Malaysians will know this — we remember cities by their food. There are so many ways to get to know a city or culture, but our favorite is by exploring the local food scene. And so, when we took a day trip to Johor Bahru recently, our hearts were set on embarking on a food trail of Johor Bahru’s must-eat spots.
Here’s a lowdown on Johor Bahru’s tasty treats that the locals devour and the Singaporeans (yes, we caught you!) always dabao home whenever they cross the border.
Bamboo Biryani “Taste & See”
Bamboo Biryani “Taste & See” dares you to accept its challenge and take on a quest — to taste its biryani and see how good it is for yourself.
We know what you think. You may think you know a lot about biryani (“How good can a biryani get?”), but you’ll be surprised by this bamboo-steamed biryani. For starters, the biryani is more flavorful and fragrant because the banana leaves with which the rice was wrapped with and the bamboo encasing have prevented the rice from absorbing too much moisture.
So, how good can Bamboo Biryani “Taste & See” get? We’ll just say this — you have to brace yourself for long queues for a seat.
Address: No. 61, Jalan Ibrahim, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 12 pm – 7.30 pm (Tuesday – Sunday)
The locals call Salahuddin Bakery a legendary shop in Johor Bahru, and for good reasons. The bakery has been in business since 1937, which means it has been around for 82 years, and it almost acts as Johor Bahru’s living museum.
As you step inside Salahuddin Bakery, the delectable aroma of charcoal oven-baked goods fill the air. Opting to continue serving their customers the old-fashioned way, the bakery uses traditional baking methods and lay their goods out on a wonderful table display.
Must-Try: Salahuddin Bakery’s triangular Indian curry puffs, also known as Bengali curry puffs. They’re ginormous and generously loaded with fillings — potatoes and onions with minced chicken, beef or lamb.
Address: 26, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm daily
Restoran Hua Mui
Word has it, Restoran Hua Mui is where the authentic Hainanese chicken chop originates from. The old school kopitiam is a huge hit among locals and tourists alike, and is often packed from as early as 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening.
Our recommendation: Ask for soft or hard boiled eggs, their specialty. The eggs will arrive in their shells, with soy sauce and ground white pepper on the side. Crack them open in a ceramic bowl, pour in the soy sauce and sprinkle some pepper — voila, your classic kopitiam breakfast is served!
Address: 131, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 8.30 pm – 6 pm (Monday to Saturday)
Restoran Sup Tulang ZZ
Great ambience? Checked. Nice decor? You got it. The best sup tulang? Restoran Sup Tulang ZZ. Your sup tulang comes in a large bowl of steaming, aromatic broth, with chunky bones sticking out of it.
Other crowd favourites are mee rebus (which goes well with sup tulang), mee soto, sup gearbox, and tom yum.
Address: Lot 667, JKR Daerah Jalan Petrie, Off Jalan Mariamah, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 6 am – 1 am daily
Restoran Kacang Pool Haji
Can you call it a Johor Bahru foodie’s trip without kacang pool? The jury’s out — no, you can’t.
You’ll find a number of kacang pool establishments in Johor Bahru — it’s the pride of the city — but Restoran Kacang Pool Haji wins unanimously. How exactly do you enjoy it? By dipping a fluffy toast into kacang pool, a gravy made of beans, minced meat, chillies, and onions, which is topped with a delicious fried egg.
Address: No. 3, Medan Selera Larkin Bomba, Susur 5, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, 80350 Larkin
Opening Hours: 7 am – 11 pm daily
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