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Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB

This New JB Bar Has Kitties You Can Play With, If You Can Find Their Hidden Entrance

Lucky Cat by SSHHH – Hidden bar in JB

The appeal of speakeasies comes from them being shrouded in secrecy and the thrill of finding them.  While there are numerous hidden bars in Singapore, the next time you’re across the border, check out Lucky Cat by SSHHH. This hidden bar in JB is truly concealed considering it lies within another popular hidden restaurant – Merah Kitchen & Bar.

Once you’ve found your way through 2 camouflaged entrances, look forward to neon-lit signs, retro props like a red telephone booth, and fruity cocktails. Plus, you might catch the bar’s resident cats lurking around to play with.

What you need to know before visiting Lucky Cat by SSHHH

If you’ve been to the speakeasy Exit Stage Left at Jalan Besar, you’ll find the low-key vibe at Lucky Cat pretty similar. Imagine a dimly-lit room with a vintage sofa and bar counter seats.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - bar seats
Image credit: @sshhhjb via Instagram

Whilst walk-ins are allowed, you’re highly encouraged to make a reservation, so ensure that you’ve made an online booking in advance via Merah Project JB. FYI, the Merah Kitchen & Bar is not halal certified but they don’t sell any pork or lard. But the drinks at their bar aren’t halal la obviously. There’s also a dress code to follow: smart casual. So, no flip-flops or tank tops

Another thing to note is that they have different time slots for their food and drinks. Food is served from 7pm-10pm while drinks are served between 8:30am and 1am.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - neon signs
Image credit: @sshhhjb via Instagram

Those wondering what “SSHHH” stands for, it’s an acronym for the Secret Society of Hong Hua Hui. It’s inspired by an ancient martial arts novel: The Book and the Sword and is about how a secret society aims to overthrow the Qing Empire and restore glory to the Hans.

During the pandemic, a stray cat pulled up with her 6 newborn kittens and ran away. They’ve been staying there ever since which is why nowadays they’re known as Lucky Cat by SSHHH. And a new kitten has just arrived to join the Lucky Cat family.

Of course, SSHHH also refers to the sound we make when putting our finger to the lips, indicating something isn’t meant to be told. But we aren’t gatekeeping this place, so here’s what you can find at the bar:

Indulge in fusion cuisine with a rotating surprise menu

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - secret menu
Image adapted from: @sshhhjb via Instagram, Lucky Cat by SSHHH

As per its speakeasy theme, even the menu at Lucky Cat is pretty hush-hush. From what we’ve gathered, the food and drinks are kept a secret and they keep rotating, following different themes.

For example, on Valentine’s Day this year, there were bubblegum and mint-flavoured cocktails, as well as halibut and rosti dishes. Other patrons have been spotted with glasses of mango colada and a drink called chocolate banana.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - food and drinks
Image adapted from: @merahprojectjb 

After starting your evening with their cocktails, dig into their secret Lucky Cat tasting menu of 8 courses (RM129, ~S$37). In the month of May, Lucky Cat will unveil their new 5-course dinner menu (RM288/pax, ~S$82) featuring dishes like Australian Wagyu and Norwegian Salmon.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - cats
Image adapted from: @merahprojectjb

After filling up your belly, swing by the backrooms and play with their cats for a bit. There are 7 of them and they’re a fwiendly bunch and won’t bite. However, any food or drinks from the bar cannot be fed to them as a precautionary measure.

Also, since the place is dark, be careful not to step on the cats’ tails or else they’ll gently warn you not to do it again with their sharp claws.

Take aesthetic retro pics for the ‘Gram

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - telephone booth
Image credit: @heyyits.z via Instagram

Lucky Cat and by extension Merah Kitchen & Bar is full of cool retro corners and spots for you to take aesthetic pictures. The colourful posters and vintage props will have you thinking that you’ve stepped into the set of Pulp Fiction.

To set the mood, they also have their ambient music set by popular local DJ Harimao so you’re guaranteed a good time.

How to get to Lucky Cat by SSHHH

First, you’ll have to get yourself to Merah Kitchen & Bar. If you’re coming from the JB Checkpoint, cross the bridge to KOMTAR Johor Bahru City Centre. Take a 7-minute taxi ride to the location or a 10-minute walk alongside Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

Do note that on Google Maps, the place listed is “Red Merah Kitchen”, not Lucky Cat.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - hidden main entrance
Psst, this vending machine isn’t for buying drinks, rather it’s a secret door. You can get your drinks after entering.
Image credit: @rosychiou1224 via Instagram

Once you’ve reached Merah Kitchen & Bar, access the entrance via the red vending machine. Be sure to sound out that you want to go to Lucky Cat otherwise, you’ll be ushered to the restaurant instead.

Lucky Cat By SSHHH in JB - hidden bar entrance
What’s the password? Lucky Cat. Correct, have a good time sir.
Image credit: @petitenook via TikTok

After that, walk across the room until you find the retro phone booth with the red door at the end of a red corridor. Push all the way through and now you’re in Lucky Cat.

Visit Lucky Cat by SSHHH

So, the next time you feel like you want to TGIF  a little differently, head across the causeway and let your hair down at Lucky Cat by SSHHH. Follow them on their socials as they occasionally have special promotions during public holidays and occasional events that will make the trip that much sweeter.

Lucky Cat by SSHHH 紅花會
17, Jalan Ibrahim, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours:
Wednesday Closed Show More Timings
Contact Information

For other cool bars, check out:

Cover image adapted from: @heyyits.z via Instagram, @merahprojectjb