jacobs

This, unfortunately, exerted a bit of pressure on me to rush through the last bit because there was much, more I wished to share but did not have time to do so.


It was regretful but I was glad that I mentioned a few names to credit the people who have helped me with historical references and resources, and the friends who guided me to learn about different cultural traditions so that I could write in English.


According to schedule, on Tuesday, January 30, at 3pm BFM Radio broadcast the Live & Learn show that featured My Johor Stories.


Listeners outside the Klang Valley – like me – tuned in to listen live online at:


Juliet assured me that once the interview had aired on radio, a podcast will be available and she will send me the link once it was ready.


Here is the link for readers’ listening pleasure:

Thank you, Juliet Jacobs, for the privilege to share My Johor Stories with BFM Radio listeners in conjunction with the coronation of the Johor Sultan as Agong.


Note: While all the MPH bookstores in Johor Baru are now closed, My Johor Stories books in hardcover and softcover versions, are available from MPH bookstores nationwide and online from mphonline.


With permission from MPH, a small stock of My Johor Stories books is available from two (2) outlets in Johor Baru:


1] Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation or JARO, at No. 18 Jalan Sungai Chat, Sri Gelam, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor. Open from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Closed on Friday and Saturday.


2] YSpace Johor Baru, located at No. 2 Jalan Yahya Awal, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor. Open 11am to 10pm. Closed on Thursday. 

Tiong Nam Hospitality hosts Appreciation event


It was my pleasure to, once again, accept the invitation to a pre-Chinese New Year celebration in a joint Media and Corporate Appreciation event hosted by Tiong Nam Hospitality.


Chefs in a row [Left to Right] Chef Daniel Lowe,
Chef Tock Huey Hock and Chef Koh Chee Chai

Renowned as a logistics leader, Tiong Nam started as a small-scale cargo business in 1975 to handle consolidated cargo for distribution throughout Peninsular Malaysia.


Headquartered in Kempas Baru, Johor Baru, Tiong Nam embarked on its expansion plan in 1978 and was incorporated as an enterprise. Their transport business expanded across the borders to Singapore since 1984 and then to Thailand in 1992.


After its public listing on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings expanded further into a regional network to provide integrated logistics services in seven countries, customised solutions, property development and then into the hospitality industry.


Menu on our table with a
place card for My Johor Stories

The six brands under Tiong Nam Hospitality came together at this event to honour partnerships, celebrate milestones and to showcase the Chinese New Year banquet menu served at Fraser Place Puteri Harbour this festive season.


These brands included Fraser Place Puteri Harbour, Pinetree Marina Resort, Brix KLIA by Pinetree, 1975 Avenue & Hotel, Hard Rock Café Puteri Harbour and Hard Rock Café Ipoh.


Once again, this event was held at Fraser Place Puteri Harbour, hosted in a banquet hall, lit up by glass chandeliers designed and arranged as schools of swimming fish.


In keeping with the spirit of Chinese New Year, the auspicious colour Red, was evident in the charming costumes worn by team members and guests alike at this appreciation event to honour media partners and corporate contributors.


A friendly 'Lion' dancing around the banquet hall

It was good to see Chef Daniel Lowe again as he moved around the banquet hall to meet guests and stopped by at our table for a chat.


The affable Chef Daniel, who leads the culinary team at Fraser Place Puteri Harbour, was quick to credit Chinese chefs, Chef Tock Huey Hock and Chef Koh Chee Chai, who prepared the Chinese banquet which we would enjoy for dinner that evening.


When Chef Daniel shared juicy “insider information” about the culinary skills of the Chinese chefs, my anticipation (and expectations!) of the dishes in the banquet menu, simply went up a few notches.


Enjoying a traditional lo-hei or prosperity toss
of Salmon Yee Sang as the first dish on our menu

As Chef Daniel discreetly mentioned that Chef Tock, a member of the original culinary team at Meisan, was handpicked by the Owners to join their team at Fraser Place, my interest was piqued.


Many Johoreans like me, fondly recalled the taste of renowned Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine served at the Meisan Chinese restaurant, then opened in the now defunct Mutiara Hotel Johor Bahru, so we could hardly wait for the dinner to start.


During the Chinese New Year season from January 19 to February 29, the hotel presents three festive banquet menus for tables of ten diners, dubbed the “Pure Blossom” menu [RM1,588++], the “Birth of Spring” menu [RM1,888++] and the “Joyous Empire” menu [RM2,388++].


Prosperity Poon Choy that serves eight diners

The Chinese culinary team has also curated attractive festive menus for a Steamboat Buffet Reunion Dinner, a Chinese New Year High Tea as well as Yee Sang salads and Poon Choi, a celebratory banquet traditionally served in a basin.


The evening’s programme kicked off with music entertainment by Feedback from the Philippines, the resident band rocking out at the Hard Rock Café Puteri Harbour.


Then thunderous beats of Chinese drums and crashing cymbals signaled the arrival of a pair of prancing, auspicious Lions to usher in the Lunar Year of the Dragon.


Bowls of warm Braised Crab Meat and
Fish Lips soup

After Johnny Lau, General Manager of Fraser Place Puteri Harbour received the traditional auspicious wishes from the Lions, the lion dancers went around the banquet hall to let guests capture we-fie photos and have a close-up experience.


In the Chinese New Year tradition, our dinner started with Yee Sang, a salad topped with slivers of Salmon for the traditional lo-hei or prosperity toss for good fortune.


Whole Roasted Chicken with a side of
Mongolian sauce

After enjoying a rich, warm bowl of soup filled with Braised Crab Meat and Fish Lips, the next dish, Roasted Chicken with Mongolian sauce, was served.


The flavour of this Roasted Chicken was reminiscent of Meisan and while it tasted so good – I could eat it on its own – a drizzle of the Mongolian sauce simply took its taste up to the next level.


The appetizing Mango Thai sauce that topped the crispy whole Red Snapper had a generous portion of fresh mango sticks heaped on the fish, enough to encourage us to do justice to this dish … which was ultimately left in a pile of bones.


A trio of drummers performed the dramatic
Art of the 24 Festive Drums, on stage

Then our attention was riveted to the stage where a trio of drummers performed the dramatic Art of the 24 Festive Drums, a proudly Johor-born art of drumming.


[I am familiar with this art of drumming because I had featured the co-founder of the 24 Festive Drums, Tan Chai Puan, as an exclusive story in my 2017 MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, and the Art of the 24 Festive Drums as a proudly Johor brand, established here and exported abroad, published in My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, in 2022.]


Carved vegetables in the presentation of this
Stir-fried Garlic Soya King Prawns

When the platter of Stir-fried Garlic Soya King Prawns was served, I could not help but notice the effort put into its presentation. These whole prawns in their shells, prepared in a traditional harlok (Cantonese) recipe, were fresh and tasty.


After enjoying the satisfying tastes of the poultry, fish and prawns, I was looking forward to the vegetable dish and was not disappointed with the familiar flavour of Broccoli florets topped with Shitake Mushrooms arranged within a ring of Fortune Bags.


Broccoli florets topped by Shitake Mushrooms
within a ring of Fortune Bags

The banquet meal ended with portions of Steamed Supreme Rice with Salted Egg individually wrapped in lotus leaves. This dish may not be “photogenic” but after the first bite, my fellow diners agreed with me that it tasted, oh so good!


Finally, the savoury flavours we enjoyed in this menu was aptly washed down with a chilled dessert of Ice-Jelly Longan and Sea Coconut.


After the Chinese chefs joined Chef Daniel on the stage to take a bow for serving the evening’s banquet, Chef Daniel came by again for our comments about the dishes served.


He also mentioned that banquet reservations for Chinese New Year’s Eve was already closed but diners should not hesitate to make their reservations for dates before the eve of Chinese New Year and during the Chinese New Year season.


For more information on the menu and for reservations, Tel: +6013 778 6821 or email to


Fraser Place Puteri Harbour is located at Jalan Persiaran Tanjung, Pengkalan Puteri, 79100 Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

Lunar New Year celebrations at Legoland


To usher in this Lunar Year of the Dragon, LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort with LEGO® NINJAGO® are inviting all Ninjas to embark on an extraordinary adventure along the Path of the Dragon to build, train and enhance their Ninja skills.


Master Lim joined in the comic skit for the
launch of the Lunar New Year celebrations

From January 18 to March 17, 2024, visitors can look forward to a fiery fusion of dragon energy and action-packed fun to unleash their inner Ninja.


So get ready to kick off the Lunar New Year at Legoland Malaysia Resort where all Ninjas will get the opportunity to choose the elemental dragon power that they wished to master.


Upon entering the park, visitors are invited to take part in themed activities and interactive shows across the park to earn special stickers that will guide them toward unlocking their ultimate Ninja potential.


Make your wish at this Wisdom Tree

At the Beginning, don’t miss the opportunity to make a wish at The Wisdom Tree decorated with beautiful cherry blossoms.


Then catch the specially curated Lunar New Year performance that combine Martial Arts and Chinese Traditional Dance that feature a guest appearance from Ollie the Dragon!


From February 10-25, 2024, catch Ollie the Dragon in his special Lunar New Year outfit with special appearances from a famous Cheng Du Opera actor and the mischievous Monkey King.


Miniland version of Dragon Dance, Lion Dance,
High-Pole Lion Dance and Chinese drummers
presented at The Forbidden City

Then on February 10 and 11, 2024, watch live performances of traditional Lion Dance and highly skilled High-Pole Lion Dancers.


The Lunar New Year celebrations at the park was launched in a simple ceremony by CS Lim, Divisional Director of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort, better known as Master Lim.


He was such a good sport to dress the part and joined a comic skit in the role of Master Lim, to entertain and enhance the mood in the launch event, held at the Beginning.


“This Lunar New Year, LEGOLAND isn't just about building bricks. It is about building heroes!


Ms Thila with C S Lim,
striking a pose together

We are blending LEGO NINJAGO's epic adventures with Malaysian traditions, teaching families the valuable lessons about friendship and believing in themselves, all while having a blast with dragons, shows and epic ninja fun!” said CS Lim.


“It's going to be a Lunar New Year they'll never forget,” he added.


Take time to meet brand-new LEGO NINJAGO characters Sora and Arin together with Ninja Kai, and Master Wu.


Also at the Beginning, visitors can Build-A-Mech for Sora and Arin as they compete in The Crossroads Race.

Come, build your own Ultimate Dragon Build

Then embrace the Year of the Dragon by building your very own Ultimate Dragon Build with LEGO Bricks.


Also help Hunt for the Dragons hidden at LEGO NINJAGO World! There are special prizes for Ninjas who spot all five dragons, so be sure to snap a photo of each dragon you find to redeem a gift.


There are opportunities to capture cool photos with the Ninjas Unite backdrop and to test your Ninjas skills, just hop on LEGO NINJAGO The Ride for the ultimate test!


Celebrate Lunar Year of the Dragon
with LEGO bricks

With exclusive new shows, awesome brick builds and more, visitors should not miss an action-packed day of Ninja fun at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort this Lunar New Year!  


Enjoy a must-see live Japanese-puppet-style show with impressive visual mapping effects presented at the City Stage and be transported into the world of LEGO NINJAGO & The Realm of Shadows.


If you started your visit with dancing along to The Dragon’s Heartbeat with an epic drum performance and showing off your best Ninja moves at the ‘Whip Around’ Dance Party, then celebrate your Ninja achievements at the end of the day with the Ninjas Unite Celebration where you can see your favourite LEGO NINJAGO ninjas.


For more information, head over to the official website at  or LEGOLAND social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.


Good food, good friends at Jombali Village


Looking back, it was some 13 years ago when I got acquainted with Chef Gary Ozzy Hong and his cuisine served first, at the Grill Bar and then at the biker themed, Café Racer.


A we-fie with Chef Gary Hong at Jombali Village

As discerning diners often returned for more dining experiences at these two eateries, the Chef successfully established a reputation for himself in Johor Baru.


Regulars familiar with Chef Gary will agree with me that he has an enterprising spirit and oozes with culinary creativity, probably because it is in his genes.


This is because his grandfather, Hong Say Tee, was an entrepreneur and innovative pioneer in the Food & Beverage industry, who earned himself the enviable moniker as Johor Baru’s Coffee Shop King.


[I had the privilege to feature the Coffee Shop King under Portraits in My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, published in 2018.


So honoured to have documented his story because he left us peacefully at the ripe old age of 100 in August 2021.]


There is a charming outdoor section [Upstairs]
at Jombali Village

After a successful stint in Johor Baru, Chef Gary sold his businesses and headed across the Causeway (again!) to seek new challenges and fresh experiences to add to his culinary portfolio.


This I learnt when I bumped into Chef Gary just days into January this new year.


A lot had happened in the past few years but I was delighted to hear that he is back in the city and had recently started a new venture at Jombali Village.


When he graciously invited me over, I thought I should share this dining experience with my foodie friends and wasted no time in making the arrangements.


A section of the outdoor dining area

From my experience of the cuisine presented by Chef Gary, I had much confidence that the menu at Jombali should meet mine and the tastes of my friends.


With a restaurant named Jombali, I guessed it gave our talented chef a great deal of room to apply his creative culinary skills in the preparation and presentation of dishes made with Indonesian influence but using European techniques.


Jalan Perang is a familiar street for cafés and restaurants in Taman Pelangi so I was pleased to find parking space here.


Chef Gary Hong in his element,
working at the open kitchen

From its façade, I saw that the restaurant occupied two shop-lots and there was a charming outdoor dining area that overlooked the street. By the side of a Korean restaurant, a flight of stairs led to Jombali located above.

At the top of the stairs, I spotted the open kitchen through the glass paneled door even before it was opened for us to come in.


From where he was working at this open kitchen, Chef Gary shouted his welcome

while we were ushered to a table in the outdoor section.


As the waitress was taking our drink orders, my thoughts were on the concept of the open kitchen where the chef welcomed diners to watch/observe/admire his skills in preparing and presenting their food orders.


Emping Belinjo crisps served
with two choice of tasty sambals
I believe this also counts for the confidence of the chef who was pleased to show off his culinary skills so diners could see for themselves, the quality ingredients that went into the dishes and the way the chef meticulously added his personal touch before each platter was served to the diners’ tables.


I heard the helpful waitress recommend their refreshing fresh juices and orders were placed for Fresh Watermelon Mint and Fresh Pineapple Mint along with bottled beers like Carlsberg, Erdinger White and Hoegaarden.


While the main course items were being prepared, Emping Belinjo was served as a starter to whet our appetite for the dishes that Chef Gary wanted us to taste.


I could not get enough of Jagung Bakar Jombali

Belinjo are traditional Indonesian curly crisps made from melinjo or belinjo nuts that has a slight bitter taste and to add a bit of zing, these crackers were served on a platter with two types of sambal dips.


The Red sambal clearly hinted of spicy chillie while the savoury taste of the Green sambal was also a winner, rich with the toasted flavour of anchovies.


While we were deciding which of the two sambals we preferred, Chef Gary came to our table to say, “Hello!”


Decor in the indoor dining hall

When we asked him about the sambals served with the belinjo crisps, he shared about his desire to replicate the sambals once served at Yong Nasi Padang, one of the landmark coffeeshops run by his grandfather in downtown Johor Baru.


[Throughout the meal, I observed that each meat dish was complemented by a side of sauce or dip for diners to add something more to enhance the flavours.]


Then he excused himself to return to the kitchen. He was (understandably!) anxious to prepare the dishes to impress us but I guess he was confident that we will be suitably impressed because he said, “Let the food do the talking!”


When the platter of Jagung Bakar Jombali was served, I was pleased that this corn-on-the cob dish was not only presented creatively but it tasted so extraordinary (I must confess!) that I had to consciously stop myself from taking another piece because I had to keep some space to taste the other delightful dishes.


No, it was not unladylike to hold the corn in my hand and nibble the pearls of corn because this was exactly how we should relish the taste of this grilled corn-on-the-cob.


Nangka Goreng Gulai Hijau

Fans of seafood soup will appreciate the creamy taste of Village Crab Lump Soup, so named because the Seafood Bisque was filled with lumps of Swimmer Crab meat. It came with a slice of grilled bread to mop up the soup to its last delicious drop.


Clam lovers may pick from a choice of two clam soups: the Spicy Live Clam Soup, as its name indicates, tasted spicy, while the Butter & Wine Clam Soup was mmm… yum.


Then we were served two goreng or fried dishes, each fried quite differently.


A serving of Australian Angus Sirloin
Flame-Seared Steak

Earlier on, Chef Gary said that the dishes in his menu were bar-bites or just right to pair with drinks so I was pleased to see a platter of Bebek Goreng Bali, deep-fried duck with a side of dip sauce, that went well with our drinks. [By the way, the Indonesian word for duck, is bebek.]


Fresh fruit in a savoury dish was the next experience where we enjoyed the sweet, ripe taste of Nangka Goreng Gulai Hijau or juicy Jackfruit in Green Curry.


While Chef Gary uses local sources for most of his ingredients, some of the imported meats he serves include the Australian Angus Sirloin Flame-Seared Steak and the New Zealand Garlic Lamb Loin, each served with Asian Chimichurri gulai gravy.


Jombali Ikan Bakar

The platter of Crispy Udang Laut Besar or battered large sea prawns, was served with a citrus dip.


The best way to savour them was to pick up the whole prawns with my fingers, nibble the crispy bits, then chew and crunch up the juicy prawns, crispy shells and all. Then politely, leave its tail.


From the bones left behind, I saw that my foodie friends also enjoyed the Jombali Ikan Bakar sambal kicap, fresh whole seabass grilled and served with sweet dark sauce.


Welcome back to the Johor Baru F&B scene
Chef Gary Hong

When we gave our compliments and comments to Chef Gary, he was not only receptive but said that he was ready to add more items to his interesting menu.


Regulars (like me) who are familiar with him will notice that he had dramatically shed a lot of body weight since we first met. This he attributed to the discipline of cutting out carbohydrates in his diet.


But he was quick to assure us that they do serve rice for diners who wished to eat rice with the dishes in his menu. [So please do not hesitate to ask for rice!]


Our evening of good food with good friends ended in a convivial mood as we reminisced about the cafés that once dotted this same street and their popular dishes.


It was pure foodie fun to share ideas as Chef Gary was still developing his menu to offer something for everyone to enjoy.


Jombali Village is located up a flight of stairs at No. 39-A Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Baru, Johor. Open daily, from 4pm to 12am. No pork or lard are used in the kitchen. For reservations, Tel: +6017 733 5577.