Situated away from the hustle and bustle of Johor Bahru downtown, Openwork Coffee stands alone. By far, it is the only gyoza and coffee joint in town. When a reason behind this quirky pairing was sought from the proprietor, this eatvestigator was told that Johorians loved to chat over coffee and gyoza. Hmmm, not that there are many gyoza joints around. The location is a mere 5 minutes walking distance away from DoubleTree JB.
The cafe features clean lines and rustic furniture, while overlooking a forest valley. The proprietors offered up a serving of original gyoza (RM12) and namesake coffee.
The Papaya Milk Yakult Foam (RM14) was yet another curiosity on the menu. It was light on the palette and refreshing after a hot day’s walk. They also dished up a heaping good donburi in this Chicken Bowl (RM17) that consisted of fried chicken and yolk laid over fluffy rice and whole grains with vegetables.
The accompanying appetiser Prawn And Squid Salad (RM14) was another winner, reminiscent of Peranakan tones,with its fried taukee slices paired with a cooling salsa medley.
Despite the diminutive range of food on the menu, this eatvestigator welcomed the inventiveness and subtle tones of the available food pairings. Perhaps if you have an afternoon in JB to spare, make your way here for some coffee and gyoza.
236 Gim Shew Building, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak
Fancy yourself some affordable all-day brunch, Faculty of Caffeine (FOC) has it. It won’t break the wallet and the Ringgit is a wonderful all-time low to the SGD. Not that you will care. This place has rustic food and industrial served together on a plate.
Drum roll for the (not too) Generous Breakfast (RM17.5) which the eatvestigator managed to wipe clean. You get a whole tomato and sautéed mushrooms, it was more the delicatessen department that was lacking. A sausage or some proper cold cuts would have helped.
Space is pretty tight, with some room at the bar. Luckily no one is being chased away even after you finish your coffee. That leaves plenty of time and room for desserts! The real redeeming part about of FOC are the experimental desserts that are rotated for the day.
This Salted Caramel Affogato (RM11.5) sure melted away fast. That was one crunchy pretzel. The sea salt didn’t really stand out much.
The croissant with banana split made for good coffee time snack. All told, brunch and dessert can be had for the price of a main in Singapore. Let’s hope not too many people find out about this.
The team behind FOC has also launched a new establishment by the name of The Replacement. This will be next on the Eatvestigation.
9am to 6pm
106 Jalan Trus
8000 Johor Bahru
Out in the moonlight charmed rice fields of Bali, there is a ranch and its sister restaurant. Far flung from the urbanized mess of Kuta or Seminyak, the latter has a romance that would draw you back to it, again and again. Here, the grills and hand-made Italian pieces plead for one to dine al-fresco under the moonlit sky. Unfortunately on such a night, the drizzle compelled us to take shelter indoors. The symphony began with a complimentary brush of Salad on bruschetta. Such was the hospitality of Bali that complimentary appetizers of artisan bread appear to be the norm at most establishments.
First came the Tuna Dill Medaillons (est ~$15.00), pan-seared sashimi grade tuna which did not seem to speak the same language as the freshness of the country air. Nevertheless the piece dé resistance made its appearance with the Ravioli Carouselle (est ~$15.00), carrying five different varieties of ravioli fillings (butter, tuna, mushroom, roquefort cheese, balinese spices).
Ending this concerto was a thick and gorgeous concoction of chocolate mousse ($6.00) with a dash of peppermint leaves that wafted into the air of the fields and night. With such hearty goodies at pocket friendly rates in timeless charm, one would do well to make a date here the next time Bali beckons.
Jalan Umalas II, Bali 80361 Indonesia