Johor Bahru now has a pretty dim sum hangout, if you like to indulge in the Cantonese pastime of yum cha (drinking tea) with your kakis (buddies) in a cha lao (tea house). It's simply called 茶楼 Cha Lao Dim Sum which is located at Holiday Villa Hotel.
Cha Lao Dim Sum and Holiday Villa are located just across Jalan Serigala from KSL Mall (in Taman Abad or Century).
When you step into Cha Lao you can see the busy kitchen through the window. Chefs were busy hand making the dim sum for customers. The chefs looked like seasoned hands.
The dining room is on the second level of the restaurant. There is also a lift to the second level.
The contemporary Chinese decor and furnishings are simple yet elegant and comfortable.
But, it can get crowded and rumbles with banter during peak hours - just like any good cha lao lah 😄
I like this nod to cha lao tradition like this dim sum dolly.
We were here on two separate occasions and these were the dim sum we had.
Overall, I like the flavours of Cha Lao's dainty dim sum as they are well balanced and fine compared to those at average dim sum places. Prices are slightly premium but worth it considering the better quality of dim sum with nicer ambiance and good service. (中点 Mid size plates RM6.80++ each, 大点 large size plates RM7.80++ each, 单点 a la carte plates prices vary.)
Our favourite was this 红油炒手 or Szechuan style wanton which we ordered double servings (on both visits).
Another of our favourites was their Fried Carrot (Radish) Cake.
Check the full Johor Kaki dim sum listings 👈 click
Restaurant name: Cha Lao Dim Sum 茶楼点心
Address: Shop 6, Ground Floor Menara Malpakat (Holiday Villa Hotel), Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1°29'11.8"N 103°45'42.3"E 🌐 1.486609, 103.761755
Waze: Holiday Villa
Tel: 07 290 3394
Hours: 8:00am - 12:00 midnight
Dates visited: 5 Sept 2018, 15 Oct 2018
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