I like to start a day in Johor Bahru with some good dim sum — there’s just no beating that chill morning vibe surrounded by steaming baskets of bamboo and the chatter of hungry diners as I dig into molten buns.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, then you’ll definitely want to check out these 12 dim sum spots in Johor Bahru for your next breakfast or brunch spree.
1. Hock Chiang Hin (福振兴餐室)
Longtime dim sum fans might have heard of Hock Chiang Hin, also known as the oldest dim sum restaurant in Johor Bahru. Hock Chiang Hin has been operating since the 1940s, and used to be that brekkie spot that everyone would flock to for their signature bao before the old Johor Bahru Checkpoint moved to its current location.
Their prices are definitely also much more affordable, with their signature Big Meat Bao going for S$1.03 (RM3.60) and other dim sum dishes ranging between S$0.51 to S$1.14 (RM1.80 to RM4). Not to mention, it’s just a 10 minutes walk from Johor Bahru City Square mall.
???? 18, Jalan Siu Nam, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 7.30am–2pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
2. Cha Lao Dim Sum (茶楼)
Cha Lao Dim Sum doesn’t need much of an introduction — you’ve probably seen them all over social media, serving customers using push carts laden with dim sum in bamboo steamers akin to that of traditional tea houses in Hong Kong.
Servers will push the dim sum carts around the floor and you can take your pick of dishes directly from the carts. You shouldn’t miss out on their har gow (shrimp dumplings, S$2.80, RM9.80) and Deep Fried Fu Zhok (bean curd roll, S$3.66, RM12.80).
Some of Cha Lao’s specialty dishes do have to be ordered through the menu, like their Portuguese Egg Tarts (S$2.51, RM8.80).
Cha Lao Dim Sum is a little on the pricey side, but you’re paying for quality dim sum in a comfortable air-conditioned environment. Ironically, it’s probably the hottest dim sum spot in Johor Bahru now, so it’s best if you make your reservations ahead of time to avoid the queue.
???? Shop 6, Ground Floor Holiday Villa Hotel, No.260, Jalan Dato Sulaiman 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 9am–5pm (Daily)
3. Hao You Dim Sum (豪友点心楼)
This is an underrated dim sum spot that is always overshadowed by more popular restaurants like Changman Dim Sum and Say Yes Hong Kong Dim Sum. Hao You Dim Sum has been serving quality dishes since more than 30 years ago, and is a source of childhood memories and nostalgia for many locals in the area.
Their Red Bean Baos are a fan favourite, but you should also try out their Chicken Glutinous Rice, char siew bao and braised chicken feet. Any dim sum prepared with their secret savoury braising sauce is bound to be a hit!
Most regulars laud their dim sum for still tasting the same after all these years, and at wallet-friendly prices as well.
???? 1, Jalan Bakawali 50, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 6am–3.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
4. Chi Bao Zi (吃包子香港有馅公司)
This is the dim sum spot you’re looking for if you are tired of having the same old traditional dim sum dishes on every Johor Bahru trip.
Chi Bao Zi serves fusion dim sum — think Black Truffle Cha Siu Bun (S$2.24, RM7.80 for 2) with charcoal dough, realistic cheesy shiitake mushroom buns (from S$0.92, RM3.20), and Lychee Balls (S$2.81, RM9.80) that are actually made of prawn.
Other than the main store, Chi Bao Zi in Bukit Indah, there are two other outlets: Sek Bao (吃饱卖包) at Eco Botanic and Mount Austin. Sek Bao’s menu differs slightly in that they focus on offering traditional Hong Kong mains like noodles and rice in addition to their signature fusion dim sum baos.
Mount Austin Branch
???? 17, Jalan Austin Heights 7/5, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor.
???? 8.30am–6.30pm (Daily)
5. Tasixi Hong Kong Dim Sum (大四喜香港点心楼)
Tasixi Hong Kong Dim Sum is probably your one Cantonese aunt’s favourite dim sum restaurant — and she won’t accept any of your recommendations for other dim sum places because “Tasixi’s dim sum is the best”.
Like Cha Lao Dim Sum, Tasixi also strives to give customers a traditional experience with servers carrying trays of piping hot dim sum around. But don’t just think with your stomach and order everything from the first tray that comes around! Servers will be make their rounds with different trays of food and desserts, so you might want to wait and see what’s available.
The main Taman Perling branch sees crowds of Singaporeans each day, but thankfully they do have another branch at Eco Botanic.
Taman Perling Branch
???? 11, Jalan Camar 1/3, Taman Perling, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 6.30am–4pm (Daily)
Eco Botanic Branch
???? 58 Jalan Eko Botani, Eco Botanic, 79100 Gelang Patah Johor Malaysia
???? 7am–4pm (Daily)
6. Hau Food Station (膳济素食点心楼)
Hau Food Station is out here hard-carrying the entire vegetarian dim sum industry. Hau Food Station is never empty — despite what some meat lovers would think — and their dim sum is so good that veggie haters might even come out with a new appreciation for vegetarian cuisine.
Any of their chee cheong fan (from S$1.23, RM4.30) options are amazing, but their HK Cheong Fun Prawn + Char Siew (S$2.32, RM8.10) is a definite must-order. It is silky, smooth and savoury beyond belief.
Other dishes that are not to be missed are their HK Fried Carrot Cake (S$2.32, RM8.10), Honeycomb Taro (S$2.06, RM7.20), Peanut Seaweed Porridge (S$1.86, RM6.50) and Xiao Long Bao (S$4.30, RM15). Personally, I’m not a fan of mock meat so I’ve always skipped their siew mai, but go for it if you’re curious!
???? 19, Jalan Ekoperniagaan 1/2, Taman Ekoperniagaan, 81100 Johor Bahru. Johor 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 8am–2.30pm (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat), 7.30am–3pm (Fri), 8am–2pm (Sun), Closed on Wed
7. Restoran Kak Kak (佳佳点心茶楼)
Restoran Kak Kak at Plaza Pelangi is another oldie but goodie dim sum spot. They’ve been in the dim sum business since the 1980s, and is a great breakfast spot for Singaporeans entering from the Johor Bahru checkpoint as it’s just a 10 minutes drive away.
Restoran Kak Kak has been preparing their dim sum in the traditional way as well, handmade and steamed with towering steel covers over the bamboo baskets. They used to push trays of dim sum around, but now it has changed to a self-ordering system.
However, it’s still largely the same, and you don’t have to worry about not knowing the names of the dishes— just point to the dishes in the basket and you’ll get them.
You’ll be glad to know that dim sum is calculated at a flat price there. A normal plate of dim sum will set you back just RM5 or RM5.50 for a special plate. Try out their chicken glutinous rice, turnip cake, har gow and porridge.
???? 9, Jalan Maju, Taman Maju Jaya, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 6.30am–12pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
8. Hijrah Dim Sum
Like Hau Food Station, Hijrah Dim Sum’s back must be aching from carrying the halal dim sum industry in Johor Bahru. The Muslim-owned restaurant offers Chinese cuisine, and is a great chance for you to indulge in some good dim sum with your Muslim friends!
You have to order Hijrah’s Salted Egg Bun (S$2.84, RM9.90) that will explode in your mouth when you bite down on ‘em. Legit though, do let it cool down before digging in or you’ll burn yourself. Check out their unique Shark Fin’s “Siew Mai” (S$2.55, RM8.90) and chee cheong fun (from S$2.27, RM7.90) as well!
They also offer main dishes like noodles, rice and vegetables if you’re feeling extra peckish.
9. Gim Cheng Dim Sum Restaurant (锦成茶楼)
Gim Cheng Dim Sum Restaurant is probably the go-to recommendation by Singaporeans when asked about dim sum in Johor Bahru. Many visit Gim Cheng for their fried dim sum, which tastes the best when it’s fresh out of the fryer in the morning.
Customers have also raved about their special house-made mayonnaise which goes amazingly well with their fried items, and how Gim Cheng has over 60 varieties of dim sum that you can choose from.
The typical to-orders are their salted egg buns (S$1.81, RM6.30), fried mango shrimp roll, stuffed cabbage rolls, fried carrot cake and egg tarts. There’s also free refills of tea and free flow of water at Gim Cheng — score!
???? 2, 2, 1, Jalan Sagu 36, Taman Daya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 7am–1pm (Thu to Tue), Closed on Wed
10. Gui Yuan Restaurant (桂苑港式点心茶楼)
If you like more steamed dim sum than fried, then Gui Yuan Restaurant is the one for you. Gui Yuan Restaurant has long been in the dim sum business and is known for their hearty and delicious dishes at affordable prices ranging around S$1.72 to S$2.01 (RM6 to RM7).
Their chee cheong fun is freshly made upon order, but their signature dishes are their congee that’s smooth and flavourful and their highly popular chicken glutinous rice that’s juicy (yes, juicy!) and fragrant. They have selections of fried dim sum as well, though you won’t be able to find as much variety as in Gim Cheng Dim Sum Restaurant.
???? 27, Jalan Dedap 8, Taman Johor Jaya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
???? 7am–12pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
11. Restaurant Tim Sum Peng Siang (品香点心茶室)
Restaurant Tim Sum Peng Siang is a hidden dim sum gem in Johor Bahru. They’ve been serving great dim sum since the 90s, but other than the loyal local regulars, not many Singaporeans know of this underrated restaurant.
Rather than a traditional Cantonese style dim sum, Tim Sum Peng Siang has localised their dishes to fit the palate of the Malaysian-Chinese in Johor Bahru. They don’t offer any fried dim sum, but it’s the only place where you can get a plate of unique yellow ginger mee hoon (S$1.29, RM4.50).
Their steamed pork ribs (S$1.72, RM6) are also not to be missed with their tender meat and a spice level that’s just right. Their tofu (S$1.43, RM5) is praised for its freshness as well.
While Tim Sum Peng Siang may not offer a large variety of dishes, they prioritise quality over quantity, ensuring that every dish on the menu will satisfy their loyal regulars who often come back for the “homemade taste and freshness” that can’t be found at other restaurants.
???? No.118, Jalan Chengai, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor
???? 7.30am–3pm (Wed to Sun), Closed on Mon & Tue
12. Jiah Xiang/Meng Xiang Dim Sum (佳香点心茶楼)
Jiah Xiang Dim Sum will satisfy your random cravings for dim sum at any time of the day — their Plaza Sentosa outlet is open 24 hours, while their other two outlets at Horizon Hills and Mount Austin are open till 12am.
Jiah Xiang’s dim sum is never a hit or miss. You can expect good quality ingredients and dishes from morning to late night. Other than the classic dishes like Golden Bao (S$2.15, RM7.50) and Xiao Long Bao (S$2.15, RM7.50), their shrimp dim sum dishes are also a must-order.
The Cheese Yoba Shrimp, Kataifi Mango Shrimp and Deep Fried Beancurd Sheet Rolls with Shrimp (all S$2.15, RM7.50) are but some of the selections you should try. Jiah Xiang offers quite an extensive number of dim sum dishes so it’s definitely worth revisiting to try out all that they can offer!
Which of these dim sum spots in Johor Bahru will you be visiting on your next trip across the causeway?
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