Tuesday, 7 July 2015

JB (Johor Bahru) Food Trail, Malaysia

This June school holidays we did not managed to plan any overseas trips because our passport renewal was held up due to some delay. But after picking our new passport on the second week of June, we decided to join cousin and his family for an impromptu food and shopping day trip to Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia.

With a good itinerary and guide (cousin) that bring us around, we managed to conquer a few "must try" food places like Restoran Ya Wang, Hiap Joo Bakery, Hui Lau Shan, Cedar Point Food Centre and etc which you can check it out in this post.


Yishun Bus Interchange - AC7 Bus Lane
Long queue waiting at AC7 bus lane even at around 9.30am. AC7 (Advance Coach AC7) is a cross border bus service which takes you from Singapore (Yishun) to Johor Immigration Checkpoint. The traveling time takes about 30 minutes to reach Woodlands Checkpoint depending on the traffic and there are also a few stops along the way from Sembawang to Woodlands area.

Operating Hours For AC7:
Yishun Interchange:
0545 – 2330 hours (Mon-Sat);
0600 – 2330 hours (Sun & P.H.)


From Johor Checkpoint (CIQ):
0500 – 2350 hours (Mon-Sat);
0540 – 2350 hours (Sun & P.H.)


Yishun Bus Interchange - AC7 Bus Lane
Usually the bus will be packed with passengers during peak hours and weekends so it best to be in queue so that we can get a seat unless you don't mind standing for at least 30 minutes during the ride. The bus fare is SG$2.50 per adult (child is SG$2) from Singapore to JB and you can make payment using EZ-link card whereas from JB to Singapore you have to pay RM$2 instead. .

[Day Trip to JB] Arriving at Singapore Immigration Checkpoint
Depending on the traffic as usually it takes at least 30 minutes from Yishun Bus Interchange to Woodlands Checkpoint. So first stop, we have to conquer the queue at Singapore custom first before moving on to the next stop. 

[Day Trip to JB] Singapore Immigration Checkpoint
Luckily the queue at Singapore immigration checkpoint is considering fast and bearable as it takes us about less than 30 minutes to clear the custom. After this we move on to the bus pickup point at level 1 to board the bus (in this case we will take AC7 because we pay for the fare from Yishun to Johor OR you can pay extra RM$1/2 for their local bus service to JB custom) which will ferry us across the causeway.

While on the bus, there was a slight traffic jam along the causeway so it took about 20 minutes to reach the Malaysia immigration checkpoint.

[Day Trip to JB] Johor Immigration Checkpoint
Upon arrived at the Johor immigration checkpoint entrance we were shocked to see the crowds because there were almost long queues everywhere on the counters. But finally after an hour plus of waiting time, we managed to clear the custom and at around 12pm.

[Day Trip to JB] Roti Boy Bakery along the sky bridge linkway to City Square Mall
After clearing Johor immigration, we headed the way towards the link bridge to city square shopping mall and we were attracted by the coffee aroma from Roti Boy Bakery. As we cannot resist the temptation, we bought 2 coffee bun to share among us which in a way not to fill our tummy before lunch too.

[Day Trip to JB] Sky Birdge linkway from Johor Immigration to City Square Mall Entrance
Continue to follow the linkway and a few escalators down you will be able to see signboard which direct you to the escalators to City Square. And up the escalator you will see a Old Town White Coffee on your right as well as Uniqlo and a stretch of food stalls.

[Day Trip to JB] Food stores at level 3 of City Square Mall

[Day Trip to JB] Kueh Bahulu from D Bahulu Corner (level 3 near hui lau shan), City Square
My boy loves and always look forward to the freshly baked Kuih Bahulu (RM$3 for 9 pieces) from D Bahulu Corner whenever his grandma loot it back from her day trip to Johor. Their kuih bahulu comes in a few flavours such as original, chocolate chips, raisin and etc which is fragrant and soft in texture plus a crisp crust making it irresistible to stop at just one or two.

Besides kuih bahulu, they also make other popular local delights like tarts, kuih kapit (similar to love letter but in triangular shape), kuih ros (beehive cookies), kuih makmur (ghee cookies) and etc.

[Day Trip to JB] Map of Eateries near City Square
Besides the shopping mall if you are keen to explore some old-school shops and eateries outside the main street you can refer to the map above which I extracted online. For your convenient I have also marked the map with number "#1 - #5" based on the location of the mentioned food places in this post.

[Day Trip to JB] City Square Mall Exit/Entrance near McDonald
To start with head down to level 1 of the mall, locate McDonald (on your right, you will see a signboard with Jalan Wong Ah Fook shown above) and the Apple Phone & Accessories shop (on your left near the escalators). Walk towards the Apple Phone shop and find the exit beside Maybank.

[Day Trip to JB] City Square Mall Entrance along Jalan Station & Jalan Wong Ah Fook junction
[Location #1] Cross the road at Jalan Station junction and walk towards Plaza Seni direction (city square at the back) then continue to Jalan Trus (keep left) which is at the back of the carpark .

[Day Trip to JB] Hindu Temple around Jalan Trus
[Location #2] In less than 3 minutes you will see the Hindu Temple shown above. And with temple on right walk towards left (a row of shop houses) to Jalan Segget you will see a huge duck outside Restoran Ya Wang.

Restoran Ya Wang @ 28 Jalan Segget
[Location #3] Restoran Ya Wang can be easily spotted from far with its big fat duck icon hanging outside the shop. The restaurant is located at 28 Jalan Segget which is stone throw (around 5 minutes) from City Square Mall. And with their well-known herbal duck recipe which enable them to be the Adviser to Singapore’s Dian Xiao Er roast duck franchise I am sure you don't want to give this a miss.

[Restoran Ya Wang] Assorted Roast Items
At the entrance of the shop, you can take a peep on their roast meats as well as braised items like tofu and egg.

[Restoran Ya Wang] Interior layout Menu
The restaurant interior is clean and tidy, there is also a huge white board with handwritten menu on the wall that display both a la carte items and their set menus. And while waiting for the food, we start with a cup of refreshing Sea Bird Nest - 海燕窝 (RM$8.50 per cup). The drink has a herbal Ginseng taste that is lightly sweeten with honey and you can some sea bird nest, longan and slices of American ginseng in it.

Note: Sea bird nest is a kind of natural seaweed that contain abundant of collagen. Besides that it can also helps to relieve stress and improve immunity too.

[Restoran Ya Wang] Herbal Roast Duck @ RM$30.00 (half portion)
There are a few choices of herbal ducks such as American Ginseng, Dang Gui (angelica sinensis), Shi Quan (10 wonder herbs) and etc. We ordered half portion of the Dang Gui Roast Duck (当归鸭) which I must warn  you don't expect it to come with crisp skin but instead enjoy it with its distinct herbal flavour and soft tender meat.

[Restoran Ya Wang] Roast Pork and Char Siew (BBQ Pork) @ RM$20 per plate
As for their Char Siew (叉烧) and Roast Pork (烧肉); we prefer their roast pork which has crackling top, layer of fats and juicy meat.

Restoran Ya Wang] Signature Braised Tofu and Sambal Sweet Potato Leaves
Other than roast meats we also order their Signature Tofu (RM$19) which serve with lot of ingredients such as prawns, squids, chicken meat, mushroom, roast pork and etc. The circular-shaped tofu is deep-fried before cooking with the rest of the ingredients which therefore make it more tasty.

Lunch at Restoran Ya Wang
Overall we did enjoy our dining experience at Restoran Ya Wang with their well-known herbal roast duck and homely cze char dishes. Price wise might be slightly steep on certain items and we spent about RM$120 (around SG$43) for 2 dishes, 3 roast meats, 6 plates of rice and 3 cup of sea bird nest for 6 person. 

[Day Trip To JB] Restoran Ya Wang

RESTORAN YA WANG
鸭皇药材烧腊大王
No 28 Jalan Segget
80000 Johor Bahru
Telephone: (+60)7-224 8624
Facebook: Restoran Ya Wang

Opening Hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm (Daily)


Hua Mui Coffee Shop
[Location #4] While searching for the banana cake from Hiap Joo Bakery, we pass by Hui Mui Coffee Shop which is at the corner junction of Jalan Trus and Jalan Dhoby (refer to the map above on #5). From what I Google, this restaurant is well-known for their Hainanese style western food such as classic chicken chop. And in the morning they serve pretty good Hainanese coffee and kaya toast which similar to what eat in YaKun too. So we will definitely be back to try their specialty items on our next visit soon.

[Day Trip to JB] Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
[Location #5] Hiap Joo Bakery is a traditional family business bakery that bakes their cakes and bread using wood fire in a clay brick like oven. And from what we notice while queuing, most of the customers are regulars who came all the way just to pick up their freshly baked banana cakes and some even orders are like 20 - 30 boxes per customer.

Just a side note; there is this Kin Wah Coffee Shop (锦华餐室) just directly opposite the bakery which is s well known for its Hainanese coffee (aunty and mum were there having coffee while waiting for us to queue for the banana cake), mee rebus, nasi padang and etc. I saw they also have Penang Laska too.

[Day Trip to JB] Banana Cake and Buns from Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
The star attraction of this bakery is their delicious banana cake which is fragrant, fluffy and moist in texture. Furthermore with no artificial flavouring or essences added, it also makes the cake feel less greasy and dense. Besides the cake, we also love their old school bun (soft but slightly chewy in texture) such as shredded coconut with gula melaka and ikan bilis fillings. Best to be there around 11.30am in order to get the freshly bake cakes and buns (if you are early, you can have breakfast at the opposite Kin Wah coffee shop while waiting).

[Day Trip to JB] Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory - Price List

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory (Halal)
协裕面包西果厂
13 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Malaysia
Telephone: (+60) 7-223 1703
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiapjoobakery

Operating Hours:
7:00am – 6:00pm (Mon - Sat)
9:00 - 1:00pm (Sun)


[Hui Lau Shan] Dessert Menu
After spending about 2 hours exploring the streets outside, we went back to City Square mall to look for some dessert which we saw earlier on our way. Hui Lau Shan (许留山) is a well-known for their mango dessert in Hong Kong and now they have a outlet in Johor Bahru City Square Shopping Mall which is so convenient for patrons like us who love Hong Kong dessert. Above are their are Top 10 popular choice which we order two of it for sharing.

[Hui Lau Shan] Mango Set and Heavenly BrewMenu
Mango Feast (RM$13.90) features 3 different types of mango dessert such as:
  • Mango Chewy Ball - glutinous rice ball and mango cubes in mango purée
  • Mango Duet - mango flavoured ice cream with mango cubes and coconut flesh
  • Mango Crisp Cake - cream cheese filling with mango covered by crispy crust
Overall the mango served is not very fragrant nor sweet to our preference and the crisp cake filling is rather too sweet that overpower the taste.

[Hui Lau Shan] Heavenly Brew
Heavenly Brew (RM$19.90) is a love at first sight dessert to me because I am a great fans of coconut. This double-boiled coconut with bird nest has strong fragrant of the coconut and the milky taste of the soup blends well with the bits of crashed bird nest sort of like eating Bubur Cha Cha.


A short clip on Heavenly Brew.

[City Square, JB] Hui Lau Shan

HUI LAU SHAN (Johor Bahru)
许留山
Johor Bahru Town J3-20
Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square Shopping Mall
106-108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook
80000 Johor, Malaysia
Telephone: (+60) 7-207 2868
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/huilaushanmalaysia


[City Square, JB] Old Town White Coffee
After walking around the mall, we stopped for a rest at Old Town White Coffee before going over to KSL mall. We ordered their White Coffee Gao (thick) which cost about RM$5 per cup. Although the coffee smells aroma with rich flavour but we feel the coffee somehow has bitter and sour aftertaste which we don't really like it .

[City Square, JB] Old Town White Coffee

OLD TOWN WHITE COFFEE(Johor Bahru)
Johor Bahru Town J3-25A
Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square Shopping Mall
106-108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook
80000 Johor, Malaysia
Telephone: (+60) 7-222 6960
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Town-White-Coffee-City-Square-JB/


[JB Sentral Bus Terminal] Causeway Link Bus
In the late afternoon we took the public transport to KSL City Mall because cousin and aunt wanted to catch a movie at MBO Cinema. So after coffee break, we walked back to JB Sentral Bus Terminal (located below the link bridge between the Johor checkpoint and city square mall) to take the bus which is about 20 minutes journey to KSL mall entrance (it stops outside the mall entrance along Jalan Seladang).

From what we notice, there are about 2 different bus services to KSL which operates by Causeway Link and Maju that costs about RM$1.50 per trip. The departure timing is about 30 minutes interval with the first bus leaving the Bus Terminal at around 8.30am till the last bus at 10pm in the late evening to KSL mall.

KSL City Mall
Didn't managed to take any decent photos of the mall but it has many similar shops doing massage/foot reflexology, nail parlours, eateries as well as pushcart stalls selling handphone accessories. Besides those there is also a Tesco located at the basement area but the items are rather disorganized; fruit and veggies also not very appealing.

[KSL City Mall] Durian Cream Puff from Taste Better
While waiting for cousin to get the movie tickets, aunty bought a box of Durian Cream Puff from Taste Better (located at level 3, near the cinema) for us to try. The puff is about 5cm wide and it is supposed to be eaten within one-bite so that the durian filling will not spilled all over your mouth.

Overall the durian cream filling is flavourful (but not too overpower in taste) and slightly watery in texture; the puff on the other hand has a crisp crust and yet soft and moist texture within. By the way if you are keen to try, they have an out in Singapore Vivo City (basement 2) near Giant Hyper-mart.

[Dinner] Cedar Point Food Centre (食得福美食中心)
In the evening since we were still around KSL City Mall, cousin suggested to go for "cze char" dinner at Cedar Point Food Centre (食得福美食中心) which is located at Taman Century (three streets away at Jalan Musang Bulan) near the foot of Hotel Grand Paragon. This old school food centre indeed bought back many of my childhood memories where my parents used to bring me for supper and movies at Sultan Theater (Chong Pang village).

And if you happened to be there on Monday evening, remember to keep a look out for their Pasar Malam where vehicles are converted into stalls selling stuffs such as cooked food, fresh ingredients and etc along the stretch until KSL city mall.


A short clip on the food centre.

Cedar Point Food Centre @ Taman Century
Cedar Point Food Center is popular with their local variety of street food from Chinese and Malay cuisines such as satay, economical rice, seafood, cze char, steamboat, rojak, stir-fry noodles and etc.

[Dinner] Kedai Makanan Laut Delima - 红宝石海鲜楼

[Dinner] Menu from Kedai Makanan Laut Delima - 红宝石海鲜楼
It was hard for us to make decision on what to order because everything seems good at the stalls so in the end we settle for a few cze char dishes with Kedai Makanan Laut Delima, Satay and Fried Oyster (orh lua - 蚝煎).

[Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Balonglong Drink @ RM$3.00 per cup
While waiting for the food, Aunty recommended us this "must try" beverage which is known as Balonglong Juice - 沙梨酸梅果汁. Balonglong is a fruit which similar to green mango but it taste rather sour and crunch to bite. In Malaysia, it is very common to find Balonglong juice which often serve together with couples of sour plum. This natural detox drink has a sour and yet refreshing aftertaste which many might not like it on the first few sips due to its sourish and unique raw veggie taste.

Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Salted Egg Pork, Bittergourd Omelette and KangKong Belacan

Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Fish Head Curry
We ordered 4 cze char dishes such as Salted Egg Pork Chop (RM$10), Bittergourd Omelette (RM$6), KangKong Belacan (RM$6) and Fish Head Curry (RM$28). Overall the dishes are quite good which suits most of our taste preference just that the salted egg pork can be slightly better if it is being toss with some salted egg yolk gravy instead of serving it dry.

[Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Malaysian style satay @ 10 for RM$9.00
Malaysian satay is a bit different from those we have in Singapore. Their satay is more tender to bite with hint of sweet glace. Furthermore the accompany peanut sauce is more coarse in texture as compared to ours. For us, we still prefer the thick creamy peanut sauce with hint of grated pineapple in it.

[Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Fried Oyster - 蚝煎
We also ordered Fried Oyster (RM$6) because me and aunty simply cannot resists seeing other patrons ordering it. This dish took about more than 15 minutes to come while we were having fruits. But after trying we were disappointed with its lump of thick flour mixture as well as it was kind of greasy for us too.

[Dinner @ Cedar Point Food Centre] Fresh Cut Fruits
Lastly Aunty bought a plate of Assorted Cut Fruits (RM$19+) with around 8 different types of fruits in it.

Cedar Point Food Centre @ Taman Century
Here is our "wefie" with satisfying look after the hawker feast. We will definitely be back again to try the other stalls with signature food like claypot rice, BBQ stingray, bak kut teh and etc. 

Cedar Point Food Centre @ Taman Century
This is economic rice stall which is near cze char and fruit stall. With a glance from the above photo you can see that they have many variety of food available. And the interesting part is you can self-service to scoop the dishes into your own plate which in a way helps you to control the quantity too.

Cedar Point Food Centre - Johor Bahru

CEDAR POINT FOOD CENTRE
食得福美食中心
Jalan Musang Bulan
Taman Century
80250 Johor Bahru

Opening Hours:
6:00pm - late nite (Daily)

After dinner we took the Causeway Link bus service from KSL Mall back to Sentral Bus Terminal in order to go to the Johor checkpoint. Luckily there are not many people going back to Singapore on Saturday evening so it took us around 10 minutes to clear the checkpoint before taking AC7 back from the bus pick up area on ground level.

Overall we had a fun and fruitful trip despite of the long waiting queue at the immigration checkpoint and thanks God for a mishap that didn't happen (there was a suspicious man who suddenly appears out of no where following closely behind my mum and aunty. But he was later being discovered by us who were walking far behind and he quickly sneak away after realizing that we had spotted him) .

Lastly we are also thankful to have cousin Alvin as our guide who brings us around to different malls and food places too. We definitely will organized another family trip soon during the coming holidays.

6 comments:

  1. Is the banana cake from bakery available daily?
    Some blogs indicate that the bakery sells this cake once a week

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi mei, the banana cake is available everyday from 11.30 or noon onwards but they do have certain items like crepe cake which only available on certain day. HTH

      Delete
  2. Hi,
    After clearing Singapore custom, if I want to hop back AC7, do I go to the same level 1 where all other buses like 170, 950 are as well? Normally i will take 950 and hop back to 950 but I never see any AC7 around before... hope you can help. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there, yup AC7 is at level 1 near the escalator and tour bus area. They don't really have a waiting area so is like "hop and go" type. I remember we waited for around 20mins or more before the bus came on our trip back. HTH

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Ellena. I like your post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi,

    What bus number do you take from KSL Mall back to JB Sentral Bus Terminal? Where to take the bus? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Dear All,

Thanks for leaving down your comments. I do value each and every of your suggestion(s) or comment(s) so if you are signing off as Anonymous, please kindly leave your Name so that I could address you. Thanks

Lastly, please DO NOT SPAM as Spam comments will be deleted immediately.

Regards
Ellena (Cuisine Paradise)

ShareThis