Time Out says
I’ve never been to Muar, but judging by the culinary ambassadors it’s produced over the years, it could well be a place to visit sometime sooner rather than later. In this respect, the unassuming Muar Home-Cooked Cuisine Restaurant in Tengkat Tong Shin has been a particularly efficacious exponent of Muar cuisine, but my attempts to visit have always been thwarted by Meng Kee char siew down the road. Now that the latter has been safely relocated, I’ve since rectified that oversight.
Be warned: this is not a restaurant that you’re going to visit for the setting or the presentation – the “home-cooked” descriptor represents more than just the style of cooking; the décor is also evocative of someone’s dining room, when they’re not expecting guests, that is. But the food more than compensates: typical Muar specialities like the deep-fried slipper fish is suitably crunchy and infused with the larger-than-life flavours of the belacan, while the assam fish is face-scrunchingly piquant, although just a tad lacklustre when compared to the real deal in Muar.
The fact that dishes are on the smallish side is excuse enough to order a good range of food, and that selection should include the Thai style chicken or fried snapper (both are equally good), the butter fried kailan (so crispy you won’t believe it’s a vegetable dish!), and the sambal petai with prawns and squid.
Although I’ve heard mumblings that the food at Muar isn’t quite spicy enough, I found it adequately feisty — thank you very much — but not so much that the inherent taste of the food was obliterated by chilli, which seems to be the way many palate-dead chilli-padi-addicted Malaysians tend to take their food. And while prices were surprisingly not quite as cheap as I’d expected, a ridiculously good-value (at RM1!) and voluptuously flavoursome chendol dessert goes a long way towards taking off the burn, both literally and metaphorically. Fay Khoo