[Halal] We recently checked out Restoran Hua Mui – one of two popular places known for their chicken chop in Bandar Johor Bahru (JB).
Join us in the first in a two-part series as we try the signature chicken chops at Hua Mui and IT Roo Café.
JB Chicken Chop Showdown
When we planned our trip to JB a few months ago, a friend recommended we check out Restoran Hua Mui and IT Roo Café.
Both restaurants are considered landmarks in Bandar Johor Bahru, and are particularly known for their Chicken Chop dishes.
Any local will likely point at one of the two as their favourite!
We checked out both restaurants during our trip ( we ate at each establishment back-to-back, no less) to determine which one we liked better.
Read our full post on IT Roo Café here.
Restoran Hua Mui in JB
Our first stop in this chicken chop showdown is Restoran Hua Mui – a Hainanese restaurant established in 1946.
While Hua Mui currently operates five branches across the Johor state, we checked out the original kopitiam which had been operating at the intersection of Jalan Trus and Jalan Dhoby since the 1940s.
Restoran Hua Mui retains its old-school charm
We were happy about our decision as stepping into Hua Mui is like taking a step back into time.
The restaurant exudes an old-school charm with most of the original tiles, wooden panels, ceiling fans, and window frames retained since the days of yore.
Note that we arrived at 5.30 pm on a Friday evening, hence there was no crowd or queue at the front. We were told that the restaurant can get very busy on the weekends and during lunchtime on weekdays.
Hainanese fare on offer
A peek into the menu shows that Hua Mui offers more than just traditional Hainanese fare.
All of the Hainanese staples are here – butter kaya toast, Hainanese coffee, Hainanese chicken rice and Hainanese stir-fry noodles.
However, Hua Mui also offers other Malaysian favourites such as Cantonese Yee Mee, Nasi Lemak, Sup Kambing and even Green Curry Chicken.
Excellent butter kaya toast
To whet our appetite, we ordered a serving of Butter Kaya Toast with Double Butter (RM3.50) and Half-Boiled Kampung Eggs (RM3.40).
We thought the kaya toast here was done quite well. The bread was soft and toasted just nicely to get those lovely charred bits without being too burnt. They were very generous with the butter too, with two substantial slabs of butter wedged between the bread.
While the butter was creamy and of high quality, we kinda wished they had more kaya to balance out the buttery goodness.
Perfect half-boiled Kampung eggs!
The eggs, on the other hand, were cooked to perfection to yield soft egg whites and runny yolk.
We could tell that the Kampung eggs were high quality and fresh, which makes the dish all the more enjoyable when added with the right amount of soy sauce and pepper.
I mean, we can make soft-boiled eggs at home – but they really can’t compare to the perfectly cooked ones at kopitiams.
Kopi with butter?
Among the various Hainanese drinks on the menu, Kopi Gu You (RM3.40) piqued our interest the most as we’ve not seen it anywhere before.
It turns out that Kopi Gu You is essentially locally-brewed coffee with butter added (a local version of Bulletproof coffee, if you will).
We definitely enjoyed the coffee as it was quite fragrant with a pronounced roasted taste. However, we are unsure if the butter added anything to the drink besides adding a layer of oil on top.
We reckon the original kopi drink without the butter would have been enough to make a satisfactory drink.
And finally, the original Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM17.90)!
Hua Mui does offer Grilled and Salted Egg Chicken Chop on its menu – but our mission was clear that day.
First impressions: the chicken chop arrived warm as they were freshly cooked.
It also looked quite sizable for the price. However, we are pleased to find that it was not mainly made of batter as Hua Mui used a chicken leg of a decent size to fill up the plate.
The chicken chop was delicious! It was actually quite tender and natural juices oozed out when cut into. We liked that the batter was crispy and not too heavily seasoned with salt.
We found the gravy to be adequately flavourful (more of the brown sauce variety instead of tomato-based) but slightly thick from too much corn starch.
We were pleasantly surprised by the wedges as they were nicely seasoned and fresh-tasting. The grilled tomato was juicy too.
Overall, we really enjoyed the dishes here at Hua Mui.
Hua Mui executed most of the dishes well – which we deem to be above the average of most kopitiam fare. In particular, we enjoyed the chicken chop, half-boiled eggs and toast.
But are they better than the ones at IT Roo Café?
Read about our final conclusion in our IT Roo Cafe post here.
Restoran Hua Mui
Address: 131, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm Daily
Phone: 07-224 7364
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