Penang isn’t the only noteworthy culinary destination in West Malaysia. There are many other states that offer spectacular food. Ask around and you’ll probably find Johor Bahru included on that list.
From authentic local favourites to mouthwatering foreign delicacies, here are a few of the more popular (halal) eateries in Johor Bahru that you should take note of.
This charming spot offers Indian-style cuisine in generous portions, with fast service and flavourful curries. Chakra restaurant used to be an old-bungalow but it’s now an upbeat eatery that serves chicken kolhapuri as well as onion bhaji.
Address: 1 Jalan Yusof Taha, Kampung Bahru, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opens daily: 11 am - 3 pm & 6 pm - 10 pm
If you love the “usual suspects” of Malaysian food, Restoran Aliff is where you can go to find your morning Roti Canai and a cup of teh tarik. Throughout the day, this spot also serves local dishes such as Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng, white rice and an assortment of curries.
Address: 2, Jalan Suria 19, Taman Suria, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Me’nate Steak Hub JB
This bustling steak hub first shot to fame via the opening of its first store in KL and now, ten years later, the legendary Western eatery has finally opened its store in Johor Bahru, helping Johorians and Singaporeans alike enjoy an array of meaty dishes. Ribs, steaks, burgers, pasta and a whole host of food choices can be found here. There’s even live music in the evenings at certain times.
Address: 113 & 115, Jalan Glasiar, Taman Tasek, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opens daily: 11 am – 12 am Monday – Thursday and weekends; 3 pm – 11 pm on Friday
Kai Xuan Chinese Restaurant
Lately, halal dim sum has been somewhat trending in KL and now, the trend may have begun to move to many states in Malaysia, including Johor. The Kai Xuan Chinese Restaurant serves common (and not so common) dim sum fare in various flavours. Get your shumai (traditional dumplings), pao (steamed buns) and chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll) without the pork or lard. Looking for something exceptionally good? Try the crispy softshell crabs.
Address: Bandar Johor Bahru Johor Bahru, Johor, 80000
Opens daily: Mon - Sat (11.30 am - 2.30 pm & 6 pm - 10 pm) Sun (8 am - 2.30 pm & 6 pm - 10 pm)
Emack & Bolio’s
Here’s something for your sweet tooth. Head on over to Emack & Bolio’s (a stall stationed in Paradigm Mall). It offers ice cream delights and you can look forward to interesting desserts with fun toppings to choose from. Oreo Marshmallow, Coco Pops or Rice Krispies, this ice cream shop is where you can explore your love of toppings.
Address: Level 4, Paradigm Mall, Jalan Bertingkat Skudai, Bandar Dato Onn, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Can’t decide whether you love food or cats more? The CATS Café is an eatery where you can enjoy Asian and Western flavours while adorable kitties keep you company. Patrons can also find waffles and milkshakes.
Address: 31A, Lorong 2c, Kampung Bahru, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opens daily: Mon - Thu (12.30 pm - 9 pm) Fri - Sun (1 pm - 9.30 pm)
Roslin Beriani House
If you’re looking for something that’s rich in taste with generous portions, try the Roslin Beriani House. You might find it is said by many that this spot has the best mutton rendang in town. There are numerous Malaystyledishes to choose from and these include rendang, curry squid, fried chicken as well as traditional kuih (rice flour desserts).
Address: 14 Jalan Rebana, Taman Perbadanan Islam 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor,
Opens daily: 8 am - 6.30 pm
Hua Mui Kopitiam
As one of the most renowned (and one of the oldest) kopitiams in Johor, Hua Mui has been serving their signature Hainanese style breakfasts and delicious chicken chop for nearly 70 years (since 1948). Both Muslims and non-Muslims can be found flocking to this reputable eatery for authentic flavours and its laidback vintage-style interiors. Drop by for the charcoal toasted bread with kaya and butter, accompanied by softboiled eggs and a good old Kopitiam coffee to wash it all down.
Address: 131, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 8.30 am – 6.00 pm
East and West fusion culinary spots can be found in many parts of Malaysia, however, there probably aren’t too many eateries that can compete with the tastes at Ejohng Concept. Featuring kampung (village-style) fried rice, freeflow drinks and more, drop by if you’re on the lookout for hearty meals and a comfortable setting.
It Roo Café
Love chicken? With amazing chicken based treats, the It Roo Café could very well have you “cluckin” for more! With delectable sauces and sides, you just might find that the chicken chop is the star of the show here. Chinesestylerice dishes and nonalcoholic beer floats are also available.
Address: 17 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor
Opens daily: 12 pm - 9.30 pm
Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang
Sup Tulang can be considered one of the most beloved of all Malaysian dishes. This dish is made up of a bowl of tasty soup and large bone marrow with some meat still left intact. Restoran ZZ Sup Tulang has become known for to its tasty Sup Tulang and you might just find its kampung-style restaurant setting a welcome breath of fresh air (after all the artisanal cafes). Try the gearbox mee rebus (yellow noodles with stewed bone marrow) or the mee soto (noodles in broth) and laksa Johor (spaghetti noodles with thick sauce).
Address: 20 Jalan Petri 5/1, Kampung Bahru Johor Bahru, 80100 Johor
Opens daily: 6 am - 1 am
Cafe Para Para, Grand Paragon Hotel
Café Para Para is famous for its incredibly diverse and well-prepared buffet meals. Located along Tebrau Highway (in Grand Paragon Hotel), this eatery serves dishes associated with various ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay, Indian and more). Buffet-goers can enjoy freshlycooked dishes with live stations, including noodles and satay stations.
Price: From RM 62 for lunch on weekends
Address: Grand Paragon Hotel, 18 Jalan Harimau, Taman Century, 80250 Johor Bahru
With the sheer number of Halal eateries that can be found throughout Johor Bahru, it’s almost impossible to run out of eating options. It’s a beautiful as well as scrumptious state to live, work, play and holiday in.
If you’re ever in the area where these eateries are located, why not make a detour or even make one (or all) of these spots part of your Johorean experience?