Johor Bahru Haul + Food Hunt~

Super tired from all the shopping and eating today but it was totally worth it!

Finally took some time off my part time tutoring work and went on a day trip with my mum to the neighbouring Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia. Though just seperated by a sea, the traffic jams along the checkpoints can get horrendous sometimes. Thankfully, we took public transport in so all was good!

Aeon Tebrau City is not exactly the closest shopping place around the JB Sentral (checkpoint) district. At the JB Sentral Bus Terminus, there is a bus service run by Trans-Iskandar that passes by this hidden gem. Expect a 20-25mins bus ride over to that place, a fare of MYR2.50 per person – super affordable! My complaints are that the bus terminal is seriously noisy and exhaust-polluted from the amount of buses going in and out, honking impatiently at each other.

Anyways, Popular Bookstore in Malaysia is somehow always cheaper than its Singapore branch. The Zebra Sarasa Pen costs only SGD0.97!!! It’s a fantastic place for pen shopping since Aeon is practically a ghost town on weekdays.

There are quite a number of restaurants, serving all sorts of different cuisines, all at very affordable prices (at least for most Singaporeans who travel in to eat).

Lunch: Kinsahi Restaurant

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As the name suggests – Japanese cuisine! Most set lunches were under SGD10, almost all were under SGD20. Very very kind on the wallet.We ordered Tom Yum Hotpot with Seafood with Ramen (strange, I know.) and Nigiri Udon Set.

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First impression of my Nigiri Udon Set was very good. The sashimi and sushi pieces were generously cut, the tone of the fish didn’t look too bad either. While the udon did look plain, the soup was nicely flavoured but too salty (probably with the help of MSG or a ton of salt). Udon did not have the nicest texture – limp and soft, albeit smooth. Bleh.

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Then there came my ultimate horror. The white sashimi slice was unfresh – lingering strange taste, fish had no texture at all – and in other words, probably not safe for us to eat raw anymore. The salmon slice was very very tasteless, robbed of the distinct flavour the salmon possesses. Not to mention that “pan-fried” piece which I thought would be safe to eat… oh no no, it was spoiled as well. The fishiness was so overpowering and again, meat was mushy and limp. Absolutely hated it.

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The Tom Yum Seafood Hotpot, strange enough, saved my appetite (and my mum’s). Spicy, with a tang of sourness, the flavours were nicely balanced out and served hot. Prawns were big and of edible freshness levels. It covered up the nasty flavours from before well. Ramen was too limp and not chewy at all. Time to up your noodle game, Kinsahi…

Verdict: Why put yourself through such torture…

The candy and snack store next to Kinsahi is one of our favourite go-to places to get traditional biscuits and sweets! They charge by grams so mix-and-match is the best thing you can do at that store 😉 Aeon Departmental Store also runs promotions time to time, so our visit this time was timely!

Back to City Square:

Lavender

Lavender Bakery on the 2nd floor is a must-try! Their pastries are seriously good buys – freshly baked, creative inventions and affordably priced. It’s 1.5 months to Mooncake Festival but since the mooncakes were already available for purchase… me saw no reason to decline that temptation. Hehe ^^. I mean… just look at that picture below~

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Mr Sotong

Mr Sotong had their booth set up on the first floor (for some event) so we went over to grab some… Only to be “cheated” off our money? The sales people did not tell us how much the squid snack costs and insisted we needed to buy a certain quantity. Next, to our surprise, when we finally saw the price tag, we thought the price was per kg (sort of the convention and since we couldn’t read Malay Language). Turns out to be per 500g. =.= In the end, we spent SGD25 on 2 packs of squid snacks – the worst part being the smaller pack (only 200g) costed us close to  SGD6.50. The other pack was about 500g and costed us more than SGD20. Only found out while paying and furious with my whole experience there. Such wonderful selling ethics. I will never touch squid snacks from Mr Sotong EVER AGAIN. Argh.
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Seasons Cafe

Dinner was at Seasons Cafe (2nd Floor). Not the best dinner, but was incredibly worth the eat. Since the second Main Course only costed  MYR8.90, the bill added up to no more than SGD15  – 2 main courses, water and service charge.

Spicy Fish Pasta: Pasta a little overcooked, past the al-dente stage and marching steadily into the “soft” stage. While it claimed to be spicy (with that 2 chilli icons next it on the menu), it was not any spicier than the average chilli sauce. The sauce:pasta ratio was also poorly balanced, so much more pasta than the sauce… The fish was the best among all the elements, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside even after 20 minutes.

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Teriyaki Chicken with Rice was good! The chicken was well-marinated. Unlike many of my past experiences, the pieces of chicken were tender and absorbed the flavour of the sauce well. The rice was actually mushroom fried rice with eggs, very fragrant, tasty and not too oily. In fact, I think they could tweak the dish a little, add more ingredients in and turn that into a Main Course on it’s own!

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Overall, the service was ok, food was served within 10 minutes of ordering piping hot~ Would return for this 🙂

That marks the end of my day trip into JB today – ups and downs but my tummy was kinda pleased still. Especially with the SGD standing strong against the MYR, I could so totally get used to this kind of weekly food trips~

Thanks for reading!

 

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