Cafe Hopping in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

..Updated as of 5 Sept 2017..

Cafe hopping trend in our neighbourhood country, Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia has been going on for a while now. In fact, I don’t enter JB as often but during those trips, I was led by some of my trusty foodie friends and we were driven exploring places. That said, I am also in the mood to clear some back logs, so why not start with the very recent trip last week. Without further ado, let’s head off to our first stop! Psst! I have also started on a food hunt for non-cafe food. So in case you are in need of some comfort food during the day.

Accessible by Foot

Chaiwalla & Co. Container Café is easily accessible by foot or car. I have always passed by it but today we absolutely need a cup to beat the heat! So here’s the original Thai Milk Tea | RM 9.8, with the option of less sweet. Though we got to choose the sweetness, the less sweet turned out pretty sweet though! Also, the pearls were not ready when we reached hence we have it without the pearls. All in all, it’s still a good thirst quencher with a hint of Thai flavour to its tea.

Address: Lot 2180, Tan Hiok Nee Street, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 12:00pm-12:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm-1:00am
Sun: 12:00pm-12:00am

Sangkaya is an established creamery brand in Malaysia by Malaysian, located not too far off from Chaiwalla. It’s so known among the locals as well as tourists, we queued for it in Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur, on a push cart. Now back to JB, we were attracted to ice cream, once due to the scorching weather. We came just in time as they had just opened its door at 11am. As we have a few food places to go, we limited ourselves to one for sharing and we ordered the Signature Coconut Ice Cream | RM 9.9. The 4 scoops of coconut ice cream is served in a coconut husk and comes with 3 toppings (we choose 2). Later we found out that we can mix and match the flavours among Coocnut, Matcha, Thai Milk Tea and Teh Tarik. Oh wells original coconut never fails too!

Address: 14, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 11:00am-11:00pm

Faculty of Caffeine (FOC) is no stranger to Singaporeans, for it’s stone throw away café location from JB's custom. This is my first visit after their revamped place and menu. Previously they were serving mainly all-day breakfast dishes, now they came up with fusion dishes such as Signature Tendon Unagi | RM 28.9 – a twist from the usual Japanese mixed tempura on a bowl of rice. It comes in Chicken and Vegetarian versions too.

Next, Fried Chicken Maze Ramen | RM 19.9 - a fusion of Western and Asian bowl includes tossing the spicy minced chicken, sweet leaf, spring onion, seaweed  and ramen together in FOC special sauce and accompanied with 63C sous vide egg and fried chicken. To be honest, it kind of tasted like Wanton Mee (Halal version maybe?)

Address: 106, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 9:00am-6:00pm

Shakespeare Milkshakes is a rather new kid on the block which features their specialty milkshakes, waffles, soft serve ice cream and coffee. Starting with the best-seller, Kinder Bueno Shakes, Berries Sparkles – watch out for the popping candy, and Avocado Power – more espresso would be good | RM 16.0.

I would like to recommend the Croffle in Turkey Ham | RM 8, if you need something comforting and savoury to go with the milkshakes. It’s packed with cheese, and is offered in two more variants – Tuna and Beef Pastrami. If you don’t already know, a croffle is a croissant in a form of waffle. In this case, it’s still a croissant that is compressed in a waffle maker.

Address: 9, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon, Tue & Thu: 1:00pm-11:00pm
Fri-Sun: 1:00pm-12:00am.
Closed on Wednesdays

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory is a traditional brand needs no explanatory to many, as they have been around since 1919. One of the reason why everyone wants a piece of their bakes are because they are baked in hole-in-the-wall oven like using wood fire. It’s a pity there isn’t much bakery that uses such traditional baking method.

If you are there, you have to get the freshly baked Banana Cake (Small - 5 pieces) | RM 4.8, (Big - 10 pieces) | RM 9.6. Although it may seems like a regular banana cake, the ones from Hiap Joo’s are fluffier and more aromatic than the ones you can get in your hood. Moreover, they are sold like hotcakes, literally while stocks last! There is often a queue outside during noon but don’t worry, the turnover rate is quite fast.

Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 7.30 am-5.30pm
Closed on Sundays

We have about an hour to kill before our train ride back to Singapore, hence we headed to JB City Square Mall for a walk. Chanced upon Tokyo Secret (originated from Hong Kong) and best of all, there is not queue! We got a box of 6 Japanese Hanjyuku Cheese Tart (Half Baked Cheese Tart) in less than 10-minutes, Matcha Tart | RM 8.9 and Cheese Tart | RM 7.9. We were surprised to find red bean and mocha inside the Matcha Tart! That’s it, matcha over cheese tart for me.

Address: Level 4, Johor Bahru City Square Mall, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Lot MS-03, 80000 Johor Bahru (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 10:00am-10:00pm

Accessible by Car

Softsrve Ice Cream and Dessert Bar has made its way to JB! Their moto is to create unusual soft ice cream flavours and experience. Presenting to you the Sunflower | RM 12, it consists of oolongcha softserve, caramelised sunflower seeds and dried pineapple flower atop. The subtle oolongcha taste makes is refreshing with an added crunch from the sunflower seeds. Besides oolongcha flavour, chocolate is available too. Softsrve also offers Kakigori and parfait series.

Address: #L1-03, Blok A, Academic Suite, Jalan Austin Heights, Taman Mount Austin,81100 Johor Bahru, Johor (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 12:00pm till Sold Out (for soft launch period)

Our friend drove us to this pretty looking Palladium Café, situated beside Eco Spring Show Village. The café has limited indoor dining and a spacious outdoor seating, overlooking the view of English-looking properties. For a moment, it doesn’t feel like I’m in JB.

The menu for food selection is pretty minimal, having only 3 mains and we narrowed down to Roasted Chicken Leg | RM 23.9 served in mushroom sauce. The Peach Latte was sold out and I went with Hot Organic Matcha Latte | RM 10.9.I cannot comprehend why the food took almost 30-minutes to arrive even when there’s no crowd. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in the café is pleasant.

Address: Eco Spring Show Village, 81100 Johor Bahru (Map)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 11:30am-9:00pm

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