Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hiap Joo Banana Cake - the Grand Old Lady of Johor Bakeries 协裕面包西果厂 JK1498

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo Bakery in Johor Bahru's Tan Hiok Nee street cultural district needs no introduction. It's one of a handful of bakeries in Malaysia that still uses wood fire in it's almost 100 year old brick oven. Hiap Joo's banana cake is the best that I have tasted anywhere.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo's buns with various fillings like curried potatoes, otak otak, red bean paste, spicy anchovies (ikan bilis) and shredded coconut are also extremely popular. 

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

There is always a queue outside Hiap Joo waiting for the freshly baked banana cakes and buns. (Don't worry. Once the cakes are out of the oven, the queue clears very fast as all customers are take-and-go.)

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

The dancing wood fire that gives Hiap Joo's pastries a smokey flavour that cannot be easily replicated.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

The wood used to fire the brick oven inside the century old bakery.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Getting the oven ready takes a lot of skill and elbow grease. It also takes the most time in the process of making the cakes.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

While the oven is being prepared, the pastries are made with the whole family and extended family chipping in. Everything is still done by hand at Hiap Joo (except for a machine to knead the dough).

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Joseph, the fourth generation of Hiap Joo.

Hiap Joo's oven was built by an Englishman in 1919, and was sold to Joseph's great grandfather in the 1930s before the Englishman returned to England.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo uses real bananas for their famed banana cakes (and none of that banana essence nonsense).

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

In goes the dough. The heat inside the oven is intense, reaching 800-1000 °C. In comparison, most of our electric home ovens reach only 250 °C maximum.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

James, the fourth generation of Hiap Joo. 

Once in, the pastries are ready in 5 minutes, so the pace of work is as intense as the heat from the oven.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

The steamy hot pastries are immediately packed for waiting customers.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo's banana cake is spongy, light and slightly moist. Every bite releases a gently sweet banana flavour and aroma onto our taste buds and our nose. The dark brown outer layer has a nice smokey taste which makes Hiap Joo's banana cake so special.

Hiap Joo's banana cake tastes great hot off the oven but I found that it tastes even sweeter when left overnight and eaten the next day. However, as no preservative is used, the banana cake should be eaten by the third day of baking. That is really a redundant precaution, as Hiap Joo's banana cake can never last more than a day before it is all eagerly snapped up :-D

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo's buns have a sweet fluffy spongy skin and the fillings are generous. They are as popular as Hiap Joo's banana cakes.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

->> Hiap Joo bakery is one of the defining shops of the Johor food scene. You must try their banana cakes at least once. Whether or not you join Hiap Joo's legion of fans who keep coming back, you will have at least experienced a piece of JB food heritage. A most delicious food icon, to boot.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Hiap Joo is located right at the entrance of Johor Bahru's cultural district at the junction of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Trus.

Hiap-Joo-Banana-Cake-协裕面包西果厂

Name: Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory 协裕面包西果厂
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/nf7rs 
GPS: 1.456781, 103.764404 / 1°27'24.4"N 103°45'51.9"E 
Hours: Daily 7:30am to 5:30pm (Closed on Sunday) 

Halal  

Dates visited: Numerous times since stumbling on Hiap Joo on 1 Jan 2012

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

3 comments:

  1. Heard a lot of good reviews and recommendations from friends alike for this shop. Didn't have chance to patronise the shop yet. One thing to note, direct packing of freshly baked buns into packaging does no favour to the bun quality as steam will affect its exterior and overall flavour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Im addicted after i tried last week.. this will be my choice buy when im at JB...yummmmyyyy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ferris, I'm a frequent patron of Hiap Joo. They do not seal the packing when the buns and cakes are still hot - and they also advise you against closing it while it's still hot too :)

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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