Thursday, January 21, 2016

January x Hiap Joo Bakery

January;
is named after Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door since January is the door to the year. 


I'm glad that my birthday month has so much meaning to it, and I most certainly hope that everyone has new doors opened for them in this bright new year. Let's work hard together! :) 

On another note, I am officially Quarter-Of-A-Century old !! Thank you everyone for the warm birthday wishes and gifts, they are well appreciated. I had the best birthday celebration ever at Bali, overlooking the sun, sand and sea while sipping on my cocktail and brushing my toes through the sand while catching sunset. (I will do a separate blog post on my trip to Bali)





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Recently, I've developed a liking to travel across the border to JB. I know it's a norm for Singaporeans to drive over to JB and do grocery shopping as a family or cafe hop. I'm starting to like it considering the exchange rate is favourable for Singaporeans, despite the heavy traffic jam. I've read on the internet that there's a famous old school bakery, named Hiap Joo Bakery, hidden somewhere in the hearts of JB, and they sell the most amazing delicious moist and spongy banana cake. Being a curious Singaporean, I wanted to try how great this banana cake is, so one day I went in and hunted for this quaint little bakery. My first time there was on a weekend and traffic was horrible. My advice is not to drive to the bakery shop as the road there is narrow and a one-way traffic, you could essentially get stuck for 1 hr just in that crampy area. We parked at Komtar Mall and took a short walk over. If it's your first time walking to the bakery, you might get lost. However, just be sure that you are greeted by the aroma of "Little India" and you are on the right track. Reading from Google Map isn't as accurate as it is right now, as there are construction works going on at the moment to expand the road (and this isn't reflected on Google Map). Here's my walking instructions to get you to the shop, starting from Komtar. Please pardon my vague instructions....


According to the map, walk straight down from Komtar until you reach a traffic light junction. There is another crossing halfway through the road but I don't recommend going there as it doesn't link to the destination. Below is a scrrenshot from Google Map that shows the traffic light junction. Bear in mind that it doesn't look exactly like this now as half the road is concealed for construction work. 

But one thing to look out for is the blue sign saying "Klinik Pergigian Amim", which I've circled in yellow. Once you see this sign across the road, where the traffic light is, then you're safe to cross over. 


Once over, turn to your left, and you'll walk past this coffee shop and some small pushcarts. Continue down and past this dumpster lookalike place, you will see some stairs and an abandoned/run down shop. Just keep walking down that stretch of road (you'll probably see cars parked along the narrow street) and you will see this red Galleria building. 



Before you reach the building, turn left and walk all the way down and you will find Hiap Joo Bakery at your right hand side. You will have to turn right onto another street when you see this red structure. 
p.s. I can't remember if it is still red now, or grey in colour.... 





Tadaaa!! You have arrived at your destination once you see this sign, and maybe a long queue. 


This bakery is super old school, every furnishing inside reminds you of the past, of how your parents/grandparents used to live/cook. I love how traditional their wood fire oven is and every banana cake comes out from that massive burning oven. 


It is quite interesting to see how fast each employee works their own role when one banana cake comes out of the oven. Everyone works so efficiently to measure and cut, pack and give out. Besides banana cake, they also sell bread which gets sold out pretty quickly. Although they are open until 5.30pm, their stuff gets sold out pretty quickly. I last went at 2pm and the buns were all sold out, but there were still heaps of banana cakes left (that was on a weekday). 

Trip Advisor
Look at how delicious the cake is. I would usually buy 2 big boxes to share with my family members since they love it so much. One big box of banana cake would set you back about RM 9.50 ? I find it pretty reasonable, only because there isn't any bakery in Singapore which can do such great banana cakes. I've been going back several times to get my/family's cravings fixed and they still taste as good as ever.
A must go visit for all you banana cake lovers!!


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xoxo,
Chye




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