Day Trip to Johor Bahru – 21 Jan

It’s been awhile since I took a day trip to Johor.  Usually would drive in on a Saturday morning with family to our usual spots but since I don’t have anything much on my plate at the moment, thought of exploring Johor on a weekday.

Woodlands Checkpoint and the KTM Ride
Been hearing from friends on the convenience of taking the train (KTM) from Singapore to Johor. It was very convenient and the ride only took 5 mins.  Advisable to book the ticket online (website: http://www.ktmtrain.com/) in advanced.  Never have thought that it will be crowded on a Monday morning.

Singapore to Johor
The nearest MRT station to Woodlands Checkpoint is Marsiling station.  Take 856 (from the bus stop opposite Marsiling station) and it is only three bus stops away.  Don’t worry if you are unsure on where to alight, you will be able to spot the train tracks on the left (after it turns at Marsiling Park bus stop), plus, I reckon regardless of the time, there will always be people alighting at the checkpoint bus stop.

Will need to validate the online ticket purchased at the KTM ticketing office (first floor). After validation, can either wait at the waiting area of the ticketing office or proceed to wait/queue at second floor.  If travelling with kids or the elderly, strongly advise to proceed straight to the second floor (seats are available).

KTM Ticket - Let's Go!

Immigration clearance was a breeze.  Cleared both Singapore and Malaysia Immigration before boarding the train at Woodlands Checkpoint itself!  Was pleasantly surprised that despite the need to select the seats during the online purchase, the train ride was actually free seating.

Johor to Singapore
The return ticket from Johor to Singapore need not be validated – went straight to the ticketing counter upon arrival at Johor and was informed that the printed copy of the ticket suffice.

Advisable to be early as queue starts to form early.  Cleared Malaysian immigration before boarding the train in Johor and cleared Singapore immigration upon arrival at Woodlands Checkpoint.  Instead of going through the automated machine (there were only three machines and the queue was very long), best to go through manual clearance at the booth – it was much faster!

Since heading back to Marsiling station to have dinner at Fatty Bom Bom, took 950 from the same bus stop that we alighted – and it is only four bus stops away.

Jalan Dhoby
Again been hearing from friends and also online posts about this street – to see what’s the hype.  We were there about noon and most of the cafe/shops were not opened.  Some that were listed on online websites were no longer in operation.

IT Roo Cafe
Address: 17 Jalan Dhoby, Johor Bahru
Operating hours: 1200noon – 9.30pm
IT Roo Cafe - Chicken Chops

Thumbs up!  Both the Grilled Chicken Chop (RM16) and the Fried Chicken Chop (RM16) are very well seasoned that can eat it on its own without the mushroom sauce (the other option is the black pepper sauce).  Plus, what’s not to like about real fried (non-frozen) potato wedges? What I love about this cafe is the rustic old-school charm.  I do wonder about the tribute to the late Princess Diana though.  It was crowded with the lunch crowd and yet the service and turnover is fast.  They served both western and local dishes and noticed that the servings for the local dishes are quite substantial.

IT Roo Cafe

Flowers in the Window
Address: 9 Jalan Dhoby, Johor Bahru
Operating Hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 10.00am-8.00pm.  Closed on Tues

Menu at Flowers in the Window are rather interesting.  I am assuming that the ingredients used are to complement the garden-themed cafe.  Loved the drinks.  Both the Thymes Lemonade (RM15.90) and the homemade herb and spice infused syrup of Basil, Green Apple, Salt, Lemon and Cucumber (RM12.90) are very refreshing especially on a very hot Monday afternoon but detoxifying after a sinful lunch (leave it to your imagination).  The Matcha Tahini cake (RM9.40) was rather disappointing – too dry and crumbly.  Unsure if it’s a day old.  It was a Monday afternoon, hence not much crowd and they only had three cakes on display.  The other two was the Purple Carrot Cake and Earl Grey Lavender Cake.

Salahuddin Bakery
Address: 26 Jalan Dhoby, Johor Bahru

dsc_02004519904225413404467.jpg

This bakery is just opposite IT Roo Cafe and they sell practically everything – from sugar buns to sardine/chicken karipap to plain buns, cream hornes…everything.  This bakery somewhat reminded me of Onan Road Karipap (aka Indian Muslim Bakery & Confectionary).  Was tempted to buy the karipap and the plain bread but decided not to (afraid that all be squashed when I’m back in Singapore).

Komtar JBCC and JB City Square
This Komtar was totally a refurbished Komtar.  It is like a high-end but not so high-end mall.

JB City Square has changed alot since I was there many years ago.  Missed the rojak stall, MarryBrown and a cafe that sells Portugese Egg Tart.  The best find was this quote on the wall of the foodcourt at City Square.

Quote at Johor Bahru City Square Food Court

Since the shopping centres are just like any other shopping centres with the same shops, but were buzzing with activities and Chinese New Year decorations, decided to park ourselves at Old Town White Coffee while waiting for our train back to Singapore.

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Dinner at Fatty Bom Bom (Marsiling)
Pre-planned to have dinner at Fatty Bom Bom since we took the 7pm train from Johor to Singapore.  Ordered the Supreme Burger (SGD10.90) and two words – FOOD COMA.

As much as I love that it is handmade patty, mine was slightly overdone and the sauce was a bit too sweet for me.  The buns were over-charred (which I totally don’t mind) and have a slight burnt taste.  Would not rule out this place as yet.

Supreme Burger at Fatty Bom Bom

As it is now convenient to go to Johor via train, will definitely go back there again. Perhaps the next round will spend a night there so that I could explore other parts of Johor.

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