Hey everyone! It’s really weird for me to write about this now, because yes! I’m in Munich, Germany for my 6 months exchange! Probably not a very good idea too, because I’ll get hungry seeing all the Asian food. Nevertheless, I shall attempt to finish this post before school starts. And after that I shall embark on a brand new category on this blog: 6 months in Europe! I’m gonna back date so many posts in this new category, since I’ve already been in Munich for more than a month.. but I really felt the need to document my travel journey! Okay, so before I embark on the Top 5 eats near the JB checkpoint, here’s some photos of my trips! I actually went on 2 separate food trips in order to write this post! And I must say.. I am really satisfied with this post!
Okay, so all the photos above were taken at the “hipster street” at Jalan Dhoby, which is like 10 mins walk away from the checkpoint! I suggest you just buy a prepaid card for 10RM at the JB checkpoint, then you can just google maps to all the places! Most of the food is located really near each other anyways.
So I had really high expectations for the hipster street, especially for the cafes! But it was pretty ordinary, just a few cafes on this street and some cute shops! So I wouldn’t say that this hipster street is worth the hype. Nevertheless, it is a good place to go for a stroll and sip some coffee or tea while digesting your food and getting ready for the next food pitstop! Or you could go to city square and shop as well haha.
Let’s now move on to the highlights.. My Top 5 eats near JB checkpoint! Which are all located really near each other, and near the hipster street as well!
#5 Restoran Ya Wang
I’m going to kick off my Top 5 eats with a good one.. because they are the appointed advisors to Dian Xiao Er in Singapore! How awesome is that.. Dian Xiao Er originated from here! That should catch your attention, fellow foodies.
The verdict: Perfectly cooked braised duck, with the meat soft but yet firm. The herbal sauce was great, filled with aroma but yet not overpowering! However, the difference with Dian Xiao Er’s is that Ya Wang’s duck skin isn’t crispy. It’s soaks up the sauce so it’s kind of in between crisp and soggy. But I kind of liked it that way as well!
We also ordered the char siew which I loved! It was caramelized on the edges but yet firm and chewy in the middle! The sauce was thick and gooey which went perfectly with rice! It’s not the fatty kind of char siew but more so the lean type! So so good. The best part is that the prices are like 2.5 times cheaper! So you could order all you want without guilt. Oh, and do order their soup if you like, I always love to wash down the oil with their home made chinese soups! Yums!
Restoran Ya Wang 鸭皇药材烧腊大王
28, Jalan Segget, Johor Bahru
Daily: 8:00am to 6:00pm
#4 IT Roo Cafe
This place was packed during lunch time, buzzing with locals! So that’s a really good sign for me. And boy I was really having high expectations for this place. Previously, I had the similar dish at Hua Mui, another place really well-known.. and I felt that it wasn’t up to my expectations. But IT Roo did the dish justice.
The Hainanese Chicken Chop was perfect! The battered crust on the outside was slightly seasoned and so crunchy! For the meat, it was thick, juicy thigh meat. What more can you ask for from a fried chicken?! The only thing was that IT Roo’s prices were more expensive than Hua Mui’s. But hey! No complains man, a few RM more is definitely worth it!
We had the fried rice as well, which was good and tasty! But nothing really extraordinary. Do give IT Roo a try! I’m so going to go over to JB once I’m back. I’m craving for this now!
IT Roo Cafe
17 Jalan Dhoby 80100 Johor Bahru
Daily: 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
# 3 Ah Hua Kway Teow @ Restoran Sekee
Even though it was a weekday early lunch, we went to AhHua’s and yes it was really empty.. But some of the seats were reserved. So that’s a good sign as well! Soon after, the lunch crowd started pouring in! And yes, I peered over the ingredients on the way into the coffee shop and they were extensive! So basically you can order the kuey teow either soup or dry and choose whatever ingredients you want!
I had the dry kuey teow (that’s what I always order), and it was good! The kuey teow was smooth and silky (omg malaysia’s kuey teow always tastes better than sg) and the sauce was really special. It was like a sweet and sour bland, somewhat like what we have for yong tau fu but just more sour. And it was really good!
For the soup, I chose the mixture of kidney, pork slices, liver and fish maw! The soup was really good! Thick and flavorful, but yet not too heavy and oily! It’s so soothing, can totally crave for a bowl in the cold weather here at Munich. Sigh.
Ordered an extra bowl of oysters because she didn’t include that in my previous bowl. I love oysters and I always must order them when I have the chance. And it was a good choice! Because the oysters were so so good. Although small, the oysters were really fat and fresh! It’s like there isn’t any fishy smell, not at all. One of the best (small) oysters I’ve eaten! And they give that sweet and sour sauce (similar to the one that they add into the dry kuey teow). Dip those juicy oysters in.. it’s really heavenly!
Another really commendable ingredients would be the pig kidneys. OMG they were so fresh! It tasted exactly like those that my mum prepares for me! And my mum makes the best kidneys I’ve ever tasted! Apparently, the key is to soak the kidney in water to make them “crunchy”! Anyways, the kidney here is really really fresh! So good.
Ah Hua 亚华 kway teow soup (Restoran Sekee 司機)
30, Jalan Segget, Johor Baru Town
Daily 7:30am to 2:30pm (closed on Saturdays)
# 4 Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
Their banana cake is really good! I would say it’s like nicer than the one that I always bake.. which is a really really huge compliment because my banana cake is really the cake that I’m most proud of haha. (Recipe here) Anyways, it’s so so soft and fluffy! The texture is really perfect. And the taste is so yums: filled with banana aroma with a tinge of smokiness from the oven! These make perfect gifts to bring back to Singapore for your loved ones as well! Go JB also must buy “souvenir” right!!
Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory
13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru
Daily 8:00am to 6:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
# 1 Meldrum Walk
I’ve saved the best for the last! And this is the best because it’s all the hawker food in one place! I love going to hawker centers in Singapore, because you get to buy so many dishes from different stalls and share them with your company! Oh, I would kill to go to Chomp chomp for my hokkien mee, satay, sting ray and cockles right now! Anyways, I’ve digressed. Meldrum Walk is like a lane in JB, right next to city square shopping centre (OMG YES), that has rows of hawker stalls for dinner!!
Ordered the kambing soup from this indian stall, and it was so good! I had recently discovered how good mutton soup is, so I’ve been really addicted to it. The indian version is like 1000X power packed with the mutton taste! Which you would really like it if you love mutton of course. Dip the bread into the soup and you have a really heartwarming feeling with each bite! Plus, the owners are really really friendly too!
I never ever order things that are not local. Meaning that I would never order a plate of Singapore Hokkien Mee from JB. But but but, xinhui’s sister ordered this because she felt like eating that.. AND IT WAS THE BEST CHOICE EVER! I was so surprised when I took the first mouth. This was so so delicious!! It tasted different from the hokkien mee in singapore, because they used noodles that are more springy and chewy! This has got to be my favorite dish of the night! It’s so tasty, I have no idea how to describe the taste.. BUT ITS SUPER SUPER GOOD. MUST TRY!
There’s both the malay and the chinese bbq seafood stalls available where you can get your stingrays and sotongs! I’ve tried both and I’ve decided to recommend the malay one instead! Because their chilli is so so good! And it’s different from the ones in Singapore (the ones in sg are normally the chinese style). Their chilli is super spicy though! And their stingray was so fresh and meaty! Super yums! (Plus, cheap too!!)
The last item that is a must try would be the bbq chicken! OMG it is grilled to perfection no joke! You know how Singapore already has good bbq chicken wings? Think of the best bbq chicken wing you’ve eaten in Singapore.. it’s that standard! But what’s even better is that they have grilled chicken thighs as well! And even the whole grilled chicken! I love chicken thighs so this is heaven for me. Smokey, juicy and tender, nothing more you can ask for 🙂
Meldrum Walk in downtown Johor Bahru
5:00pm to midnight (different stalls might close on different weekdays)
So yes, drop by for a day trip in JB and try out all these food! It’s really worth it, plus you can shop at city square and go for a massage etc. When I’m back in sg, I’m so going to do another post about JB. Probably Top 5 eats near KSL haha!
Anyways, I am going to start a new category on this blog to document my travels during my exchange! I’m already 6 weeks behind time! It’s not going to be food related though, I’m seriously struggling to find my Top 5 eats in Europe! Till then, cherish asian food and stay hungry! ❤