Updated: Sep 13
Tucked in one corner along an adjacent lane to Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk in Bandar Johor Bahru, a little rustic shop with olden-day steel folding door stood oddly out of place among rows of modern cafes and restaurants. Most people would mistaken the shop for a warehouse due to its appearance if not for the little vintage signboard above the folding door that said "Salahuddin Bakery".
Standing inside the bakery, it seemed like time had stopped since 1937, the year when it started business. Apart from breads and coconut buns that were wood-fired in an oven in a small room at the back of the shop, a wide range of traditional pastries were neatly laid out on a long table. There were cream rolls and cup cakes too. I was spoilt for choice — I wanted to try all of them yet I was only able to eat a couple of pieces each time.
First time to the bakery, I targeted the most recommended items by other websites: karipap ayam (chicken curry puff, RM2.50) and karipap kambing (mutton curry puff, RM2.50). Karipaps with sardines (RM2.50) and potatoes (RM2) were also available. Although they were also known as "curry puffs", they looked different from the thicker-crust curry puffs that I knew of.
The chicken puff contained chicken with potato curry. The crust of the triangular puff was layered and flaky and carried an aroma of Indian spices. Same for the mutton puff, except that the filling was minced mutton with potato in thick curry gravy — an unusual experience since most curry puffs that I ate before contained either chicken with potato, sardines or just potato.
Salahuddin Bakery's karipaps and coconut buns were popular and always ran out fast.
The second time I went back to Salahuddin Bakery, I picked one karipap sardin (RM2.50) and two cream rolls (RM2.50 each). The crusts of the cream rolls were also layered and crispy with white sweet cream. Similarly for the sardine-filled karipap, the triangular crust was layered and flaky, but unlike the curry versions, the crust was original and not spiced so as not to affect the original taste of the sardines.
I had also tried their coconut buns (RM4) and vanilla cake (RM6) on subsequent visits.
There were still a lot more of the pastries and cookies (I heard some locals asking for "suji cookies") that I had not tried yet, so I would be back for more.
26, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
9am to 6pm | Closed on Friday