Peggy Loh

Peggy is a resident writer for The Iskandarian and actively writes in her blog www.peggyloh.com about matters that are close to her heart. She can be reached at [email protected]

Gambier Planting Revival in Johor 3

From text books, Chinese primary school students are learning that Johor was the world’s largest producer of gambier (gambir) from the 1830s to 1850s. The important link between the Chinese and Malay communities in the pioneering era and how pepper and gambier earned its place of honour in Johor for its role in boosting the state’s economy are in their school syllabus. But what is gambier? While students may have a

Unity through Lat Cartoons 3

I recently received a message from reader, Yuvitra Jeyaraman, which said: “I stumbled across your blog as I was hunting for Lat books. I noticed that you have several Lat books and would like to know if you are interested in selling them?” I replied asking for more information because I wanted to know more about this reader who claims to be obsessed with Lat cartoons! Then I learnt she

Affordable Authentic Japanese Cuisine at Yuzu 7

At Yuzu Japanese Restaurant, you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to savour authentic Japanese cuisine. This fast-service family restaurant with two outlets, one at Taman Mount Austin and the other at Indahpura near Kulai, is fast gaining popularity for its authentic cuisine and affordable prices. Opened by a group with a combined wealth of culinary experience, the Mount Austin outlet is managed by co-owner Karen Chua,

JB’s Early Coffee-Houses and Cafés 3

On our walks to the town library, a building located beside the Johor Bahru Post Office in the 1970s, I was introduced to Hua Mui restaurant by my street-smart schoolmates. If we had extra pocket money, it was always a treat to order a snack or a cold drink here. Since the 1950s this landmark double-storey coffee-shop at Jalan Trus was run by the Chiang family and its clientele then

Encouraging Reading Habits in Johor 3

The joy of reading was instilled in me since young when I saw how my parents would sit together in companionable silence, each reading a book or the daily newspapers. At birthdays or Christmas, I used to receive gifts of books which encouraged me to read and explore other worlds within the stories in the books. During school holidays, books were my favourite companions especially on rainy days when we

Niniq for a Taste of Javanese 3

Niniq Javanese Cuisine is a family-owned restaurant that serves a menu of traditional Javanese food that the owners Jennifer and Angela Ho grew up with. These family recipes that grandmother, Suzanna Hartono, had passed to their mother, Lila Hendra, are now prepared in the menu they proudly serve at the first Javanese cuisine restaurant here. The cuisine at Niniq presents a taste of how the Javanese of Surabaya enjoy their

Where Have All Our Playgrounds Gone? 1

Two of our family’s favourite recreational destinations were the Istana Garden and Lido Beach day-long picnics and casual evening outings. The Istana Garden was a public park with strict closing hours but the beach was literally open 24-hours! Matured trees that shaded footpaths on undulating terrain in Istana Garden’s well-manicured park provided a natural environment for exercise buffs. With a deep sense of camaraderie among regulars who enjoyed outdoor exercise

Steamed Fish Specialty at Fat Fish JB

If you are a fan of fish and are skilled in eating a whole fish to savour every morsel of tender flesh, then dining at Fat Fish Johor Bahru will simply be a sheer delight. There’s something comforting about savouring freshly-steamed fish, sipping its hot broth and slurping the rich tasty flavours, right to the bottom of the hot plate. Diners here are discovering the simple pleasures of eating their

Top Notch Northern Indian Cuisine at Olive

“Full of spice and very nice,” aptly describes the freshly-cooked, flavourful and fragrant cuisine at Olive Kitchen & Bar, a marina-front restaurant at Puteri Harbour. The loyal clientele at Olive, not only enjoys evening drinks while watching the sun set on the marina, but also in dining on exquisite Northern Indian cuisine. The Olive at Puteri Harbour is the only outlet opened in Johor under The Olive Tree group of

First Intensive Care Unit in JBGH

My memories of the Johor Bahru General Hospital [The Iskandarian, Dec 2016], triggered by the recent fire tragedy in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), caught the attention of reader, Dr Anand Sachithanandan. Dr Anand, a Kuala Lumpur-based cardiothoracic surgeon who grew up in JB, shared with me his memories of the JBGH in particular about the ICU, because his father, the late Dr T. Sachithanandan, founded the ICU in