Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cafe hopping across the border - Johor Bahru!

It's been awhile since i updated my blog and i'm finally back with a new blog post! I have to admit that i've been too lazy to update this blog of mine but i'm still thankful to you guys who religiously visit this site every other day just to see if there is any update. I'm now kinda more on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram (id: andystorm) or Snapchat (id: imandystorm) to update bite sized of my life here and there nowadays but rest assured i will never neglect my blog totally! It's just that i now take a bit more time to think of content to blog. Pai seh ah, LOL 

I have been reading articles on the up and coming cafes in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (JB) for the past few months and always wanted to go across the border to visit these cafes but the number 1 thing that is deterring me is the lack of transport knowledge. The cafes are spread out everywhere throughout JB and i honestly think it's not easy to get from places to places, even on a cab since most of us are not familiar with the area. So the plan to go cafe hopping in JB was always KIV, until i read online about this Jalan Dhoby "hipster" area that is of walk-able distance from City Square Mall!
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(Source unknown - please let me know if this image belongs to you)

Above is a hand drawn map that i found online which roughly shows the way to the hipster area where you can find quite a number of cafes. It takes about 10 to 15 mins to walk from City Square Mall to the area, quite easy to navigate honestly if you follow the "map" religiously. There are also signage along the way to tell you which road you are at. Once you find one of the cafes, you probably will be able to spot the rest since they are all situated in the same area.


#1: IT Roo Cafe
17, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
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Touted as the best chicken chop in town and awarded the “Best Chicken Chop in Malaysia” title by The Star newspaper in 2003, how can i not give it a try! I wanted to have a proper lunch before any cafe food so i suggested that we head to IT Roo Cafe for their chicken chop! For their famous chicken chop, you can choose to have either the Grilled or Fried version (RM14) and it comes with a potato side along with coleslaw. Honestly, the dish is delicious and filling but then again i feel that i can find similar tasting grilled chicken chop in Singapore. The taste of the chicken and mushroom sauce is not really that unique to me but still do give this famous chicken chop a try and do let me know what you think!


#2: The Ice-Cream Project
31, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
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After a proper lunch, it's time to explore the area and we passed by The Ice Cream Project. Wasn't sure what kind of ice cream they serve but we decided to go in anyway (the place was air conditioned and the weather that day was quite hot too, LOL) The place is located opposite IT Roo Cafe and it should be quite easy to spot because of the instagram worthy swing and fake grass right outside the shop. Apparently The Ice Cream Project (TIP) only serve 5 flavors (including original) and the ice cream are all made to order using liquid nitrogen. Each cup cost RM10, not the cheapest ice cream around but definitely worth it! I ordered the Brownies and cream and it was delicious! Every mouth of filled with chewy brownies and the original milk flavor was not overbearing. I would definitely want to come back to try other flavors! :D


#3: Coffee Valley
12, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
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I would say Coffee Valley was one of the hidden gem we found that day. Tucked at a quiet corner and only accessible via the back valley, we would have easily missed it if we weren't looking for somewhere to take our #ootd that day! LOL

When we saw the staircase leading up to the cafe, we had no idea what kind of cafe "Coffee Valley" is and what they serve. We decided to go up anyway and we found a nice little cafe on the second floor which to me, is a perfect place to spend the afternoon with a group of friends. They serve brunch, drinks and waffles at a really affordable price! (Can't remember the pricing though) Even though we were full from the chicken chop and ice cream, i still wanted to order their signature waffle just to give it a try, haha. #fatdieus The waffles were made to order and came nice and fluffy with a scoop of ice cream along with the sauces. I also ordered a cup of hot chocolate to paired it with the waffles. Really nice place and i would definitely bring my friends here for my next trip! I want to try their brunch sets! 


#4: Roost Cafe
9, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
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It was already evening by the time we finished Coffee Valley and exploring the area and we wanted to head to Faculty of Caffeine for the last stop aka dinner (yes, we were full but still need to eat dinner right? LOL) but by the time we found the place, it was closed -_- Apparently they only open till 6 pm. Anyway Faculty of Caffeine is not really at the Jalan Dhoby area, i will share more on it when i visit the next time. So since Faculty of Caffeine was closed, we went back to Jalan Dhoby and decided on a cafe that we passed by earlier - Roost Cafe. Ordered 2 mains - Banger and Mash and Eggs Benedict. The food there is pretty decent and reasonable priced. We sat on the 2nd level which looked rather "hipster-ish" with all the funky designs like the bookshelf you see in the photo above. Pretty nice place to chill at night.


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One of the #ootd shots that day at the back alley, which also led us to Coffee Valley.

That's 4 cafes i visited that day and i'm quite sure i will be sharing on the other cafes in JB within the next few months! The awesome thing about cafe hopping in JB is the pricing! You know how we always spend like $30 or more for every time we have brunch in Singapore? Well, guess how much i spent that day? A grand total of SGD$25 for all the food that i had! (after dividing by half since leon and i split the bill) The amount reflected on the menus are the same as in Singapore but that is before conversion, which i think is about RM2.75 is to SGD1 now? *throw confetti* LOL Plus it's so convenient to take the public transport to go over to the JB and back. That's all i have, till the next JB cafe post! 

Crossing the border,