Malaysia

This JB Vinyl & Record Store Has A Cafe & Second-Hand CDs, Throwback To Life Pre-Spotify

Embrace Hall Cafe, music cafe in JB


Since Y2K trends have been taking over social media and our lives, most of us have developed a deeper appreciation for old-school toys like film cameras and record players. If that’s you, you need to check out Embrace Hall Cafe, located about 20 minutes from JB.

This music-store-cum-cafe sells music merchandise like types of vinyl and cassettes for as low as S$4.30, complete with affordable food. Here’s somewhere new to explore once you’re done with all the overrated things to do in JB.


What should you know before going to Embrace Hall Cafe



Image adapted from: @waniehidayah via Instagram  

Located in Skudai, Embrace Hall started as an events space for musical acts in 2009 and then expanded into a record and music store. Today, it been renamed to Embrace Hall Cafe, complete with a concert hall at the back.


Image adapted from: @embracehallcafe via Instagram

The cafe continue to sell a wide curation of records alongside hearty meals and refreshing beverages, all at relatively affordable prices. You can even add to their collection as they buy pre-loved CDs, vinyls, and cassettes, great for those who are spring cleaning their home.

With star-shaped lights, records mounted on the walls and graffiti signage, the interior may seem a bit scattered. This decor could, however, be paying tribute to its eccentric and vast collection of music and food.


What can you do at Embrace Hall Cafe?



Image adapted from: @khairulfahmimohdali via Instagram

Going back to its roots, the cafe carries an interesting collection of musical media including vinyl, both pre-loved and new. These can usually go up to S$50-S$100 in Singapore, even at vintage stores. At Embrace Hall Cafe, prices start from RM40/vinyl (~S$11.40), which is more than half off the price of those back in Singapore.

They don’t just have the run-of-the-mill pop and rock classics; their vinyl variety includes Malay artists, niche genres like ska or screamo, and movie soundtracks. They do refresh their collection quite often, with updates announced on their Instagram account.


Image adapted from: Ezekiel Sen

It doesn’t just stop at vinyls though as the cafe also has a large collection of cassettes and CDs. The cassettes are priced around RM15-RM60 (~S$4.30-S$17.10) and include second-hand classics from the past. We even saw some 50s soundtracks by P. Ramlee, the legendary Malaysian singer and actor.

Their CD collection starts at RM20/each (~S$5.70), with prices varying based on the artist and age of the CD. You can find small-batch CDs like those from Indie Malay bands like Spiral Kinetic Circus or even some vintage limited edition box sets with magazines and accessories.


Catch live performances & concerts at Embrace Hall Cafe



Image credit: @pushkepek via Instagram 

Besides supporting the local art scene by selling records, Embrace Hall Cafe also hosts artists and performances in their concert hall.

Behind the cafe’s black-bricked wall lies the Embrace Hall Music and Art Centre, a venue which can hold up to 250 pax. The hall is pretty bare bones with a small stage and a general sound and lighting system. However, this makes the shows feel more intimate and “underground”.

It’s not just concerts that are held here. The venue has also hosted theatrical performances, film screenings, and sports viewing parties. Some shows and events happen in the cafe itself, so make sure to check their Instagram account to see upcoming happenings.


What to eat at Embrace Hall Cafe



Image adapted from: @waniehidayah via Instagram

Embrace Hall has a range of Western classics to enjoy while your favourite records play, like their Pasta Chicken Carbonara (RM14.90 ~S$4.20) and their Black Pepper Crispy Chicken Chop (RM17.90 ~S$5.10).


Image adapted from: @embracehallcafe via Instagram

Aside from regular cafe fare like chicken chop and pasta, you can also find a variety of local Malaysian dishes to try. Take a bite of spicy, savoury squid with their Nasi Putih Sotong Sambal (RM21.90 ~S$6.20) or savour something warm with their Laksa Utara Ikan Kembung (RM12.90 ~S$3.70).


Image adapted from: @embracehallcafe via Instagram

If you aren’t looking for a heavy meal, the menu also has desserts and drinks for you to have an evening snack with. Sip on their Salted Caramel Latte (RM9.90 ~S$2.80) or their Blushing Strawberries Frappe (RM14.90 ~S$4.20) and pair it with some chocolate tartlets (RM2.90/each ~S$0.80).


How to get to Embrace Hall Cafe from Singapore


Embrace Hall cafe lies in Taman Impian Emas, a 20-25 minute drive or cab ride from JB CIQ. Remember to add another 10 minutes if you’re planning to drive from Woodlands Checkpoint.

Do keep in mind that since it’s located away from the city centre, it may take a longer time to find a ride – so we’d recommend budgeting extra time for that.


Visit Embrace Hall Cafe to enjoy some new tunes & cafe food



Image credit: Ezekiel Sen

If you’ve been to all the usual tourist attractions in Johor Bahru, check out Embrace Hall Cafe instead. Whether or not you’re a music lover, it’s a unique activity that shows a different side of JB. You get to support the local music scene while you’re at it – and who knows, you might find your new Spotify Wrapped most-played artist here.

While you’re in JB and cafe-hopping, consider checking out this overwater cafe in JB. There’s also a new alpaca cafe and a cat cafe in JB for animal lovers.

Embrace Hall
Google Reviews
4.7
(155)
Address
7, Jalan Impian Emas 5/2, Taman Impian Emas, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Saturday 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

Cover image adapted from: Embrace Hall Cafe 

Ezekiel Sen

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