Itching to travel out of Singapore over the short weekends but to eat without burning a hole in your pocket? For most Singaporeans, Johor Bahru sprang first into mind. With the overly priced cafes in Singapore and declining Malaysian Ringgit currency, it is all the more worthwhile for locals to cross the borders to dine and shop at their causeway neighbourhood. Without the jams, the time taken is almost just like travelling from one end to the other end of Singapore too.
Heads up, crossing over on the weekends (especially Saturday) and especially during the December holidays is highly inadvisable. Also tested and proven after we imprudently made a trip down in the morning as early as 7am one fine saturday, only to discover that we would be spending the entire morning just to cross the causeway, with the insane crowds and slow, literally crawling traffic. We ended up spending 5 hours to reach JB and only another 5 hours inside JB so as to avoid the evening crowd back to Singapore because we got phobia. 😂 The December holidays may be coming to an end fortunately, but weekdays are still the most suitable timings to indulge in some JB cafehopping adventures.
The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen. Easy accessibility with a walking distance of merely 10 minutes away from the JB customs, you would be able to explore the various hipster cafes located within the Jalan Dhoby vincity. For shopping, you could stroll the short distance back to City Square mall anytime as well.
An Instagram heaven with its white minimalistic interior, The Replacement cafe offers affordable and quality all-day brunch fare, making it one of the most popular cafes among its fast looming competitors who have opened their doors alongside. However, even with plenty of existing and new places worth checking out, I always made it a point to visit my all-time favourite, The Replacement cafe for every cafe hopping trip I make to Johor Bahru. I remembered I first paid a visit there in early 2015 for a few times, and fast forward to date as of Dec 2016, even with some changes in its furnishings, introduction of new menu items and slight increases in pricings, it definitely still remains as one of the better cafes in JB.
The prominent white building stood out along the street with an inviting entrance where we soon discovered was packed to the doors at almost noon. There were two benches in the small waiting space beside the door, but we didn’t wait long to be seated. Even though every corner of the place looked insta-worthy, it was too crowded at that time to take much pictures. Wouldn’t it be awkward to conspicuously point your camera and snap away at (so many) strangers who happen to be dining at all the instagrammable angles right? I had a few fast snaps, albeit rather discreetly. 😂
Aesthetics aside, The replacement cafe boosts a rather extensive menu of all-day brunch dishes from the classic big breakfast and eggs benny to burger (bao), french toast and churros. Prices range from RM18.90 to RM29.90 (S$6.30 to S$10) for their mains which are twice to thrice cheaper than the ones in Singapore.
Address: 30, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 12pm to 9pm (Mon-Thu); 12pm to 11pm (Fri-Sun)
Faculty of Caffeine
Address: 17, Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 10am to 9.30pm (Mon-Sun)
By Grace, Trus
Address: 9 Jalan Trus, 80000, Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Daily, 12pm to 10pm (Mon-Sun)
The Ice-cream Project
Hiap Joo Bakery
(not considered a cafe, but their famed banana cakes is a must-try)
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (Mon-Sat) (Banana cakes available after 12pm)
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