Have you ever lamented to your friends about how expensive café food in Singapore can be sometimes? I bet we have all done that at one point or another.
As much as we want to café-hop in Singapore, many of us would not do that too often as that can hurt our pockets. One meal at a typical café can easily set us back by S$20, let alone café-hopping in Singapore with that sum of money. So to make the most bang out of your buck, why not café-hop in Johor Bahru (JB) instead? I managed to spend less than S$20 on cafe-hopping, which is a cakewalk as compared to here in Singapore.
My cafe-hopping in JB was in the vicinity of Johor Bahru City Square shopping mall, which is just opposite the immigrations. There are many cafes in the area, all within three minutes’ walk from one another. Here are five cafes to check out for a cafe-hopping adventure that is easy on the wallet.
1.The Replacement Lodge and Kitchen
One recommended dish at Replacement Lodge and Kitchen is their dark cocoa churros (RM16.90), which comes with a salted egg yolk dip. Soft on the inside yet crunchy on the outside, the churros are one of the finest that I have tasted. While some churros are an overdose of sweetness, these dark cocoa churros are the contrary, and the taste of it blends really with the mix of saltiness and egg flavor in the dip. This is one of those combinations that are few and far between in Singapore.
33, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia | Opening hours: 10am-10pm
2. By Grace, Trus
If you have a sweet tooth, you will fall for this minimalistic-looking cremor parlour. By Grace, Trus offers ice cream in unimaginable and unique flavors such as Earl Grey Charcoal (RM6.90 with cone), which leaves a pleasant and slightly smoky aftertaste. As we dug into one of their best-selling offerings Raspberry, we could not stop gushing about it. The different textures of various toppings in this candied treat brought the taste of your plain ice cream up a notch.
9, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru | Opening hours: 12pm-10pm
3. Flowers in the Windows Cafe
One of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes I have seen, Flowers in The Windows follows a florist theme assiduously. Even flower petals are used in the presentation of the food. While its first level may be slightly short on space, its second level offers plentiful of room and is ideal for larger gatherings. Their chocolate brownie was sold out by the time I was there, so head there early if you want to try it! For coffee lovers, you may consider giving their Espresso chocolate cake a try.
9 Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru | Opening hours: 10am – 10pm; closed on Tuesdays
4. Kafe Roost
Little effort is spared in the decor of this cafe with its wide range of electic furniture and eye-catching posters on the wall. This hipster joint is ideal for a brunch gathering, especially with the laid-back atmosphere it offers. Though its menu items cost a third of similar items we’d pay for in Singapore, its quality of food is still comparable to our local cafe brunch dishes. Talk about value for money. Their highly raved about coffee is also recommended if it is your first time at Kafe Roost.
9, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia | Opening hours: 10am-12pm
5. Chaiwalla & Co. Container Cafe
By far one of the coolest concepts that I have seen, this cafe is housed in a massive container receptacle. It has a wide variety of iced teas and even Vietnamese coffee but it is well-known for their signature Thai milk tea. The milk tea comes in three varying sugar levels, namely 0%, 50% and 100%. If you prefer the less sweetened version of Thai milk tea, 50% would be just nice. I found 0% a tad bland (even the cashier recommends against it). The flavour of the milk tea comes through better with some sugar.
Lot 2810, Tan Hiok Nee Street, Johor Bahru | Opening hours: Monday through Friday: 9.30am-10.30pm; Weekends: 9.30am-1am