New malls in Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru has long been a favourite destination among Malaysians looking for a weekend getaway, but few have properly explored the area to uncover all the gems this town has to offer. In fact, the town is still fast expanding, so there are plenty of new places to put on your checklist.
If you’ve eaten your way through all the popular eats in the city, it’s time to burn off the calories by going on a full-out shopping spree at these new shopping malls in JB.
Check out our other shopping-related articles here:
- Free and cheap books in KL
- Eco-friendly items in KL
- Thrift shops in KL
- 9 new shopping malls in KL 2019
- Thrift shops in Penang for pre-loved clothes
1. Toppen Shopping Centre – a rooftop fitness hub
Toppen opened its doors to the public late last year and it has since garnered much interest over its free rooftop sports arena that has a rock-climbing wall and skate park included in its list of facilities.
Toppen is one of the newest shopping malls in JB that has managed to turn heads with its rooftop community garden
Image credit: Toppen
Many also make the short walk over from the IKEA outlet that’s attached to Toppen, which makes this a favourite entertainment hub among locals as it’s easy enough to spend the whole day here.
The rock-climbing wall here has been painted over with coats of bright paint to give it a fresh look
Fitness kakis can get their weekend workout in at the Active Zone. You’ll also be able to get plenty of fresh air when you work your muscles during an intense session of rock-climbing as the area is located on the mall’s rooftop.
Take that ol’ skateboard off the rack and put it to good use at Toppen’s dedicated skate park that comes with edgy graffitied walls for that Brooklyn-esque look. You can also pick up a new trick or two from the skaters around you or you can just make use of the space for a quick photo op.
For families with kids, you’ll want to keep Splashpark in mind when your little ones get tired after touring the mall. The space has been equipped with an elaborate playground setup that comes with slides, a net wall, and a giant splash bucket that’s sure to reenergise the kids.
When the weather outside isn’t sweltering, head up to the rooftop garden where there’s a twisting walkway for leisurely strolls. There are also gazebos that have been fitted with neon lights and have lush vines draped over the columns.
The intimate space in the gazebo also serves as a good spot for a photo
Address: Toppen Shopping Centre, No. 33, Jalan Harmonium, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 012-799 4840
2. R&F Mall – quirky IG-worthy photo corners
Image adapted from: @yuepin_joined
R&F Mall is one of the newest malls in JB having only opened less than a year ago in late March 2019. Being just 1KM from the Causeway, this relatively new mall is popular with both locals and Singaporeans who like to make the trip over during weekends.
Polished marble walls and gold accent trims in the interior immediately transforms Emperor Cinemas into an upscale theatre
Image adapted from: R&F Mall Johor Bahru
It also helps that many of the shops that fill the space in R&F Mall are first of their kind in Malaysia, like Emperor Cinemas from China. The atas cinema experience has made it a popular go-to paktor spot when regular movie dates don’t cut it.
Image credit: R&F Mall Johor Bahru
Keeping up with the recent IG trend, the mall has quirky photo corners that’ll add in a pop of colour into your feed. You can also spot some pop culture references in these corners, like the heart-wrenching line “Love you 3000” from “Avengers: Endgame” as well as a giant version of Brown from Line.
The mall also has an impressive selection of F&B outlets, ranging from some of the more popular picks like The Alley and Kyochon 1991 to rarer finds like Dooki, an all-you-can-eat Korean rice cake (tteokbokki) buffet.
Address: L2-086-A5, Mercu 1, Jalan Tanjung Puteri, 80300 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 07-272 7888
3. Sunway Big Box – massive bookstore and Wipeout-style obstacle course
Sunway Big Box is one of the few shopping malls in JB that opened last year
Image credit: TripCanvas
Sunway Big Box only opened late last year, but you probably know them as the home to one of the biggest bookstores in the country. When news rolled out that BookXcess’ latest outlet in Sunway Big Box measured at 32,000 square feet, it didn’t take long before Malaysians swarmed over to hit up the book haven as well as to explore what the new mall has to offer.
The bookshelf is 8-metres tall and is built to look like a cube
Image credit: @bookxcess
There’s no doubt that your eyes will immediately gravitate towards the giant floor-to-ceiling bookshelf at the centre of the space. With golden rays illuminating from the shelves, it makes one stunning centrepiece. With over a million titles, bookworms can expect to spend hours browsing the shelves here.
Those looking for a fitness challenge can also head to EnerG X Park, an adventure park that has obstacle courses similar to the ones you see on the TV show Wipeout. Players will be able to test their limits as they tackle challenging routes like swinging through monkey bars and scaling across the space mid-air with only ropes to hang on to.
While the malls’ retail options are still growing, you can also find a number of F&B outlets that are already up and running.
For a quick bite, head to Empire Sushi where you can find a variety of delicious Japanese eats. If you’re coming in a big group, consider heading to Mr. Dakgalbi where the portions are generous and you get a little bit of everything in one big skillet – marinated chicken, stir-fried ramyun, and even fried rice.
Address: Sunway Iskandar, Persiaran Medini 5, 79250 Nusajaya, Johor
Telephone: 07-509 8856
4. The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey – biggest mall in Johor
Every shopaholic’s nightmare is running out of stores to shop from, but you won’t face this problem at The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey where the space spans across 1.5 million square feet.
Whether you’re a frequent shopper who likes to get everything checked off your list without having to mall hop or just a bored local looking to do some window shopping, this relatively new mall is a must-visit.
Sogo is a popular Japanese department store that has everything from clothes to homewares.
You wouldn’t want to miss out on Sogo while shopping for new additions to your closet, especially if you’re a fan of bold prints and wild colours – just like the kind of fashion you can expect to see on the streets of Tokyo.
They also have a bunch of sportswear brands like Adidas, Under Armour, and Nike, so that you can keep yourselves regularly updated on the new releases and be the first to snag the new kicks you’ve been vying for.
Czip Lee is a stationery store with a huge ink bar for calligraphy tutorials
Those looking for an activity to kill time can pay a visit to Czip Lee, a stationery shop that has a bright pink neon sign that’s hard to miss. Drop by their ink bar for calligraphy tutorials where you can give the craft a go with a fountain pen.
Din is Din Tai Fung’s pork-free outlet that’s catered towards Muslim diners
There are plenty of food options here with well over 50 F&B stores for you to choose from. With cuisines from all over the world, there’s something for even the fussiest of eaters. You can get ramen at Ichiban Ramen, hot pot at Chi-Gui Mala Hot Pot, desserts at Yume Souffle, and pork-free Chinese food at Din by Din Tai Fung.
Address: The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey, No. 1, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 07-336 9288
5. Beletime Danga Bay – kid-friendly marine-themed mall by the sea
Image credit: Beletime Danga Bay
Danga Bay is a beachfront area that’s a favourite destination among locals who want to spend a lazy weekend morning by the beach or couples looking to take a romantic stroll at sunset. With the latest addition of Beletime Danga Bay, the area has been busier than ever as more people flock over to this spanking new shopping mall.
The mall is located at Danga Bay, which overlooks the straits of both Johor and Singapore
Image credit: Veritas Design Group
Taking advantage of its stunning seafront view, the mall has taken on a marine theme by having art installations scattered across its premises. As you make your way to the mall, you’ll be greeted by a pink submarine at the entrance.
Image credit: @farahusyairah
There’s also a walkway outside the mall with bright neon lights in marine life designs – jellyfish, stingray, and even a blue whale. The strings of fairy lights above also add to the ambience to make it an IG-worthy spot.
Image credit: @lucytse
Being one of the most kid-friendly malls in this list, the mall also has a snow world theme park for children to run around the giant playground. There’s a ball pit that kids can “swim” across while grabbing onto cute floaties and plenty of slides for them to enjoy.
Love Yo Yo also has fake snow where kids can make snowballs and snow angels
Image credit: @idzwanmohdnor
Their directory list may not be as expansive as other malls, but they have some curated finds that you probably haven’t seen elsewhere. Beans.Dot is a home-grown brand that serves bubble tea and fruit teas while Jeonju Bibimbap brings the well-loved dish from Jeonju, a region in Korea that’s famed for its bibimbap, to Malaysia.
Address: No.01-01, Shopping Mall Ground Floor, Bay Point Persiaran Danga Perdana Country Garden, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru
Telephone: 012-706 0995
6. Eco Botanic City – trendy cafes nestled in a luxe residential area
Eco Botanic City is not your typical shopping mall where there are 5 floors worth of retail stores in one big building. It takes inspiration from Western “malls” that are built like a commercial space where stores occupy shop lots along the same strip in an area.
Eco Botanic City is located in an upscale neighbourhood and is one of the newest shopping malls in JB
Image credit: Eco World
This is a central hub for foodies and cafe-hoppers as there plenty of eats here for you to discover. As you stroll through the shop lots, you’ll find a variety of bubble tea stores like Royaltea and Colobaba – perfect to grab a cup of ice-cold boba as you continue your food crawl.
Colobaba offers bubble tea, juice, souffle pancakes, and other boba desserts
Image adapted from: Colobaba
Get your boba fix from Colobaba where they do a mean cup of brown sugar bubble tea that’s laden with freshly made syrup. For those who prefer something fruity, they also have ice-blended fruit juice.
A must-visit while you’re here is Le Petit Prince, a cafe that has a designated corner that’s built entirely around massive bookshelves that take up the whole space. This quiet cafe with minimalist interior is the perfect spot to spend your mornings in, especially since there’s quite literally a library of books for you to browse from.
Image credit: @vanessaxuann
Once you’ve eaten your fill, make your way over to Putt N Glow for a game of mini-golf. The 18-hole golf course glows in the dark, which makes for some really cool photo ops. Prices start from RM30/adult for a session.
Address: 25, 27,29, Jalan Eko Botani 3/5, Taman Eko Botani, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor
Telephone: 07-571 5252
Shopping malls to visit in JB
Going to the mall is every Malaysian’s default after-work and weekend plans, so we’re overjoyed to know that we have plenty more alternatives to visit in Johor Bahru. The town’s rapid developments just go to show that there are more to JB than we may have initially thought, which also means it’s time to make plans for the next trip down South to visit all these new shopping malls in JB.
If you desperately need to take a breather from the bustling city life, here are other things to do outside of KL: