Most Johoreans (or Singaporeans) would expect an asam pedas restaurant would be near the sea i.e. Batu Pahat, Muar, Parit Jawa or even Johor Bahru but my friend Vincent Chow brought Aweng and I to this restaurant in the land-locked Kluang, whenever we are doing samplings in Sg. Mengkibol, Sg. Ulu Dengar and Sg. Madek.
Ah, yes! Both Vincent Chow (a Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch stalwart) and Aweng a/l Eh Rak (Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)), are my PhD students doing studies on the impact of land uses on water quality, sediment movements (pebble count), fishes and macroinvertebrates biodiversity.
Enough said about the background. Let's talk about food :-)
The one of the specialties of the house is otak-otak and do not expect the usual otak-otak wrapped in coconut leaves. This otak-otak is steamed on a small plate with chunks of fishes can still be seen. I will check on the price later. Other than the otak-otak, Vincent always ordered another specialty of the house, the fish head asam pedas (ikan merah) - this dish is really sour (but good) and the "asam" used is not your regular gelugur or asam keping but asam jawa (tamarind). Another recommended dish is squids cooked with stink beans (petai).
The address is 83 & 85 Jalan Lim Swee Sim, Kluang Baru, Kluang. The telephone number to use is +6017-764-1942. You better come early as it is always full especially on weekends.
The decor is basic and even the table cloth is absent, as seen in the photo above, but who cares as long as the food is great!