Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Day in JB

Went to JB with LYZ & LJ this afternoon. Going through the custom was unexpectedly smooth. I went through the Malaysian custom in 15 mins, that was really a record. LYZ & LJ joined the 'wrong' queue, so it took them 25mins & 30mins respectively. Anyway, that was still considered as 'very good'. Malaysia custom made some change since the last time I passed through. There is no more distinction between Singapore passport and other country's passport, all queues are considered as 'Foreign Passport' now, so there is no more disadvantage/advantage of holding a Singapore passport :)

As it was still early for dinner (only 3+pm), we went to City Square's Season's for some hearty ice cream. The ice cream was not too bad, the presentation was good too, but the service was still very much to be desired. We asked for a glass of water at least 3-4 times, but that glass of water was still missing after we paid our bill and left.

We walked around in City Square for a while. LJ told me that Doraemon comics selling at Popular bookstore City Square is even more expensive than in Singapore. It costs S$2.00 in Singapore, but RM4.90 in JB. This is quite a contrary to the other comic books. For the same title, usually it is RM4.50 in JB and S$4.50-5.00 in Singapore. So it is not everything is cheap over the other side. Open your eyes wide wide wide whenever you buy anything.

Lady Elf once brought me to a place in JB for seafood, and he told me the place was called Taman Sentosa (大马花园), but when I told the taxi driver, he corrected me saying the place is called Taman Sri Tebrau. Anyway, we went to the right place. For my mistake, we were 'punished' to pay RM2.00 more for the trip. Usual fare is RM6.00, but had to pay RM8.00. Usual fare I mean the over-inflated fare charged by the taxi drivers in consensus, the meter fare is only RM3.70. Few taxi drivers in JB use the meter, even if they use it, the meter may have been tampered.

Ok, next came our hearty seafood dinner. We ordered black pepper crab (~RM45.00/kg), steamed pating fish (清蒸巴丁鱼) (~RM45.00), butter crayfish (牛油虾婆) (~RM45.00), and wild boar meat on hot plate (RM10 for small). The total bill was RM136.00, so something must be smaller somewhere. The stall we patroned was #958, I think.

Wild Boar Meat on Hot Plate & Butter Cray Fish (top)

Black Pepper Crab

The crab was just so-so, not really that fresh. The meat sticks to the cell. The best was the steamed pating fish. Fish was fresh from the tank. The meat was tender & juicy, it melts in your mouth (does it sound like the M & M ad?) Crayfish was not bad, too. Crispy after being deep fried with butter. Wild boar meat was a disappointment. It was too chewy, not tender at all.

Live Pating Fish (From archives)

In terms of dining environment, it is only a hawker centre. As the crowd builds up, more and more smoke comes out from all the busy kitchens. At the end of the meal, you smell really bad.
Anyway, for that kind of price, it is considered not too bad. The 3 ice creams we had at City Square cost RM43.70. Comparing the RM136.00 for the whole seafood meal with RM43.70 for 3 ice creams, it is really value for money.

I found a nice shop near Taman Sri Tebrau, selling some local Malaysian produces. One interesting product is the LuoHanGuo Gao (罗汉果膏). I have not seen it elsewhere before. I gave it a try, the taste was good and cooling. The service there was good. They actually serve customers a cup of tea.

Yong Sheng Gift Shop JB
79, Jln Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau,
80050 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: 07-2221362

The price is about RM2.00-5.00 cheaper than those in City Square.

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