Thursday 11 July 2019

JB Food - All in a day!

During the June holiday last month, we drove nearby to Johor Bahru for 3 days of fun. We stayed 2 nights at Double Tree by Hilton

Our drive and hard work of setting off early allowed us to beat the jam and arrive early in JB for breakfast. Here's sharing our food adventure in JB.

If you arrive early like 8 am, hunting for food may be a challenge. Malls are definitely not open. Here is one we set our taste bud on that early morning we arrived. If you like Foo Chow rice wine mee sua with chicken, which is one vanishing or hard to find dish in our local scene, you may want to give this a try. 

1. Restoran Lima Ratus

Foo Chow red wine chicken mee sua

Foo Chow rice wine mee sua is our love! And I like anything claypot, it keeps food hot for some time while savouring it. Good for busy Mamas juggling toddlers and food at the same time. I don't have to come back to cold food. 

This claypot of goodness is thick in its soup. I guess the sticky texture of mee sua must have been part of it. It is not too bad tasting and our kids love it a lot! I like how it tastes except that the broth could have been more flowing.

More famously of what the stall sells would be wantan mee. We ordered and fell in love the texture of its noodles. Feels somewhat like a perfect al dente if I were to relate to to pasta. Ask for less chilli if you are not a fan, they go easy with their chilli. It has good traditional coffee too!

Wantan Mee

Restoran Lima Ratus
4, Jalan Undan 18, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru 
Opening Hours: 
7:00am to 3:00pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

After food was food again!

2. Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 

This is a must for banana cake fans, Hiap Joo Bakery! Queue was already snaking up when we arrived at about 12:30 pm. The queue may be long, but it moves fast. I got my buy within 10 minutes. Other than their banana cake, you do have to try their coconut buns. 

Their buns and cakes are traditionally baked with a traditional taste. Really soft and fragrant!


If you intend to buy 20 big boxes and above, you may pre-oder at 07-223 1703, with pick up time between 2 to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. There is no pre-order for buns. So says their sign on shop front. 

Pre-order available

Zooming out the details. According to this notice on their shop front, Banana cake is available:
Monday: 12pm to 5pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 7:30am to 5pm
Sunday: 8:30am till while stock last

Though this is their published timing on shop, I read around that banana cakes are not be ready for sale super early. A good timing will be 12 noon onward. I was there on a Friday at about 12:30pm, managed to get coconut buns and 2 big boxes of banana cake. 

Big box is at 10 pieces (RM10) and small box at 5 pieces (RM5).

Not accurately updated on price and timing

Banana cake is sold fresh and warm upon buying. To manage expectation a little, the first slice was not impressive. It tastes good, soft, fluffy and not overly sweet, but it did feel like it can be easily replicated with any good recipe. It was until we sat the cake overnight in our hotel room and had it the next day, that it tasted awesome! Not that we were overly hungry, but somehow like the science of how fresh warm cakes need time for flavours to sink in. It was then that we felt like going back to get more. Though it was near our hotel, parking is a big challenge in that busy street. We gave up that thought. Walking 20 minutes under the unforgiving weather was not our kind of option too. 

Tastes better the next day

And the kids really love this cake too!

Interestingly, the street in front of these shops are converted to a night market after sunset.

Bazar Karat

Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory
13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening hours
Mon to Sat: 7.30am – 5.30pm
Sun: 8.30am – 12pm

3. Restoran Kin Hua

Since there were so many eateries and cafes around Hiap Joo. It was more food hunt for us. If you are a fan of nasi pandang, you have to try the stall directly opposite Hiap Joo. In Malaysia, Restoran is not the restaurant you had imagine it to be. Kin Hua is a traditional coffeeshop. It sells irresistible nasi pandang and breakfast meals like kaya toasts, eggs and coffee/tea. We hear their coffee is good, but I needed coke from the afternoon heat. 

It was lunch for us after getting those banana cakes, and we conveniently settled with nasi pandang. Visiting at about 1245pm, most dishes were already selling out. Do be early for more yummy options.

The must order dishes we had are Assam fish and mutton curry. They were so good! Assam gravy is yummy along with its fresh fish, and mutton is soft and tender for chew. The other dishes we ordered were chicken curry and bean curd, which were not too bad as well. 

Nasi padang
Our dishes for share

One glace, you can tell these are not child friendly food. We had an excuse to explore more food since the dishes we ordered were not to the kids' appetite.

Restoran Kin Hua
8 Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 
7am to 2pm (Nasi Panding ready at about 11am)

4. IT Roo Cafe

Not too far away from Kin Hua, we food trailed into It Roo cafe. Slightly of a comfort in here because it is air conditioned. On the outside, it read "The Best chicken chop in town". Since it was calling out loud to make our calories count, we entered.

Having a tummy filled with nasi pandang we previously ate, I ordered 2 chicken chops (RM16 each) for the kids to share. One golden fried chicken chop and another grilled chicken chop. Between the two, I have a stronger liking for the golden fried one. Mushroom sauce for grilled chicken chop was good, but somehow the chicken revealed obviously that it was frozen thawed. It was tough to chew and not quite to my liking. 


Grilled chicken chop

Go for the golden fried one instead! 

It Roo Cafe
17, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 
10am to 9:30pm

5. TANBA Japanese BBQ

I love Japanese BBQ, and especially one that serves cow tongue is my selection criteria. I am just another crazy (not rich) Asian that eats any part of an animal. Not that we don't get this in Singapore, but that eating in Malaysia gives my wallet a better value. We were on a buffet of RM98++ per adult that Friday evening we stepped in. That is about SGD35! Good food range, great ambience and great tasting. Not an easy find in SG for that price.
And the best part of Tanba is that it offers charcoal for grilling of our food.

Tanba offers a great variety of food, from raw to cooked food items. Beef in the buffet menu was not its best range. The premium beef and food items require a different top up. Which of course, we worked with what our buffet offers, any food that fills the tummy is just food. Fill it with the better tasting ones from the buffet menu.  

We had numerous servings of shashimi, beef tongue and prawns. There were vegetable options like butter brocolli and spinach as well as sushi and fried fish skin which can delight the kids. Quite a good range of choices I must say.

Charcoal grilled


Beef galore

Only down side was that orders were often held up, not served or wrongly served to us. With patience, we managed to get them sorted. Within this same premise, they offer Mala steamboat too. Your crave can help you decide which to go for.

Parking is available outside the restaurant at a low fee. There are 2 outlets in JB, but we went the one nearest to our hotel, which is twin galaxy.

Outlets Address:
OUTLET 1: Twin Galaxy, Jalan Dato' Abdullah Tahir, Johor Bahru
31, Jalan Molek 3/20, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru

Buffet Pricing 
Monday - Friday
Lunch : RM78++ (12pm - 5pm)
Dinner: RM98++ (5pm - 11pm)
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday
Lunch : RM88++ (12pm - 5pm)
Dinner: RM98++ (5pm - 11pm)
Below 5 years old - FREE
6 to 12 years old - Half Price
60 years old and above - 10% Discount

Opening hours:
12pm to 11:30pm

When it comes to shopping, we can shop endlessly till money do us apart. When it comes to eating, there is an end to how much our bellies can take. All these in a day, and we had more than enough! We even had hi tea in the hotel before dinner this day. Can't believe we could actually trail and explore this much.

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