Somehow going on day trips to Malaysia Johor Bahru is becoming a trend in my family that we headed there again to celebrate Father’s Day. However this time we didn’t go with a tour group as we were just planning to shop around in JB free-and-easy style. I thought it was a family outing until my parents met up with their colleague, her sister and her 2 children. Sense my unwilling tone? You’ll know why later.
We reached JB at about 12noon, the journey was pretty straightforward as we took a bus (AC-7) from Yishun Interchange. The bus ride into JB cost only $2, even cheaper than some of long distance bus rides within Singapore itself!! Haha
For lunch, my mom recommended this famous Nonya curry fish head at KAM LONG RESTAURANT. It was only a short walk away from the Malaysian customs. There was a long queue, but after 20 minutes of waiting, we managed to be seated. Kam Long Restaurant is know for its Nonya curry fish head, made with a recipe specifically passed down from the owner’s mother. They make and serve, only curry fish head! They are still going strong, currently managed by their 2nd generation of owners!
Just a simple eatery, but packed with sweaty, hungry customers.
Our large claypot of curry fish head! I found it to be really tasty, the fish was fresh, and curry was fragrant. What I really liked was that the curry was not spicy at all! Some might prefer their curries to be stinging chili hot, but on such a warm and humid day, I was glad that I wasn’t perspiring away, trying to swallow curry that burns my taste buds. So needless to say, because it wasn’t that spicy, we were able to stomach quite a lot of it.
They also serve fried beancurd skin separately for customers who want an extra serving of it. When dipped into the curry, it becomes soaked with curry yet remain crispy at the sides.
Lunch was awesome and cheap too! A large curry fish head costs only RM38, which converts to S$18!! Okay it’s definitely unfair to do the conversion game all the time, but what I want to say is that malaysia really has good and cheap food. =)
Then after lunch, my sister and I initially were up and excited for a day of shopping in shopping malls and getting toiletries and some clothes. But thanks to one of the girls who suggested going to JB’s premium outlet (JPO), we were instead set for a day of aimless walking around a make-belief town filled with brands like Burberry, Shanghai Tang, Coach etc…
BIG SIGH. Well it’s not like I don’t like such brands, of course I only have awe for their products. BUT, I’m in malaysia to actually buy things, so tell me what can I buy now? Haha but I still enjoyed some sight-seeing and window-shopping with my sister. My dad had it the worst cuz he just sat at benches near the shops that we entered and waited. My mom was moving like a bee from shop to shop. The two girls must have spent like hundreds on their purchases!
I like JPO for their toilets. Seriously, I went to the washroom like 5 times?! They have the cleanest and driest toilet that I’ve seen in Malaysia and actually smell good. LOL lamo me.
We actually finished shopping at about 3pm, but the bad news was that the next coach back to JB Central leaves at 5:30pm!! I was pretty upset at the point of time cuz I just wanted to go to Jusco to tick off my shopping list! >:( We loitered around some more… The happiest moment for my sis and I was when we discovered free wireless at Coffee Bean!! Haha then we sat down with a cake and coffee while the others continued to shop. I made a skype call to Hammy =) I guess that wasn’t so bad, except that the ride back lasted unexpectedly for 1 hour! We nodded off.
Sadly, when we arrived at JB Central, it was already time for dinner. So no more shopping for us. Sobs. Plus, City Square is currently undergoing renovation so most of the shops are closed. We settled dinner at Zen Shabu Shabu. Not bad, I would say. Dinner salvaged part of my disappointment.
Romantic and comfy interior.
We ordered chicken and beef shabu sets for Korean Kimchi soup and Pumpkin soup respectively. The portion, although stated for one pax, was actually enough for 2. There was also free-flow of soup base!
The ingredients for hotpot were neatly presented, and were fresh and clean.
A side dish, cheese fishballs sporting an interesting shape but a tad too hard for my liking.
Nicely pan-fried gyozas.
Korean Kimchi soup. Looking yummy!!
The pumpkin broth was light and sweet. I preferred it over the Kimchi soup base, which was a little too salty.
The service in Malaysia is really better. The staff are polite, attentive and helpful. The portions are also large, it just feels like we get what we pay for. Thumbs up!!
After dinner, it was a straight bus back to Singapore – Yishun. I kinda like how convenient it is!
Hopefully my future trips do not include people who just selfishly think of their own shopping wants! Grrrr. Thanks to them I didn’t get to buy my toiletries and came back empty-handed. Angry!! >:(
KAM LONG RESTAURANT:
74, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 JB, Malaysia
Zen Shabu Shabu:
Johor Bahru City Square B1 MB-03, 04 & 05