He said we’re really lucky to be able to “earn in SG and spend in JB” as it’s such a short trip over the Causeway. I agree. It’s really convenient to pop by JB even without a car – just take public transport. During this trip to JB, we visited our current favorite – Paradigm Mall – and also Sutera Mall which we used to frequent. And although I cannot stand the stench of durians, I did take a few bites of the pungent fruit this time. GASP. (@_@)
They seem to have ‘upgraded’ the bus – from rickety to rather plush:
The bus ride from JB customs to Paradigm Mall cost just RM2.20 per pax. Once you reach the bus terminal, there’ll be people ushering you to the right bus. Just state where you want to go.
Only 1 thing I want to eat at Paradigm Mall:
Once again, I ordered my favorite Tuna Mayo sandwich from LIANG Sandwich Bar. This item costs just RM7.90. It’s like a super crispy prata enveloping the fresh veggies and tuna. For just RM2, you can add a drink. And we had the Iced Peach Tea, which was surprisingly good. He went with ‘Jay Chou’s Favourite’ as his choice of sandwich and it turned out to be something like chicken ham and honey – I found it tasted so odd. Sure wouldn’t put it on my list of favorites.
Also ordered Gong Cha’s Earl Grey Milk Tea with Ai-Yu Jelly and White Pearl which cost just RM 11. I’m someone who isn’t very adventurous when it comes to food. If I find that something tastes good, I’ll just order it again next time, without bothering about the other items on the menu. Makes life simpler, no? Too many people stand in front of extensive menus and seem to get paralyzed when confronted with so many choices. And then regret this new choice if it isn’t as good as the previous one. I cannot understand this sort of people. Just stick to what’s tried and tested!
After shopping at Paradigm Mall, we decided to get a cab and go to Sutera Mall. It was raining when we stepped out of Paradigm and headed to the taxi stand – thankfully I had an umbrella in my bag. Why the taxi stand is located so far away, I do not know. (@_@)
Taxi touts outside Paradigm Mall wanted us to pay RM20 for a ride to Sutera Mall, which is really not very far from Paradigm. By “touts” I mean taxi drivers who drive taxis with prominent messages on the cab doors stating that these are metered taxis and haggling is not allowed. The audacity. Previously, we even tried to bargain with one such driver and his retort was “What’s 5 ringgit to you Singaporeans?!” I simply turned and walked away. It’s money, that’s what. I’m sure there are many other Singaporeans who would be willing to part with any sum these guys state, but I believe we (or rather, I) shouldn’t be encouraging these drivers to forego metered fares and start stating whatever price they want. (Don’t encourage such behavior, ok?)
You’ve just got to be really patient and wait till a taxi driver who is willing to switch on the taxi meter appears. Our ride cost RM10.50, almost half of what the other drivers wanted us to pay. Bless this good man’s soul.
We had lunch at EverGreen Restaurant located at L1 of Sutera Mall, and next to the mall’s Aquarium with REALLY BIG fish. I think the biggest fish might be at least 1.8m long.
We had the Specialty Curry Fish Head (RM37), mantou (RM6.80), Fried Mee Suah (RM9.50), coffee (RM3.20) and (fresh) Pineapple Juice (RM5.80). The bill came up to RM69.30, just over 20SGD. The fried mee suah was delicious while the mantous were much bigger than expected and served warm and fluffy. The curry fish head was decent, though we wondered where the claypot had gone – the fish was served up in aluminium foil on a plate.
To our surprise, Sutera Mall has a public library within! And it’s gorgeous inside. It’s certainly as attractive as our libraries here in Singapore.
We also wandered around the area near the mall, which has lots of coffeeshops, pubs, specialty stores, etc.
We chanced upon this ice cream shop called ‘Inside Scoop’ which apparently has many branches in Malaysia. They were totally out of waffles and ice cream cones, and almost out of ice cream as well. Because of the public holidays after the elections, there were no deliveries.
I like the decor:
We enjoyed the Valrhona chocolate and another something-Tango flavor. The double scoop of ice cream cost RM13.50 and we also had to top up RM3.80 as we had selected the premium flavors.
My first taste of durian in decades:
There are 2 durian stalls along the main road, which you’ll see as your vehicle is turning into Sutera Mall’s carpark. We found that the stall on the right (when facing the main road) had a lot more customers so we picked this stall. He had 2 durians for a total of RM10 while I had the fresh coconut for RM4.
Mistake: Ordering 2 durians at the same time. One tasted good while the other was rather lousy. There was a mother-and-daughter pair at the table next to ours and they ordered durians one at a time, taking their time to enjoy each fruit. So the boss always made sure they liked each durian they were served so they’d order more.
From Sutera Mall to the JB customs (Woodlands checkpoint, not Tuas), the metered taxi fare was close to RM30. Not sure how much the touts would have asked us to pay but I’m glad we found a Chinese uncle who was not only friendly and chatty but also willing to turn on the meter. According to him, 4pm to 7pm is when traffic jams can be expected, but there’s also a second ‘peak hour’ from 9pm to 10pm. So heading home between 7pm and 9pm is best. You’re welcome. 😀