Thursday, 25 May 2017

Johor Bahru 2 day 1 Night Food Trail Mon & Tues (Non Halal)

Johor-Bahru-Food-Trail-Non-Halal

My dear friends from The Philippines are visiting Johor Bahru next week but I am away in Manila 😂

So, I planned this 2 day 1 night food trail with as much information as possible for them to enjoy JB without me 😄

So, let's go.

As you are entering JB from Singapore in the morning, I suggest you have your morning caffeine and a small bite before setting off. Traffic is usually smooth on Monday mornings but you can never tell as the Causeway is one of the busiest land crossings in the world.

After clearing JB immigration, head for your first suggested stop - Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh in Taman Sentosa. It's less than 10 minutes drive in light traffic.



My suggested first stop is Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh as JB folks love pork rib soup for breakfast, so why not join them 😄 JB have its own styles of bak kut teh (yes, there are several styles) and Shoon Huat's light herbal style is the most popular, going by their 20+ branches (and counting). This busy shop in Taman Sentosa is the founding shop and flagship. The elegant matriarch is still at the shop, sometimes.

Read more about Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh 👈 click

Restaurant name: Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh 顺发肉骨茶
Address: 11, Jalan Sutera Satu, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru 
Map: http://g.co/maps/gdkje 
GPS: 1.490861,103.767779  /  1°29'27.1"N 103°46'04.0"E
Tel: 019 778 0709 
Hours: Daily 8:00am to 8:00pm (closed at 5:00pm on Monday)

It's street side parking at Jalan Sutera Satu. The street is quite busy and parking coupons are required. Be sure to pick up a pack of JB city parking coupons at any petrol station and display the required when parking. Parking enforcement is very stringent, as I've learnt through expensive lessons 😂

After your leisurely bak kut teh brunch, the time is about right to check into your hotel in the city centre.



If you are too early, you can walk about old JB's "Culture Street" area while they get your rooms ready. The few old streets here are dotted with older eateries as well as hipster cafes. As you won't have much stomach space left after bak kut teh, I suggest you could just take a look at the old wood fired bakery at Hiap Joo Bakery. The friendly owners do oblige requests to take a look inside and snap a few quick photos. 

There is always a long queue, but if you are lucky, you could snag a box of their signature banana cakes. It's made with sweet bananas and it has that smokey flavour which only wood fire baked cakes can have.

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
Tel+607 223 1703
Hours: Daily 7:30am to 5:30pm (Closed on Sunday)

Read more about Hiap Joo Bakery 👈 click

Parking in the narrow streets of the old downtown can be nightmarish, so be patient 😄



Check in and after a good rest at the hotel, you will be energised for the hour plus drive to Sungai Rengit, Johor's "Lobster Town" on the southeastern tip of the Peninsular (Sungai Rengit is nearly 100km to the east of JB). Sungai Rengit is a tiny town which used to rely mainly on the wild spiny lobsters here for it's economy. In the last few years, there have been major oil and gas infrastructure work in the area, affecting the lobster yield.


But, meanwhile, there are still enough live wild lobsters for us to enjoy 😃 Personally, I found that the spiny lobsters here taste better than Maine lobsters. After trying a few of the restaurants here, Jade Garden gives me the most confidence when I am hosting guests. The live lobsters are delicious, especially prepared in their signature "superior broth" style. Many people also like their "Marmite" style lobster.

Restaurant name: Jade Garden Seafood Corner 
Address: Lorong Siakap 1, Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor 
GPS: 1.347967, 104.223795 / 1°20'52.7"N 104°13'25.7"E 
Tel: +607 826 5460
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm

Read more about Jade Garden restaurant 👈 click

AEON-Jusco-Tebrau-City-Mall-JB

After lobsters and a drive around Sungai Rengit and Desaru, make you way back to JB. If you like, you could stop a while at the AEON Tebrau City Mall along Tebrau highway. This is the largest shopping mall in Johor Bahru at the moment.

On your way back to the hotel, if you still have stomach space, try Sin Huat's spicy grilled stingrays.

As you come down south along Tebrau highway towards the city centre, you will need to make a U-turn to get to Sin Huat in Kampung Baru Pandan. Follow your navigation App.

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Sin Huat serves a mean spicy grilled stingray (as well as other fish and shell fish). It's fresh wings of stingrays grilled over charcoal embers and slathered with homemade spicy paste. The chili paste here is not overly spicy (to me). It's a unique Malaysia/ Singapore dish worth a try. Eating it in the cool of the evening in a village setting adds to the pleasure of the experience.

Restaurant name: Sin Huat Ikan Bakar 星發鐵板燒 
Address: Jalan Loo Hong Joon, Kampung Baru Pandan, Johor Bahru 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/KgeP  
GPS: 1.526227, 103.767459 / 1°31'34.4"N 103°46'02.9"E 
Tel: +6016 720 7849 (It is best vital to call ahead to reserve your stingray)
Hours: 6:30pm to 11:00pm (closed on Sunday)

Read more about Sin Huat 👈 click

After a long day, it is time to call it a night and rest in the hotel.

Next morning, have a coffee/ tea and some fruits at the hotel but keep your stomachs free for the day ahead 😄

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I know that we all have eaten lots of chicken in our lives but I think Restoran Tong's chicken is still worth a try. It's poached free range chicken cooked to just the right doneness, so it is tender, and moist with sweet natural juices inside. Tong's signature savoury aromatic sauce is special too, and it complements the bird's natural chicky flavours perfectly.

Restoran Tong also has bak kut teh and steam fish dishes, but I suggest you stick to only the chicken for this round as there is still another place I like to suggest before you leave JB 😄 

Restaurant name: Restoran Tong 东肉骨茶馆 
Address: 41, Jalan Hang Lekir 10, Taman Skudai Baru, Skudai, Johor 
GPS: 1.502524,103.638818 
Hours:  9:00am to sold out (usually around 2:30pm). 
Opens at 08:00am on weekends. (Rest days are not fixed. Rest for a week every two months.) Call 07-558-5367 to check.

Read more about Restoran Tong 👈 click

After chicken, naturally it's time for duck right?



Taika Huat or Ba Li Ban is famous for their Teochew style braised ducks. The duck breasts are tender and juicy with mild natural sweetness and mildly savoury braising stock.

Taika-Huat-Ba-Li-Ban-Duck-JB

Taika Huat has added braised pork trotters to their menu. This is worth a try - the braised pork is drained, then steamed. It is tender, spongy, gummy and so delicious with sweet and savoury flavours.

Eating at Taika Huat is unique because the stall is directly under the shade of a very large leafy tree. It is very cool and comfortable here at Taika Huat.

Restaurant name: 八里半大家发鸭肉 Kedai Masakan Itik Taika Huat / Ba Li Ban 
Address: Jalan Kilang Nenas (Jalan Skudai Batu 8½ near Lee Pineapple Factory and SJK Kuo Kuang school), Johor Bahru  
Map: http://g.co/maps/r4qqu  
GPS:   1°31'25.4"N 103°40'20.6"E | 1.523723, 103.672400 
Tel: +6017-763 2188 林秋燕 
Hours: 8:30am to 4:00pm (closed on first day of every lunar month)

Read more about Taika Huat 👈 click

Return to the hotel to pack, freshen up and check out.

City-Square-Mall-JB

After all the eating, you may wish to do some shopping and walking in two more top shopping centres in JB, City Square Mall and Komtar JBCC Mall. Both are just a stone's throw from your hotel. For your convenience, it is still best to drive over there. (Parking is in high demand, so patience is advised 😄 ) The two popular malls have all the international apparel brands as well as global and Asian food / coffee chains. They also have spas, if you need a foot massage.

Once, you are done shopping, snacking and relaxing, it's time return to Singapore via the Causeway.

Notes:

👉Get a pack of Johor Baru city parking coupons
👉Get a "Touch & Go" cash card and top up with at least RM50 (which will be more than enough for this trail)
👉Singapore cars - make sure your petrol tank is ¾ full
👉Always call the shop ahead, in case of unscheduled days off or to reserve your dish
👉A navigation App saves a lot of stress and petrol. I use WAZE.

Best-Food-Johor-Bahru-JB
In case of emergency, refer to this guide ☝ click

May I wish you a great visit to JB and my sincere apologies that I could not be with you all this round 😄

Date: 25 May 2017

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