Jo­hor

Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - CONTENTS -

A few years ago, the drink­ing scene in Jo­hor was prac­ti­cally nonex­is­tent, limited to a cou­ple of small clubs and a few old men hang­ing out at the lo­cal ko­pi­tiam. How­ever, things have cer­tainly changed in this city. As in­vest­ment pours in and young­sters look for an al­ter­na­tive scene, the night beat is cer­tainly boom­ing, es­pe­cially in the city of Jo­hor Bahru. Check the list­ings for new­comer clubs on the rise, swish and swanky bars or to find the in­sti­tu­tions that are still go­ing strong with the sim­ple prom­ise of ice cold beer, great at­mos­phere and a foot­ball game on the screen.

Jo­hor Bahru

After 5

67 Jalan Molek 3/10, Ta­man Molek; 12 Jalan Austin Per­dana 3/10, Ta­man Austin Per­dana, JB (012 772 2111). As the name sug­gests, After 5 is a wa­ter­ing hole cater­ing to the post-work crowd. Ev­ery­thing about this pub is medi­ocre: run of the mill set up, mid-priced drinks and av­er­age nib­bles. That said, it is still a de­cent place to glug a few pints with­out trav­el­ling all the way down­town.

Daily, 4pm–1am.

NEW Aruku The Walk

Ground floor, Block D, Lot 5, Plaza Sen­tosa, Jalan Sutera (07 331 1118/ www.arukuthe­walk.com). Strut through the tun­nel en­trance with glit­ter­ing mir­rors cov­er­ing ev­ery sur­face, and stop for a photo op. Aruku The Walk is popular with the younger club­bing crowd in JB, and they do try to shake things up with a menu of di­verse DJs. They have a pretty ex­ten­sive food menu but price of the drinks can be slightly higher than other wa­ter­ing holes in town. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10pm–3am.

Bar­tini

77G Jalan Mu­tiara Emas, 10/2 Ta­man Mount Austin (016 790 9151). Bar­tini has added a slew of brand new dart ma­chines to their en­ter­tain­ment arse­nal. If you’re more for re­lax­ing, then down your drink in in­door or out­door spa­ces while watch­ing the foot­ball game of the night at this Jo­hor nightlife in­sti­tu­tion. Bar­tini has gained a strong fol­low­ing of reg­u­lars with its chill at­mos­phere. That be­ing said, their mu­sic can get quite loud at times.

Mon–Sat, 4pm–2am.

Bar Banyan

Base­ment, 18G Jalan Ab­dul Sa­mad, JB (019 779 0800). Styled with Ba­li­nese art decor, this bar in down­town JB is best summed up by the words dark, glitzy and mys­te­ri­ously al­lur­ing. We think Bar Banyan is prob­a­bly one of the classi­est bars here. Set­tle into their rus­tic wooden fur­ni­ture while soaking in the chilled out vibes. Mod­ern paint­ings, mel­low light­ings and sooth­ing jazzy mu­sic make it a place to go for a re­lax­ing night. The drinks menu might be un­spec­tac­u­lar, but the prices more than make up for it.

Mon–Sat, 5pm–1am.

Eight Lido

8 Jalan Sku­dai, Straits View (07 222 7807/07 222 7808/www.face­book.com/ eightlido). While most of the bars and pubs in Jo­hor at­tempt the same for­mula by pro­vid­ing dirt cheap beer deals, Eight Lido took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. This so­phis­ti­cated lounge (also a restau­rant) housed in a 97-year-old Span­ish style bun­ga­low is cer­tainly in a class of its own. Over­look­ing the Lido beach, it oozes ro­mance and charisma es­pe­cially when the night sets in. If you’re here for a date, let the breathtaking view set the mood for you – opt for the al­fresco area for the beau­ti­ful sun­set. As the in­hab­i­tants are mainly made up of up­mar­ket and ‘too cool for school’ ur­ban pro­fes­sion­als, the drinks prices are on the higher side. But the in­ven­tive (bor­der­ing on out­landish) drinks list and sooth­ing am­bi­ence en­sure that Eight Lido has a value that is hard to match. Mon–Fri, 5pm–2am, Sat, 10am–2am, Sun, 10am–4pm.

Jazz & Blues Dis­cov­ery Hol­i­day Plaza, Jalan Dato Su­laiman, Cen­tury Gar­den (07 331 3336/www. jb­dis­cov­ery.com.my). With dif­fer­ent sec­tions such as the cof­fee house, lounge, dis­cotheque, cock­tail bar, pool ta­bles and 47 karaoke rooms, there’s some­place to suit ev­ery scene in Jazz & Blues Dis­cov­ery. The mas­sive hall’s sound and light­ing sys­tem is con­sid­ered one of the best in Jo­hor Bahru. Note: the crowd can get rowdy at times.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9pm–3am.

La Primeur Puby 61 & 61A Jalan Hari­mau Tarum, Cen­tury Gar­den, JB (07 334 9854); 51 Jalan Impian Emas 5/1, Ta­man Impian Emas, Sku­dai (07 556 8655); 4 Jalan Austin Per­dana 3/10, Ta­man Austin Per­dana, JB (07 355 2761). With three branches across town, La Primeur is one of the most popular sports bars. Sports fans are of­ten seen filling up the well-ven­ti­lated bar es­pe­cially when there are big events on. The space might not be re­mark­able but it usu­ally does have a good at­mos­phere, aided by the karaoke ma­chine and at­ten­tive staff. Drinks­wise, you can skip the liquor and wine list and head straight for their draught beers.

Daily, 4pm–1.30am.

Mul­li­gan’s Ir­ish Pub 17 Jalan Per­mas 10/2, Ban­dar Baru, Per­mas Jaya Ma­sai, JB (07 388 1869); 39 Jalan Kun­ing 2, Ta­man Pe­langi, JB (07 388 1869); Straits View Con­do­minium, Jalan Per­mas Se­la­tan, Per­mas Jaya, JB (07 382 0566/www. mul­li­gans–jb.com). Cel­e­brat­ing their sev­enth year in Jo­hor, Jo­hor’s ar­guably most au­then­tic Ir­ish pub is a favourite for lo­cals and ex­pats seek­ing a pint. Need­less to say the homely decor is all green walls and wooden fur­ni­ture, ac­com­pa­nied by a jaunty ser­vice team. With draught beers, whiskey and a list of de­cent bar sta­ples, Mul­li­gan’s is the spot to crack open a cold one and have a re­lax­ing evening.

Daily, 3pm–1am.

Palm Lounge 88 Jalan Ibrahim Sul­tan, Ber­jaya Water­front Ho­tel (07 221 9999/www. ber­jaya­ho­tel.com/jo­hor­bahru). Palm Lounge is an open con­cept lounge on the ground floor of Ber­jaya Water­front Ho­tel, which was for­merly known as The Zon’s Re­gency Ho­tel. This place fea­tures live mu­sic en­ter­tain­ment ev­ery night. Sip on cock­tails, beers and wine and snack on a pizza or two. In truth, the ho­tel is a lit­tle run down by the dim lights of the dusky evening, but the at­mos­phere is all that counts, right? Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 12noon– 12mid­night.

Roost Café 9 Jalan Dhoby, Ban­dar Jo­hor Bahru

(017 726 7489/www.roost­juice­bar. blogspot.com). Es­sen­tially a café by day, Roost dou­bles up as a nightlife joint when night falls. Its quaintly-beau­ti­ful in­te­rior makes it a great place to sit and chill. Roost is per­haps one of the coolest new finds in Jo­hor. No won­der the lo­cal hip­sters and scen­esters have al­ready called this place their home. Mon–Sat, 12noon–4pm, 6pm– 12mid­night, Sun, 6pm–12mid­night.

Show­house Sen­tosa Gas­tro Bar Ground floor, Block C, Lot 1,2, 3 & 21, 22, 23, Plaza Sen­tosa, Jalan Sutera, Ta­man Sen­tosa (07 295 6990). The swanky twenty-some­thing crowd makes this bar/club the hippest nightlife spot in JB. On full house Satur­day nights, this gas­tro bar turns into a club with res­i­dent DJs churn­ing out EDM and house mu­sic. On other nights, it’s ac­tu­ally a nice place to chill out after work with a lot of el­bow room to move around. Also, there is a non­smok­ing room, a wine room and a VIP room ded­i­cated to the cork-pop­ping high fliers.

Daily, 3pm–2am.

Sky Lounge Grand Paragon Ho­tel, 18 Jalan Hari­mau, Cen­tury Gar­den (07 278 0888). What makes a view? Drink­ing just got a whole lot classier in Jo­hor. El­e­gant bars are hard to come by in this state, but we have to thank Sky Lounge for break­ing the norm. This stylishly out­fit­ted bar lo­cated on the 26th floor of Grand Paragon Ho­tel is the only sky bar in the city. Apart from sweep­ing views of JB city and even Sin­ga­pore, there is an ex­ten­sive list of beers, wine and liquor. The newly launched Ci­garism lounge and yak­i­tori bar gives guests some­thing dif­fer­ent. There’s also a VIP only Elite Club on the same floor. So don’t ex­pect cheap beer deals or any­thing like that here. Def­i­nitely an ideal place if you’re look­ing to im­press out-of-town vis­i­tors.

Daily, 3pm–3am.

NEW The Bal­cony Bar & Restau­rant Wisma SP Se­tia, Jalan In­dah 15, Bukit In­dah (07 239 5191/www.face­book. com/the­bal­cony­barn­restau­rant). Open­ing in late 2013, the classy Bal­cony Bar & Restau­rant has proven popular amongst the up­per strata of the work­ing crowd and ex­pats look­ing for a re­lax­ing pint after work. There’s a gi­gan­tic screen for sports en­thu­si­asts, and when­ever ma­jor sports events such as Thomas Cup or foot­ball games are on, a crowd of reg­u­lars can be seen parked in front of the screen with drinks in hand. The Bal­cony’s Western menu also comes highly rec­om­mended. Try the sig­na­ture pork knuck­les. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 12pm–1am.

Vino Vino Bistro 12 Jalan Molek 1/13, Ta­man Molek (07 358 1699). Hail­ing from Kota Kin­a­balu, Vino Vino Bistro has since opened two new out­lets, one in Jo­hor and one in Pe­nang. This bistro, wine bar, whisky bar, and cof­fee bar has de­vised an in­no­va­tive method of serv­ing its wine and whisky. Deal­ing with din­ers’ valid con­cern of not be­ing able to try their wine or whisky be­fore hav­ing to or­der a glass or a bot­tle, Vino Vino has a dis­pens­ing sys­tem that keeps drinks at an op­ti­mum, reg­u­lated tem­per­a­ture and dis­penses drinks like a vend­ing ma­chine with op­tions of ‘tast­ing, half or full glass’. The con­ve­nience of hav­ing wine and whisky aside, Vino Vino also serves food. Its spe­cial­ity is the grill menu with its de­li­cious yak­i­tori grills. Mon–Sat, 12noon–12mid­night, Sun, 4pm–12mid­night.

Wall Street Cock­tail Bar 8 Jalan Austin Per­dana 3/10, Ta­man Austin Per­dana (07 361 2723/www. wall­streetjb.com). After a man­age­ment re­vamp ear­lier this year, the in­te­rior de­sign is pretty strik­ing upon en­trance. There’s noth­ing quite like this in JB; their drinks menu is pre­sented on the LCD screen in a ‘Wall Street’ way where the prices fluc­tu­ate like the stock mar­ket. As the time and the pop­u­lar­ity of cer­tain drinks changes, so does the price. That be­ing said, drinks are pretty stan­dard.

Daily, 4.30pm–2am.

Sur­rounds

NEW I Beam Bar 21 Jalan Selu­ang, Ta­man Ba­nang, Batu Pa­hat (016 338 5890/www. ibeam.com.my). After a ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion in 2012, the most hap­pen­ing night­club in Batu Pa­hat is back. Drinks are good; there’s a nice mix of res­i­dent DJs to keep the crowd danc­ing; free flow par­ties are reg­u­larly or­ga­nized and, to top things off, women can en­joy free cock­tails on ladies night ev­ery Wed­nes­day. It’s no sur­prise that I Beam comes highly rec­om­mended by Jo­hor par­ty­go­ers. Free park­ing. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9pm–3am.

Bar­code 81 Jalan Sutera Tan­jung 8/2, Ta­man Sutera Utama (07 556 7689). The western gas­tro­bar is be­guil­ing, well-fit­ted and stylish all at the same time. Decor is done with lots of wooden sur­faces, cosy light­ings and am­ple seat­ing. Pa­trons are mostly made up of young ur­ban white-col­lars who are look­ing to un­wind after a day of work. The big draw is of course, the drinks menu, fea­tur­ing a long list of cock­tails, beers on tap, wines as well as cham­pagne. This new­comer has al­ready de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion amongst lo­cals and be­come one of the coolest ca­sual han­gouts in the neigh­bour­hood.

Daily, 4pm–3am. $$$

NEW Em­bassy Bar 1 Jalan Impian Emas 5/2, Ta­man Impian Emas (07 570 1808). Large yel­low let­ter­ing spells out Em­bassy Bar’s pres­ence in Sku­dai. Though it has noth­ing much to do with am­bas­sador­ship, the Em­bassy Bar is still a force to be reck­oned with in the nightlife scene of Jo­hor. The live bands and guest DJs pro­vide the crowds with a sound­track for their post work raz­zle.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 5pm–3am.

Lava Bistro 47 Jalan Sutera Tan­jung 8/3, Ta­man Sutera Utama (07 556 7977). This stylish bistro is not with­out ap­peal, but beer’s the main deal here. A strong work-weary, white col­lar crowd usu­ally packs the place while down­ing pints of Paulaner. Long list of beers, well-man­aged staff and the venue’s am­biance keep the place busy. Also, the live band per­for­mances do keep the at­mos­phere re­lax­ing.

Daily, 4pm–2.30am.

Live Pub 56 Jalan Tan­jung 8/4, Ta­man Sutera Utama (016 786 9886). Live at Sutera Utama is a great place to hang out, and we’d sug­gest that you come around six in the evening when the beer is cheaper. You can lis­ten to a pretty good live band here (as you’d ex­pect from the name of the pub). If you visit later at night, you will find hard­core club­bers par­ty­ing away with the DJs. If karaoke is your thing, there are some VIP rooms on the third floor.

Daily, 6pm–3am.

NEW Prive Ultralounge 1 Jalan Sutera Tan­jung 8/2, Ta­man Sutera Utama (07 554 2587/www. face­book.com/PriveUl­tralounge). Call­ing them­selves a lux­ury lounge, Prive is cer­tainly one of the bet­ter kept se­crets in the JB beat. This cock­tail bar is tucked away in a quiet cor­ner of Ta­man Sutera, and the slick decor def­i­nitely wins them some points over the other clubs and bars in town.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 5pm–3am. NEW The Grind­house Club 91 Jalan Sutera Tan­jung 8/2, Ta­man Sutera Utama (07 556 9008/www. face­book.com/TheGrind­house­Club). Now show­ing: the Grind­house Club in Sku­dai is named after the bur­lesquein­spired the­atres of New York in the ’70s and the two-storey dance club fea­tures pretty unique decor ideas gleaned from that era. A string of live mu­sic per­for­mances and in­ter­na­tional DJs are re­spon­si­ble for the danc­ing crowds.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9pm–3am.

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