• Rick

What to Eat around KSL City, Johor Bahru

Updated: Apr 11


Many people go to KSL City Mall for shopping, movies and dining, and will usually stay inside the shopping mall. Those who are willing to wander out of the mall will be rewarded with cheap and good local food.

Here is a list of great eating places around KSL City that we frequent. But first, go down to the basement level of KSL City and find the exit near to TESCO supermarket. All the eating places out there are within 200 metres from KSL City Mall. You can use the map at the end of this post to find their locations.

Note that operating hours and off-days of the food outlets are for reference only — they may not keep to their schedules sometime — especially after long school holidays and public holidays that fall on their off-days.



# Food Outlets

1. Yong He Kuey Teow Soup (永和粿條)

Yong He's kuey teow (white flat noodle) soup comes with wide variety of fresh ingredients. There is a slice of abalone, a prawn, an abalone clam, several big oysters, slices of pig's liver, fish balls, minced pork, slices of lean pork and veggies. Wow! was my reaction on the first visit. I had ordered the medium-size noodle soup without expecting so many ingredients. Yong He serves dry noodle (without soup) version too.

Opening Hours: 8am to 7pm daily

2. Yit Foh Wanton Noodle (益和云吞面)

Just next door to Yong He, Restoran Yit Foh serves traditional wanton (meat dumplings) noodle. The roasted pork is nicely done with mostly lean meat and their homemade egg noodle does not stick together. Needless to say, the meat dumplings are really fresh too. For side dish, order their fried crispy wantons and eat with spicy chili.

Opening Hours: 24 hours | Wed: 12pm to 7pm | Thur: 6pm to 12am

3. Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh (顺顺兴肉骨茶)

Soon Soon Heng's bak kut teh (pork ribs soup) is popular among Singaporeans and locals. The outlet is right opposite KSL City's basement exit. The uniqueness with their bak kut teh is they allow adding of other ingredients (charged separately) to be boiled with the pork ribs soup. Do tell them you want pork ribs only if you don't want the fat belly meat.

Also, being boiled in clay pots with big fire, the soup tends to over-evaporate sometimes and become salty, do ask to add some hot water if necessary. In the past, bak kut teh was eaten with self-serving hot Chinese tea, so diners would add hot water themselves. But as time changed, the practice of having Chinese tea with bak kut teh is dying out and few know that hot water should be added when need to.

Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm | Closed on Monday



4. Restoran AL-Rahmat Roti Canai / Prata

There are times when I crave for roti prata (or roti canai in Malaysia), I will hunt around for an Indian-Muslim outlet that makes the prata after ordering. I prefer freshly-made pratas instead of those pre-prepared ones waiting in glass shelves. At Restoran AL-Rahmat, they made the pratas after I ordered. I like the curry gravy too, which is not fish curry.

Opening Hours: Daily

5. Ipoh Fried Kuey Teow in Restoran Sing Li

Right beside KSL City, inside the coffee shop named Restoran Sing Li (信利美食中心), is this stall selling Ipoh Fried Kuey Teow. The flat noodle is fried with prawns, eggs and bean sprouts in a large wok, which gives the fried noodle a wok smell (characteristics of Ipoh fried noodle) and not oily.

Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm (*not fixed)

6. Ah Hua Kuey Teow (亚华粿條)

Ah Hua Kuey Teow is one outlet that sells pork noodle soup during the day and clay pot chicken rice at night.

Similar to Yong He's noodle soup, Ah Hua Kueh Teow's noodle soup is very much the same except for the ingredients used. While Yong He's ingredients include seafood, Ah Hua has wider varieties of pig offal and minced meat and a piece of abalone. For those who are not so keen on having seafood (slightly higher price), can go for Ah Hua's pork noodle soup.

Opening Hours: 7:30am to 4:30pm; 5pm to 10pm daily

7. Xing Ji Noodles (兴记)

Located in Kedai Makanan Dan Minuman Choy Kee (财记茶餐室) is this noodle stall that sells a number of noodle dishes such as wanton noodle, laksa, chicken feet noodle, etc. The stall is called Xing Ji (translated from the Chinese characters "兴记"). I went there specially for its chicken feet noodle after noticing quite a large number of diners eating it.

Does the chicken feet noodle looks good? It tastes even better. The sauce are skillfully prepared too — not too sweet, not too salty, which suits me perfectly.

Opening Hours: Daily

8. Restoran Hao Bi (好比鸭王药材烧腊)

Restoran Hao Bi is easily distinguishable for selling roasted duck due to the two big ducks on its signboard. Hao Bi is famed for its herbal duck although other variants are also available for those who don't like the strong herbal flavour.

I like the strong herbal fragrance and taste on the tender duck meat which shows that they are generous with the herbs. The heavy sauce goes well with plain rice too.

Opening Hours: 8:30am to 8:30pm daily

9. Ah Chong Wanton Noodle & Laksa (亚忠云吞面叻沙)

Ah Chong is a new outlet just a few units away from Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh. Their signature dishes are wanton noodle and laksa. Since I have yet to try a laksa dish near KSL City, I went for their laksa. And it is a unique experience.

The laksa gravy is coconut-milk-based curry but not as thick as Singapore laksa — much smoother to drink. The noodle is not the thick rice vermicelli that is often used in curry laksa but lai fun, the thick and springy rice noodle used in Penang assam laksa. The ingredients are slices of fishcake, fried squid balls, tau-pok (tofu puff), fried bean sticks with minced coriander. It's the first time I tried a curry laksa with assam laksa noodle.

Opening Hours: 9am to 8:30pm daily

10. Tian Xiang Yong Peng (Homemade) Fish Ball Noodle (天香永平手工鱼丸面)

Along the same row of shophouses as Yong He Kuey Teow Soup and Yit Foh Wanton Noodle, Tiang Xiang Fish Ball is located several units away. Their signature item is their homemade fish balls, which are made with Pacific saury (秋刀鱼).

You can order any types of noodle, soup or dry or with laksa, and the main ingredient will always be their fish balls. There may be other ingredients too depending on what you ordered. The fresh fish balls are firm and spongy. You can also buy raw fish balls and take home to cook.

Opening Hours: 7:30am to 5pm | Closed on Monday

11. Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge (Night time only)

Along the same stretch of shop houses as Restoran Sing Li, there are two restaurants selling frog porridge. Both are opened for business around evening time. We tried the frog porridge from Restoran Geylang Lor 9 (芽笼九巷).

We tried both the spicy kung pao version (cooked with dried chilies) and spring onion version in two clay pots and also a fried frog legs with garlic. The frog meat are tender and also spicy from the dried chilies. And usually eaten with porridge. Apart from dinner, it's a hot favourite for supper too!

Opening Hours: 4pm to 4am daily

12. Marmolada Food Court (Night time only)

Hidden in one corner is Marmolada Food Court (or Marmolada Enterprise), which has many stalls selling varieties of food stuff. You can order anything you like and have beers too. Half the food court is under the open sky — almost like Newton Circus Food Centre in Singapore. The food court opens only at night with most stalls ready to sell by around 5pm.

We have had fried oysters omelette, barbecue stingray, barbecue sotongs (squids), char kway teow (fried noodle), fruit rojak, etc, from several stalls in two visits.

Opening Hours: 5pm to 12am daily


Due to increasing eating places on our list for Taman Sri Tebrau (大马花园) — just 600m from KSL City — we started a new post for it. Check it out too.

What to Eat in Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru (新山大马花园)

# Cafe

1. Doi Chaang Caffe @ Holiday Villa

Located on the ground floor of Holiday Villa Hotel, this coffee-franchise outlet is hidden from sights from KSL City. Walk over to the hotel lobby and you will find it there.

Doi Chaang Caffes serve premium Thailand Arabica coffee, grown in Thailand and roasted in Canada. The quiet corner has always been our favourite hangout for afternoon breaks. We like to try different types of coffee with different cakes on each visits.

Opening Hours: 9:30am to 3:30am daily


Johor Bahru Cafe Pick: Doi Chaang Caffes


# Pastries

1. Ming Ang Confectionery (明安特产专卖店)

If you like pastries, especially wife biscuits that are not too sweet, try Ming Ang. They have heong piah (malt-filling fragrance pastry) and char siew buns (roasted pork buns), egg tarts and chicken puffs too.

I always go to Ming Ang for their char siew buns and wife biscuits. All are freshly baked and usually sold out by afternoon. You can always look through the glass windows to see if they are baking the next batches.

Opening Hours: 7am to 9pm daily

# KSL Night Market (KSL Pasar Malam)

On every Monday night, after 5pm, the stretch of road (Jalan Seladang) outside the main entrance of KSL City Mall to Grand Paragon Hotel will be closed off to vehicles (well, not fully) to make way for a night market along the road. Makeshift stalls will be set up to sell all kinds of food stuffs, vegetables, bags, clothes, etc.

You can find many local food and snacks here at relatively cheap prices — but not all though. Some food stalls may offer tables and chairs for "eating-in" but most are for take-aways only. It is convenient for locals to pack and go but visitors will have to find a place to eat the food properly. Eating while walking in the crowded night market is not recommended as chances of dirtying other peoples' clothes are high and may result in unnecessary disputes. Just find a non-obstructing corner, finish the food before continuing through the night market.

A Chinese stall selling Hong Kong style carrot cake (above) and a Malay stall selling pancakes with large selection of fillings (below). And many more food options, just take your picks.

Note that the night market can be overly-crowded during Malaysia and Singapore school holidays even though it is held on Monday nights. And if you are taking S1 shuttle bus to JB CIQ on Monday night, board the bus at the basement exit instead of at the main entrance.

Opening Hours: 5pm to 10pm | Monday night only



Getting to KSL City Mall


Note: Those marked in "blue" open for business at night only.

If you are going there from Singapore, after exiting Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration & Quarantine Complex (JB CIQ), walk to the bus terminal below JB Sentral (go down the escalator between JB CIQ and JB Sentral). Walk right towards the end of the bus terminal for Bus Bay (Hentian Bas) 1 or 2.

There are 2 bus services to KSL City: S1 by Causeway Link (or the smiling bus) and IM17 public bus. They will have "KSL City" written in front of the bus for easy recognition.

S1 traversed directly between JB Sentral and KSL City only. It will stop at the main entrance of KSL City. Board at the same place to return to JB Sentral. The bus fare is RM1.50 one way.

Bus IM17 will pass by KSL City to drop passengers near the shopping mall and then continue its routine to other places. However, it does not use a fixed route so it can drop passengers either at the main entrance or near the basement exit. The bus fare is also RM1.50 to KSL City, but if you pay more, the bus driver will assume you are going somewhere else, so tell him you are going to KSL City or simply pass him RM1.50.


Read also:

Best Times to Cross Singapore-Johor Causeway (Woodlands)

#johorbahru #KSLcity #malaysiafood #malaysia #johor #kslcityfood

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