Johor: Laksa Johor, Mee Rebus, Places To Visit & Things To Do

Johor is highly-regarded among Malaysians and Singaporeans as a foodie destination, so much so that Singaporeans regularly travel across the border into Malaysia just to eat a meal in this, the southernmost state of the peninsular of Malaysia. In this episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia, we explore Johor through the lens of its food.

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Tourism Malaysia Culinary Ambassador and Masters of Malaysian Cuisine At Heart chef, Dato’ Ismail Ahmad, showed us how to make Laksa Johor. Laksa Johor is unique in part because it uses spaghetti (incidentally it was the subject of the recent “Laksa Wars” on Malaysia’s social media where netizens debated the merits of the different versions of laksa in Malaysia).

My experience of Mee Rebus (literally, boiled noodles) from my years growing up in Seremban, is quite different to what is known as Mee Rebus in Johor. The version I knew was mindblowingly spicy and completely savoury (unlike the Johor version which is noticeably sweet). It also came with a light yellow (not orange) sauce, and it was vegetarian.

I had to look up the Johor recipe before attempting it in my cooking segment – interestingly my research yielded a number of markedly different versions, so I picked elements from a couple of different recipes to produce mine. I was grateful to have Masters of Malaysian Cuisine’s Michelin-trained chef Rene Juefri on hand to discuss these variations afterwards.

Rene spent a large amount of time during his childhood in Johor, so he was well-positioned to speak about the cuisine. The Mee Rebus Johor I made turned out very flavoursome and it reminded me somewhat of Mee Rojak which is a version of Indian Rojak (salad with a spicy sweet potato sauce) that’s served with egg noodles.

YouTube and TikTok star Mark O’Dea made his first appearance in Street Food Journeys (you’ll be seeing more of him in future episodes), and he discussed his experience of Johor with MOMC’s Vegan Chef Dave, who was born and raised in the state.

We also interviewed Kelab Alami co-founder Serina Rahman about the Sea Warriors Market which was founded to help local fishermen to make more money for their catch. Other regulars in this episode were The JetLag Warriors, Malaysian tour guide Shaukani Abbas, and MOMC Chef, Bob Adnin.

Don’t forget to sign up at if you want the recipes from our cooking sessions, along with the bonus content we couldn’t fit into the episode.


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