09102017 / Johor Bahru Day Trip Pt. 2

This would be the last installment of my Johor Bahru (JB) day trip which took place early this week. As mentioned in my previous blog entry, we hired a private car service to bring us to JB from Singapore on a day trip. We met up with Annie and she brought us to try the local fares as well as some shopping.

Our last stop in JB before returning to Singapore was Johor Premium Outlets or JPO in short. We spent rather crazily at Bath & Body Works and it was the only store in JPO which we spent the longest time in. Honestly speaking, I don’t think their prices were any cheaper than their stores in malls. We had never been to any Bath & Body Works in Malaysia so we had nothing to compare. Half of our Bath & Body Works hauls were gifts for a close friend.

We had some light snacks from I Love Yoo! located inside the Food Court of JPO. We rested a bit as both Sister and I were rather tired from all the walking. I think age had seriously caught up on us. I used to be okay with shopping but I guess it wasn’t the case anymore? LOL!

We “attacked” a few other stores after resting and it was almost time for dinner. There was an array of cuisines available at JPO. One of them was Absolute Thai which I was tempted to try. I don’t think Mom would be up for it as Thai food could be too spicy for her. So, Annie suggested Chinese cuisine so that it would be more tummy friendly for us since we will be on the road for the next one hour.

SOUPER TANG
Suite #2000, Johor Premium Outlets, Jalan Premium Outlets, Indahpura, 81000, Kulai Jaya, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Stir Fried French Beans with Pu Er | RM16.90

We ordered this to share among the four of us. Annie was tempted to try as she found it fascinating that French beans to be cooked with Pu Er tea leaves. The French beans were stir fried with Pu Er leaves and some minced pork. It tasted pretty ordinary to me but the Pu Er leaves indeed added a little bit of flavors.

Sesame Oil Chicken Mee Suah | RM15.90

This was what I had for dinner at Souper Tang. The soup was aromatic enough with sesame oil but the ginger slices weren’t mature enough to make the soup spicy. The meat portion was extremely generous but they served chicken breasts. I think I only had a piece and left the rest untouched. There was a sunny side up hidden inside the soup.

Fish Porridge with Dried Scallop | RM13.90

Braised Pork with Black Sesame Buns | RM18.90

Annie highly recommended us their Braised Pork with Black Sesame Buns. She sung praises of their Black Sesame Buns for the fluffy texture. However, we were disappointed when it was being served on our table. The buns didn’t look any fluffy to us and they indeed didn’t have the fluffy texture which Annie sang praises for. The braised pork was acceptable but the buns were definitely a let down.

So, this summed up my day trip to Johor Bahru. It would have been nicer if we were able to cover a few cafes in JB. However, please do take note that it is not advisable to cafe hop in JB on Monday as some of them are closed on every Monday. One of my top few cafes to try in JB was Bev C but it was closed on every Monday.

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09102017 / Johor Bahru Day Trip Pt. 1

On our third last day in Singapore, we hired a private car service to bring us to Johor Bahru (JB) to visit Annie and we shopped! It was Mom’s first time in the town. Sister and I had been to JB earlier this year but we didn’t get to do much shopping on our previous visit due to time constraint. Sister managed to get what she needed for her apartment from Daiso and I got a few new shirts from H&M and G2000.

It took us less than an hour to cross border as Sister’s place wasn’t far from the checkpoint. We arrived at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee before 10AM. Annie was running late so we walked around the area to have a feel of the place. Our first food stop of the day was Big Bites Cafe as we needed to use their washroom. Big Bites Cafe used to be Maco Vintage but it had changed ownership and re-branded as Big Bites Cafe.

BIG BITES CAFE
18 Jalan Ibrahim & 14 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia



When I first heard of Maco Vintage previously, it was for their Mille Crepes. When I chanced upon Big Bites Cafe the other day, I was wondering why is the cafe not named as Maco Vintage as I identified the big parking lot at the back of the cafe. I had seen pictures from previous patrons and the drawings on the outside walls of the cafe left me with a huge impression. My only answer at the time was a change in ownership and I was right.


Musang Mille Crepe

We tried their Musang Mille Crepe. It had a distinctive durian flavor. Perfect for durian lovers but we were rather disappointed with the texture. It was icy cold. I think they did not retrieve it from the fridge in time for it to “melt”. So, we can actually chew on the icy bits.

Earl Grey Mille Crepe

Having tasted the Musang Mille Crepe, we preferred the Earl Grey Mille Crepe for the texture. At least, we didn’t get to chew on the icy bits. Taste wise, it tasted distinctive of earl grey as well. However, I think their Earl Grey Mille Crepe melted faster than their Musang’s. You can see the liquid at the bottom of the crepe.

KIN WAH COFFEE SHOP
8 Jalan Trus, 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

After finishing our first breakfast of the day, we headed for our second breakfast at Kin Wah Coffee Shop accompanied by Annie. She told us to get a table first as she was finding parking space. The coffee house was jammed packed with patrons but we managed to secure a table by the corner. We saw that majority patrons ordered Nasi Padang so I thought that it must be good?

Nasi Padang | RM8.50

Nasi Padang is like the Chinese owned coffee shop version of economy rice. You can pick what you like onto your plate and the boss will then charge accordingly. Mom was rather surprised at the price I paid for this plate of Nasi Padang. Despite being steeply priced, I liked what I had. The rice was fragrant albeit being slightly wet for my liking. The sambal was pretty spicy. I find that the spicy food in the west was no joke but I liked!


We walked across to Hiap Joo Bakery after breakfast at Kin Wah Coffee Shop. Hiap Joo Bakery is famous among the locals for their Coconut Buns and Banana Cake. As it was a Monday, they only start selling buns after 11AM and 12PM for Banana Cake. There was a short queue at the time we were there but Mom and Sister managed to snap two packs of Coconut Buns and a pack of Kaya Buns.

Annie drove us to AEON Tebrau City after breakfast. She intended to drive us on a road trip to Kluang but I preferred shopping over day trip to Kluang. So, she suggested AEON Tebrau City instead since they have a big size Daiso inside the mall.

TEOCHEW CHENDUL
AEON Tebrau City, 1 Jalan Desa Tebrau, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Original Chendul | RM6.50 & Durian Chendul | RM9.90

Penang Fruit Rojak | RM8.90

Chee Cheong Fun | RM6.50

Pandan Chicken | RM6.90

After lunch, we decided to head over to Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) for some final shopping. I am only interested to go as I heard they have a G2000 outlet in the area. As I mentioned earlier, I managed to get two pieces of work wear from JPO. At least, I didn’t leave JPO empty handed.

Sister and I spent quite a bit at Bath & Body Works. We got almost a grand worth of products. I think we stayed at Bath & Body Works the longest as compared to any other shops in JPO. Annie and Mom were surprised that we came out empty handed despite the long time we spent inside. We bought gifts for our friend and requested the staff to pack them nicely. The kind staff told us to leave our Bath & Body Works purchases behind and collect them before leaving JPO so that we don’t have to carry them everywhere we go.

My brain couldn’t function properly right now so I think I am going to end the blog here. Part 2 will come in another day, hopefully by tomorrow. So, stay tune if you’re interested!

10102017 / Singapore Oct’2017

Today is my last full day in Singapore before I am ending this long weekend getaway tomorrow. I met up with Andrea for lunch nearby her workplace so that she could pass me the Elizabeth Arden products which she helped me buy. I took the bus service home from her workplace and it took me an hour to reach home.

Andrea suggested a few eateries nearby her workplace and one of the few were Tim Ho Wan and Din Tai Fung which I am not so interested. So, she suggested Carol Mel Cafe which according to her is the only food place which serves cafe food in the area.

CAROL MEL CAFE
1 Irving Place #01-30, The Commerze @ Irving, Singapore 369546

French Style Roast Chicken | S$15

French marinated roast (1/2) chicken, served with house fries or garden greens

 Ah Gong Style Roast Pork Rice Bowl | S$15

fresh house roasted pork, stir-fried roasted pork belly with dark soy sauce, onions and caramelized sugar and onsen egg

I had this and it was good despite it came with lots of the fatty meats. The fresh house roasted pork was good but I find it lacking flavors for roasted pork. The skin was well done. The caramelized pork with onions was good too and I loved the caramelized onions!

Andrea dropped by Sister’s place after work as she missed out a set of Elizabeth Arden products in the afternoon. It took her almost an hour to reach from her workplace. Well, it took me the same time too in the afternoon as we both took the same bus. As she came directly from work without having dinner, we left some dinner for her and went out for desserts thereafter.

GEOMETRY
2 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150002

I suggested Creamier Gilman Barracks but they closes at 9PM on weekdays and it was about 8:30PM by the time we are leaving Sister’s place. Andrea Google-d and we came by this gelato place called Geometry which was within walking distance from Sister’s place.

Unlike Creamier Gilman Barracks, Geometry is located in a residential block just like majority brunch cafes in Singapore. The cafe wasn’t packed at the time we arrived, probably because it was a weekday.

Double Scoops | S$5.50

Sister had double scoops of gelato in a cup. After trying multiple flavors, she got herself Earl Grey Tie Guan Yin and Dark Chocolate Truffle. The former tasted pretty good but I honestly preferred Earl Grey Lavender from Creamier Gilman Barracks. Sister found their Dark Chocolate Truffle not bitter enough for her liking.

Handcrafted Tart with Single Scoop | S$9.90

Andrea and I went for their Handcrafted Tart with Single Scoop. Their handcrafted tart was pretty good I must say but it can get pretty sweet after some time especially when paired with the gelato. The crust was crunchy with a soft and buttery center filling.

As for the gelato, I had Black Forest while Andrea had hers with Little Nonya. Sister liked Black Forest more than Dark Chocolate Truffle as the it tasted bitter enough for her liking. Little Nonya however tasted like Gula Melaka. Sister highly recommended Andrea to try Sea Salt Gula Melaka from Creamier.

08102017 / Singapore Oct’2017

Andrea, Patrick, King and I met for brunch this morning. I intended to take the public bus to our brunch venue. Despite that I was at the right bus stop at Sister’s place, the bus service details weren’t showing the bus stop which I am supposed to alight from. I walked to the opposite bus stop and it wasn’t the right one either. To avoid being late for our brunch meeting, I resorted to Grab all the way from the bus stop to the cafe.

THE POPULUS COFFEE & FOOD CO.
146 Neil Road, Singapore 088875

As I was the first to arrive at the cafe, I took a snapshot of their menu and sent to our group chat. I placed the orders on behalf of them since they were already on the way and they can start digging in once they arrived. When I was seated, one of the staffs informed me that the maximum sitting time would be an hour and a half on weekends.

Specialty Mörk Hot Chocolate 70% | S$7.50

Caffé Mocha (Caldera) | S$6

Chai Tea Latte | S$6.50

I was asking for non-coffee hot drink and the staff recommended me their Chai Tea Latte. Thank goodness they are serving Chai Tea Latte or else I might cave in and order myself a cup of coffee. Their Chai Tea Latte was served with soy milk which was good as I am lactose intolerant at times.

Populus All Day Breakfast | S$26

soft poached eggs, aerated hollandaise, potato rosti, frankische sausage, smoked salmon, homemade baked beans, L&P mushrooms, mixed salad

Spring Pancake & Fried Chicken | S$23

spring onion & corn pancake, signature crispy succulent fried chicken thigh fillet, hint of cumin, house special ranch dressing

Wagyu Beef Grain Bowl | S$24

thyme seared wagyu beef, quinoa, Bulgar wheat & pearl barley

Spicy Harissa Chicken Sausage Baked Eggs | S$19

rich chunky homemade tomato sauce, soft eggs, Greek yogurt, sumac, fresh lime, multigrain toast

The original version of this dish was actually Tuscan Lamb Harissa but you can choose Spicy Chicken if you are not into lamb. I don’t feel like having lamb as brunch so I opted for the chicken. I love tomato stew kind of breakfast. It was extremely appetizing. Andrea tried a bit and claimed that it was spicy. It was indeed spicy but it gets addictive the more you eat.

We went separate ways after Andrea and Patrick got their second caffeine fix of the day. I went home and rested until it was time to head out for dinner with Mom and Sister. We intended to try PeraMakan at Keppel Club but I found out from their website that they have a strict dress code of formal or smart casual. So, we headed over to VivoCity instead.

JAPANESE GOURMET TOWN
#01-157/158, 1 Harbourfront Walk, VivoCity, Singapore 098585

Fish Cakes

We all ordered set meals and you can order selected sides and drinks of your choice as part of the deal. Mom had Vegetable Ramen and Sister ordered Fish Cakes for the side. They were good but slightly spicy. It had a distinctive taste of lemongrass which I find very aromatic.

Spicy Char Siu Ramen Set | S$13.90

I intended to go for their Kimchi Ramen but decided to order their Spicy Char Siu Ramen when I found it on the menu. I had previously tried their Spicy Char Siu Ramen in Miri and it was good for me. As part of the set meal, I got Takoyaki.

Pork Ginger & Fried Chicken Set | S$15.90

Sister had this and it came with Gyoza and soup. The Pork Ginger was good but I didn’t get to try the Fried Chicken. To be honest, I think I loved the caramelized onions more than the pork. LOL!

After dinner, we walked around VivoCity for a while. As it was still early, I suggested that we head for desserts. I had been pestering Sister to try out Creamier which is located in within 10 minutes walking distance from her place. We took the bus from VivoCity to Creamier and walked a short distance.

CREAMIER
5A Lock Road, Gilman Barracks, Singapore 108927

Waffles with Ice-Cream | S$9

It was stated on the menu board that Waffles with Ice-Cream would take approximately 15 minutes to be served. We chose this with toppings of two ice-cream flavors. We had Earl Grey Lavender and Sea Salt Gula Melaka. The former was extremely nice and it had a distinctive taste of lavender.

Sister who is a big fan of lavender bought a pint of their Earl Grey Lavender home. The latter however didn’t leave me with much impression. Perhaps I didn’t like that the ice-cream tasted salty for a dessert? However, I am pretty sure that you would like it if you love Gula Melaka.

07102017 / Singapore Oct’2017

Both Mom and I arrived Singapore safe and sound yesterday afternoon. Our flight from Brunei to Singapore was delayed as the outbound flight from Singapore took off later than it was supposed to be. We arrived Singapore almost half an hour behind schedule and arrived Sister’s place at half past three, just about time before she starts her work teleconference.

Mom and I then took the free shuttle bus service to Harbourfront MRT Station whereby we did a bit of window shopping and grocery shopping at Vivo City. We planned on going out for dinner after Sister was done with her work but there were loud thunderstorms around dusk. We stayed home and cooked simple dinner instead.

We stayed home for breakfast and lunch this morning and went out about 2PM. We took Grab and headed over to City Hall. As we had early lunch, I was feeling hungry around 3PM and we had high tea at Crystal Jade Kitchen. I only ate a bit as I am meeting Andrea, Patrick and King for dinner at Fat Lulu’s in the evening.

CRYSTAL JADE KITCHEN SUNTEC CITY MALL
#B1-013 – #B1-0823 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983

金沙虾仁脆裹肠粉

Sister ordered this as she kind of like all dim sum with salted egg. I think she generally loves salted egg filled food, not necessarily dim sum. She quite liked the dish but claimed that the shrimps filled inside weren’t fresh as she could feel the itch on her lips after having them. I personally find them nothing special as I think they overcooked the rice rolls?

带子粥

I am no congee person but this was seriously good. It came with four pieces of scallops which I had none. The texture of the congee was extremely smooth. There were ginger strips in the congee to omit the raw taste of scallops.

香煎萝卜糕

I liked this Pan Fried Carrot Cake. However, Sister mentioned that it lacked an ingredient which she couldn’t identify. LOL! It tasted sweet for me though. We couldn’t finish them and requested for takeaways.

奶油流沙包

珍珠糯米鸡

麻酱蒸肠粉

Sister ordered this but we were mistakenly served with something similar but of different sauce. So, we returned it back and this took quite some time to be served. The steamed rice rolls were extremely good but the sauce was a little bit overwhelming. It could do with lesser brown sauce.

FAT LULU’S
297 River Valley Road, Singapore 238338

After we were done with our high tea, we went separate ways as I am meeting my friends at Somerset MRT to go Fat Lulu’s for dinner together. Patrick reserved a table for 6PM but we only arrived like 15 minutes past 6PM. We were the first few patrons of the evening and slowly followed by a lot more after we were done placing our orders.


Burnt Asparagus | S$16

I was initially interested with their Roasted Potatoes & Mushrooms but ordered their Burnt Asparagus instead as it is one of their bestselling. The asparagus were bigger and thicker in size in comparison to the regular ones that I know of. They were grilled to a level of burn and topped with bernaise sauce.

Grilled Mangalicia Pork Collar | S$26

charred sambal okra

The pork looked like it’s beef but they were pork. They were well marinated and tender. The sambal okra on the side were good but spicy. I think I had the most of the sambal okra. LOL!

Duh Meat Board | S$30

wagyu chuck rib, sambal pork chop, kailan

This was the first thing we agreed ordering from the menu. It came with both meats – beef and pork. You can choose the level of doneness for the beef and we got medium rare. According to Andrea and Patrick, the beef was good! The sambal pork chop however tasted like our Chinese version of Char Siu. Nevertheless, it was still good.

Spicy BBQ Pork Ribs | S$29 (full rack)

spicy kichap manis sauce, coriander, lime

We started off with two main courses and an appetizer. We decided to get another main course halfway through our main courses and it was served pretty quick as compared to our first few main courses after placing our orders.

The pork ribs were well done and tender. They were easily sliced through with a regular table knife. The sauce was no joke spicy. The waitress suggested squeezing the lime wedge for a more distinctive taste. The lime juice sort of toned down the spiciness which I find it nice.

We took the public bus to our next destination, which is a dessert cafe. Andrea had given us a list of five suggested dessert cafes that she is interested to try and we chose Creamery Boutique Ice Creams Singapore. We were chatting with each other on the ride over and missed our stop. We had to walk back which was about 15 minutes or more walking distance.

CREAMERY BOUTIQUE ICE CREAM SINGAPORE
139 Tyrwhitt Road #01-03, Singapore 207557

The cafe was extremely packed at the time when we arrived but we got a table for four shortly after waiting. The staff suggested that we could have a look at their menu first while waiting for table. We ordered two cookies to share. We thought it would be enough but the boys ended up craving for more and we got Brownie for second round.

Chocalot | S$8.90

cookie chocolate lava

The boys ordered this and it was topped with a scoop of Super Baby Milk. It is one of their bestselling flavors, made with infant formula milk. The ice-cream didn’t taste extremely sweet. As a matter of fact, it didn’t taste milk creamy as I expected it to be and it was good.

Monster Matcha | S$8.90

matcha green tea lava

I was tempted to have go at their Thai Tea ice-cream flavor. Having tried a small scoop of the flavor, I find it too sweet for my liking. I chose Berry Cheesecake at first but Andrea thought that it might be too sweet to go with Monster Matcha. So, I changed the ice-cream flavor to Secret Garden.

Secret Garden is a combination of tea flavor with charcoal. It tasted light, refreshing and not very sweet. The Matcha lava had a bittersweet taste. We find that the cookie dough was a bit dry but paired well with the oozing lava.

Brownie | S$7.90

brownie cookie

The above two cookie desserts came with oozing molten lava but this one was just a regular brownie cake in the shape of a big cookie. I chose Banoffee for the ice-cream flavor. I tried a small scoop of Heart Stop over the counter and I didn’t like what I had. It tasted too creamy for my liking and this Banoffee was perfect for Brownie.

The Banoffee ice-cream came with frozen banana slices and it had a distinctive banana flavor. We liked the texture of Brownie but it can get extremely sweet the more you had it.

So, this summed up my second day in Singapore for this trip. Stay tune for more cafe hopping if you’re interested!