Last month, I finally managed to find a time to travel to Johor Bahru, which is only 5 minutes away from Singapore if you take the train. It was a very short 2D1N holiday, and I only explored 2 main parts of Johor Bahru: JB Central area, and the famous Johor Premium Outlet (JPO). Nonetheless, Johor Bahru totally impressed me. I would definitely go back there and take more people to enjoy these 5 highlights from my first trip to Johor Bahru:
1. Belllo Hotel: Cheap, clean, and classy
I nominate the 3 important Cs to Belllo Hotel out of the pure satisfying experience. I am not sponsored by anyone, and we happened to choose Belllo Hotel because of my boyfriend and his friends’ recommendation.
The interior of this small hotel is all-white, with natural lightning comes from the ceiling. The tiny lobby, despite the size, is very photogenic. The room is really clean, and the facilities are new as well. It is a simple room with no fancy decoration – a typical budget hotel – but again, it’s all white (I forgot to take the photo of the room). Yeah, I kinda make use of my stay there to take decent pictures of myself who like to pose for the camera.
What’s even better it’s Belllo’s strategic location. The tastiest food I ever tasted are just 2-15 minutes walk from the hotel! The mall and train/bus station is only 10 minutes walk away.
That time, the rate was about S$50/night, and even though there are always cheaper options in Agoda, or Traveloka, or other platform, I would still choose to be back at Belllo Hotel if I go to JB again.
2. Kam Long Curry Fish Head: Best curry fish head ever
Right behind Belllo Hotel (2-minutes walk), there is this famous restaurant that serves only curry fish head. If I’m not mistaken, the price is RM24 (S$8 at that time) for the regular-size curry fish head, and I shared it with my mom. It tasted amazing. The curry and santan are not overwhelming, you can even drink the soup without getting sick of it. The fish is really fresh, and the softness of it shows that they cook it within a specific duration (flaky fish meat means the fish is boiled too long). It is addictive, and the bean curd crackers too. You should really eat at this place when you are in JB because every single drop of fat and the queue are worth-it.
3. Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory: Best old-style bread ever
I’m not exaggerating when I said it is the best old-style bread (not containing many chemicals such as baking soda) ever. First, they bake their loaves of bread using wood fire. Second, they open at 11 am, the breads are sold out at 11 am – and the queue starts at 1030 am when I was there. The texture is genuine non-airy bread, and they are so cheap. They are about RM3 (S$ 1) for 4-5 buns. I like all of their flavors that I tried, but my favorites are sugar and peanut butter bun. They sell banana sponge cake as well, but I’m not a big fan of it.
4. Restoran Hua Mui: Extraordinary chicken chop
It is extraordinary because the outer layer of it tastes like salty salted-egg. The crisp of the salted-egg layer is so fine and blending so well with the tenderness of the meat inside. I do not know whether they really use salted egg in the ingredients, but it tastes extraordinary to me. It is located very near to Hiap Joo Bakery and the heritage walk.
5. Johor Premium Outlet: Beautiful location, high-quality items
I recommend this shopping place to those who like to have branded items at discounted price. The price is cheaper than in Singapore or Indonesia (definitely) but is not cheaper than the stores in the US and Europe. If you do not care about the latest trend and do not travel to the western continent anytime soon, this place is the right choice to get your branded fashion items. There are Nike, Adidas, Coach, Burberry, Furla, Gucci (yes!), and much much more. I am not a working adult and still not earning my own money, so I shopped accordingly. I got my full-leather Tocco Toscano bag, for RM80/S$30-ish (original price should be around RM280 if I’m not mistaken). Well, Tocco Toscano is a good high-quality brand at a more affordable price, I recommend this brand to you too.
There is one more good restaurant, Ho Seng Kee, which sells non-halal noodle. It tasted 4/5 with pretty nice ambiance and is located in City Square Mall.
Out of 5 dishes/eating places that we tried in JB, 4 are really satisfying, and 3 are the best food I’ve ever tasted. It may not be the most picturesque city, but definitely a heaven for foodie.
I really want to go there again and explore more eating places and attractions in JB. Any recommendations for my next visit to JB?