[UPDATED FEBRUARY’17]: Complete Your Café-Hop Adventure Near The JB Customs At These Cool Dessert Places

Have you tried the list of chic cafes just across the causeway in Johor Bahru (JB) city centre featured in my previous post yet? 😉 If you are still pondering whether it’s worth a trip making your way down, here’s a compilation of cool dessert places to tempt you further. Complete your cafe-hop adventure near the JB customs at these cool dessert places! 😉

JB City Square

This shopping mall connected conveniently to the JB customs is no longer just a typical shopping mall with boring franchise restaurants & fashion stores. There is an increasing number of interesting restaurants & cafes that have began operations in JB City Square, some of which I had introduced in my earlier post in July. Here are 2 3 more cool dessert places that only opened its doors to customers since June 2016. In fact, I’m looking forward to Caffe Bene’s opening on level 3 as well! 🙂

[UPDATED IN FEB’17]: 1. Caffe Bene (카페 베네)

Caffe Bene's refreshing Blossom Latte

Caffe Bene’s refreshing Blossom Latte

Before 2016 came to a close, Caffe Bene (카페 베네) finally opened its first outlet in Johor Bahru at JB City Square in December. Conspicuously located on level 3 of the shopping mall directly linked to JB Sentral, the Korean cafe retains its signature wooden interiors like its other branches in Asia, creating a cosy and relaxed ambience. Finally I managed to check out the cafe on my most recent visit to JB in mid-Feb (2017) and saw the current Blossom beverage & dessert promotion. I had been hoping to try their pretty-looking bingsu, but we gave up the idea after looking at its huge size. 😦

So in the end, we order the Blossom Latte (MYR 11.80, S$3.80) each, which was a refreshing concoction of ice blended watermelon & lychee. Perfect drink to quench your thirst, particularly if you love those 2 fruits, because you can actually bite into some watermelon & lychee bits. 🙂 A great stopover for some cool Korean desserts before heading out to JB customs for home sweet home!

Address: Lot J3-13, Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square

Open: 10 am to 10 pm daily.

Official website: Caffe Bene Malaysia

2. Seol Won (설원)

seol-won

Seol Won, which means “snow” in Korean, is a Korean dessert cafe. Located on level 3’s Innercity section, remember to walk right to the end of this section so that you can find the hidden gem just in front of the Korean restaurant Bornga (본가). Seol Won began operations on 19 June 2016, selling popular Korean desserts, i.e. Bingsu of various flavours/ toppings and Injeolmi toasts.

I’ve been there twice, 1st was out of curiosity because I read about it online from other foodies & I wanted to check it out for myself. To be frank, I was not pinning high hopes at 1st because I personally thought the best would still be in Korea (my benchmark was Sulbing’s ultra smooth shaved ice). But I was so surprised when the 1st spoonful of green tea shaved ice glided so smoothly down my throat! :O Not only was the shaved ice standard very close to what you can get in Korea, the scoop of green tea ice cream for my Green Tea Bingsu (MYR 22.90, S$ 7.60) was said to be imported from Kimchi land. Very aromatic taste of real green tea. Love the morsels of injeolmi in my bingsu too. 🙂

Impressed by this great value-for-money bowl of Korean dessert, I introduced my friends to Seol Won recently & we tried the Injeolmi Bingsu (MYR 15.90, S$ 5.30) after dinner. The shaved ice standard remains, just without the yummy ice cream scoop. While both are nice, my personal favourite is still the Green Tea Bingsu. If you love the Korean dessert, be sure to pop by Seol Won on your next visit to JB. It’s not just cheaper than Singapore, but it’s also really quite close to the authentic version! 😉

Address: Lot MKF-01 & 02, Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square

Open: 10 am to 9.30 pm daily.

Official website: Facebook

3. Yokosuka Curry House

The tiny shopfront of Yokosuka Curry House

The tiny shopfront of Yokosuka Curry House

No, I’m not introducing a savoury dessert, although the name of this shop says it sells curry (Japanese curry, to be precise). The star at this little eatery bar just 2 stores away from Seol Won is the popular Japanese dessert – Mizu Shingen Mochi (水信玄饼). In case you don’t already know what this famous dessert from Japan is, it’s a very special & delicate cake that looks like a huge drop of water magically suspended in solid form. The original Mizu Shingen Mochi was created by the Kinseiken Seika Company in Yamanashi Prefecture. Made from water from the southern Japanese Alps, this delicate cake retains its shape only for about 30 min once it’s served at room temperature.

Mizu Shingen Mochi

Mizu Shingen Mochi

Also known as the Raindrop Cake, you can choose from either the original flavour or green tea flavour (both priced at MYR 5.90+, S$ 2+ each). I ordered the original flavour to try. This clear jelly-like cake was actually tasteless but the roasted soybean powder & brown sugar syrup toppings helped to make the dessert flavourful. Don’t forget to eat it within half an hour otherwise it will be gone! 😛 Enjoy the light dessert without the guilt of piling on unwanted calories here, at half of the price you pay in Singapore. 😉

Address: Lot MKF-04, Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square

Open: 10 am to 10 pm daily.

Official website: Facebook

Jalan Dhoby & Jalan Trus

Jalan Dhoby & Jalan Trus are situated within the JB city centre, where many other hipster cafes can be found. Just along this stretch, you can find 3 4 ice cream cafes close to one another. Such fierce competition where only the best will survive! In fact I wanted to write about another ice cream cafe (By Grace) too along the next street (Jalan Trus) but realised that it has shut its doors earlier last month. >.<

[UPDATE FEB’17] Shakespeare Milkshake has taken over the shop space once occupied by By Grace in late Sep’16, but I only managed to visit it during 1 of my cafe-hopping trips in Jan’17.

Read on to find out more about the remaining 3 4 dessert places here. 😉

4. Shakespeare Milkshakes

(From left) Avocado Shake & Berry Shake

(From left) Avocado Shake & Berry Shake

If you have been to By Grace before it closed its shutters, you would have noticed not much has changed in terms of cafe interiors for Shakespeare Milkshakes. In a way, it probably also fits the white theme of the popular The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen, which is the team behind this new venture, other than the pragmatic reason for saving on renovation costs. 😛

As its name implies, Shakespeare specialises in milkshakes, but of course they also offer other sweet treats such as waffles. If my memory didn’t fail, all milkshakes are priced at MYR 16 each (S$5.20), which I wouldn’t exactly label as cheap. I thought the Avocado Shake wasn’t rich enough, as the milk taste was stronger than the avocado. Preferred the Berry Shake which could perk one up with its sour-sweet flavour.

However, if you ask me whether I would deliberately return again for that Instagram-worthy moment, I don’t think so.  Unless I am in the vicinity, say after buying the famous Hiap Joo Bakery (just across the street) buns or banana cake & need to cool down from the sweltering heat. In my personal opinion, it seems that this particular shop location (be it By Grace or Shakespeare) is always selling pricey desserts that are perfect for sharing on social media, but not so yummy for the taste bud. Haha

Address: 9 Jalan Trus 80000 Johor Bahru

Open: 12 pm to 11 pm (Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri); 12 pm to 12 am (Sat & Sun).

Official website: Facebook

5. Sangkaya

sangkaya-shop

Chanced upon the popular Malaysia founded creamery cafe brand in January this year when my friend & I were cafe-hopping in the area. Then, the Jalan Dhoby branch had only opened for about a week & hence bouquets of flowers were still placed at its entrance. I still remember after checking out its signature coconut ice cream, we asked each other how could the cafe sustain just by selling this sweet delight? Little did we know it’s actually a well-known brand with at least 36 outlets in Malaysia! 真是有眼不识泰山 😛

sangkaya-signature

As its tagline suggests, Sangkaya is “nuts about coconuts”. Using fresh local coconut milk as the base for its creamery products, customers will be able to find the coconut not just in its signature ice cream, but also as a beverage or in other forms of dessert. I’ve been there on 2 occasions, & both times I had their Signature 4-scoop ice cream served in a baby coconut (MYR 9.90, S$3.30). After picking up the coconut at the counter, we could help ourselves to the toppings placed by the counter (coconut flakes, roasted peanuts, corn flakes, cereal, sweet corn, red beans & chocolate sauce). We were only allowed to top one time with no extra charge, up to as much as our little coconut could hold. Love the coconut ice cream & coconut ‘cha yen’ ice cream that were really fragrant & creamy. Of course, it was good to be able to bite into the fresh coconut flesh after finishing the ice cream. 🙂

Address: 14 Jalan Dhoby 80000 Johor Bahru

Open: 1 pm to 11 pm (Sun to Thu); 12 pm to 11.45 pm (Fri & Sat).

Official websitehttp://sangkaya.co/#ath; Facebook

6. Koone Softserve

koone-softserve-shopJust across the street from Sangkaya is this striking pink ice cream cafe known as Koone. Koone opened its doors to customers since 12 Nov 2015. Past its cool swinging door at the entrance, & you will be welcomed by a bright & airy looking 2-storey cafe interior. Take your pick from the simple & straightforward menu & order your desired soft serve at the counter.

koone-softserve-ice-creams

Most of the soft serves here are priced at MYR 15 (S$5) each. We tried the Nano Yoghurt & Uji Matcha Azuki which were not only pretty to look at (& snap pics with), but also a delight to eat. If you notice, there are 2 cups being used for each softserve. Dry ice is added to the outer-layer cup for that dramatic effect (& probably to keep it cold for longer time). Be fast if you wanna snap pic of the “smoky dessert”!

NB: Word of caution, the smooth soft serve melts pretty quickly, so don’t take too long to grab your best shot!

Address: 30 Jalan Dhoby 80000 Johor Bahru

Open: 12 pm to 9 pm (Mon to Thu); 12 pm to 11 pm (Fri to Sun).

Official website: Facebook

7. TIP, The Ice-Cream Project

TIP's Cocoraya ice cream

TIP’s Cocoraya ice cream

Just beside Koone Softserve is another ice cream cafe – TIP, The Ice-Cream Project. This cafe has a lovely swing just outside its entrance, which I mistook it as Koone’s property in the past hehe. As I don’t usually visit Jalan Dhoby area in the afternoon, its doors remain closed whenever I pass by, hence the mistake. So anyway, in late July, I finally managed to check it out as I was in the area after 3 pm.

Since it was the Hari Raya Puasa period, they had a Cocoraya ice cream (MYR 14/ S$ 4.70), specially created for the festive period. The 2 big scoops of coconut ice cream were sprinkled with coconut shredding & topped with a homemade sauce (can’t really tell what it was from the taste). Very rich & creamy, coconut lovers would definitely love it! Just that I find it a tad sweeter than Sangkaya’s. There are many other flavours available but I didn’t really take note of its offerings. They also serve coffee & tea to go along with the homemade dairy delight.

Address: 31 Jalan Dhoby 80000 Johor Bahru

Open: 3 pm to 10 pm (Sun to Thu); 3 pm to 12 am (Fri & Sat).

Official website: Facebook

So, with these 5 7 cool dessert places to check out, at more wallet-friendly prices compared to Singapore, surely they will make your JB cafe-hop adventure more complete? End your wallet-friendly adventure on a sweet note without a hassle of travelling too far away from JB customs! 🙂 Check the map below for the exact directions to get to chill at these cool dessert places!

NB: 
"+" for prices = additional 6% GST. 
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