Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Dhoby are streets that shouldn’t sound too foreign to JB-lovin’ Singaporeans. Located just an 8-minute drive from Johor Bahru Checkpoint, the streets are known for their cafe scene and of course, the queue-worthy Hiap Joo Banana Cake. Besides that, there are actually plenty more to what these 2 streets have to offer.
JB’s not really known to be a hub for street art – but if you wander around Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, you might just change your mind. Here, especially at the alley behind Masjid India Johor Bahru, graffiti art by local artists adorn the walls of buildings and alleyways.
Image credit: @mark9plus1
This is also where you’ll find one of JB’s most photographed heritage buildings, the iconic Red House. It is now home to the fast food restaurant, Marrybrown, and sports a vibrant mural that was added to commemorate the fast food chain’s 40th anniversary in Malaysia.
A 1-minute walk from there is Hookah District, a place that might sound familiar to you because of its container-themed eateries. The colourful graffiti art on the containers make a great photo backdrop for your JB escapade.
Johor Ancient Temple.
Image credit: @ratnasim
For those interested in history and culture, the oldest temple in JB is just a 5-minute walk away. The Johor Ancient Temple has a rich history and now serves as a place of worship for all Chinese clans in JB – Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, and Hainanese.
Visitors are welcome to participate in the worship ceremonies or use jiaobei to ask the deities yes or no questions. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a positive answer to “will I become rich?”
Johor Ancient Temple
Address: Lot 653, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 7am-5pm, Daily
Contact: +60 7-213 4098
Image adapted from: @vernsfooddiary, @suka_chiak
Take your cafe-hopping game to a whole new level at Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. There are a myriad of cafes and restaurants available, ranging from Western cuisine to local delicacies. Your first stop? The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen, where you can grab some of their freshly-fried churros (RM10.90, ~S$3.28).
Image adapted from: @ellesyaalyiana
Alternatively, live your best #cottagecore life at Flowers in the Window located just a few doors down. The enchanting storefront alone – covered by hanging vines – is bound to draw you in.
The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen
Address: 33/34 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm | Sat-Sun 9am-5pm
Contact: +60 12-547 7885 | The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen website
Flowers in the Window
Address: 9 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 9am-3pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: +60 7-222 7489
A spread of Hainanese cuisine (left) and Nyonya dishes (right).
Image adapted from: @hungryybearr, @ny.delightsbdg
Those wanting to sample local food can check out Nyonya Dynasty. As the restaurant’s name suggests, it’s well-known for its Nyonya dishes like Nasi Lemak (RM13.90, ~S$4.17). Another option is Restoran Hua Mui, a Hainanese restaurant serving mains like Chicken Mee Mamak (RM10.90, ~S$3.27) and Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM18.90, ~S$5.67).
Address: 29 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon & Wed-Fri 10am-9pm | Sat-Sun 9am-9pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: +60 7-362 0679
Restoran Hua Mui
Address: No.131 Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 8.30am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +60 7-224 7364 | Restoran Hua Mui website
These treats were baked in a traditional wood-fired oven.
Image adapted from: @nomsterina, @adrianaxfood
To tabao goodies back for friends in Singapore, consider queueing for Hiap Joo Bakery’s popular Banana Cakes (RM12/10 pieces, ~S$3.60) or Coconut Buns (RM5/4 pieces, ~S$1.50). Otherwise, skip the queue and head to Salahuddin Bakery, which offers a variety of Bengali curry puffs, pastries, and buns from RM2 (~S$0.60).
Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
Address: 13 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7.30am-4.30pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: +60 7-223 1703 | Hiap Joo Bakery website
Address: 26 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Sat-Thu 9am-6pm (Closed on Fridays)
Contact: +60 12-766 8380
Image adapted from: @tiffanycyt, @calypsovintage
After eating your way through Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Dhoby, fashionistas might be happy to learn that there are various cool shopping spots beyond the usual malls in Johor Bahru.
Image credit: @beverlyb
Calypso Vintage is a cafe and retail store that offers stylish merchandise ranging from tote bags to clothing, as well as unique accessories. You can even find some clothes on sale at 3 for RM100 (S$30.05). Another spot, Bev C is an industrial-themed store that retails collections by independent designers with one-of-a-kind apparel you won’t find in fast fashion outlets.
Artsy fartsy people can also channel their inner Picasso at Senso Art Gallery Cafe. Choose from a series of workshops such as Pressed Flowers (From RM30, ~S$9.02) and Painting (from RM100 ~S$30.07). There are home decor items for sale if you’re looking to add a little more style to your home.
The shopping malls are not the only places in JB where we can go to jalan jalan. Whether you’re hungry for some bites or in need of retail therapy, you can check out these heritage-filled roads next time you cross the border. Besides, it’s only within walking distance from the Causeway.
For more things to do in JB, check these out:
Cover image adapted from: @mark9plus1, @unggalsg, @tiffanycyt
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