8 delicious and cheap dim sum restaurants to try in JB

PHOTO: Instagram/a.mandayong

If you’re sick of Swee Choon, Johor Bahru has the answer for cheap and good dim sum bites.

Whether you’re on a petrol run or on the way to Legoland, hit these places on our list which we sourced through insider recommendations. Bonus: Most of these outlets are within a half-hour drive from the checkpoint.

Although prices here are a bit steeper (by around a dollar or two) than at other outlets in the list, it is the most convenient to get to.
Canton-i in Johor Bahru City Square mall sits on the third floor, in a corner shop lot.
Known for its Instagram-worthy “piglet buns” and generously-filled purple liu sha bao, Canton-i is worth a shot especially if you are pressed for time.
Its extensive menu goes beyond dim sum to offer other Cantonese delicacies such as congee, aromatic roasted duck, wanton noodles, and even fresh mango desserts.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

Price range: ~$12/pax

Address: Lot J3-05, Level 3, Johor Bahru City Square

106-108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook

80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (5-minute sheltered walk from JB checkpoint)

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The quaint neighbourhood of Perling is known as a pit-stop for those on their way to Legoland, just a 10-minute drive away.
The craftsmen of dim sum at Tasixi are famed for being the best in the area, and they certainly live up to their vaunted reputation.
Crowd favourites include their special “Steamed Otah in Pandan Leaf”, the classic lo mai kai, and siu mai.
Even if you are craving some authentic Malaysian tze char (think sambal kangkong, curry fish head, and hotplate tofu), Tasixi has got you covered with their reasonably-priced items.

Opening hours: 6.30am-4pm

Price range: ~$7/pax

Address: 11 & 11-01, Jalan Camar 1/3, Taman Perling, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (20-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

This one’s for you if you’re keen on ambiance, or would like to experience 1930s-era Shanghai in its full golden-age glory, in fully air-conditioned surrounds.
In short, this is the fancier proposition for dim sum in JB.
The selection is stellar, and has you chowing down on everything from the traditional, like very juicy xiao long baos; to the innovative such as (healthy?) fried avocado rolls. Leave room for the mango sago desserts for after.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm (weekdays), 8am-10pm (weekends)

Price range: ~$10/pax

Address: 56, Jalan Permas 15/1, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor, Malaysia (15-minute drive from JB checkpoint)


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With a reputation having queues of up to 20 minutes, you have to be an extra-early bird to catch your dim sum here.

If you arrive before 8.30am, you’ll first be impressed by the towering stacks of bamboo steamers.

These contain tender gems – you can choose anything from siu mai to fish wrapped in seaweed.

Indulge in the slightly creamy lo mai kai and silky chee cheong fun. While you’re in the area, check out Southeast-Asia’s largest IKEA store which is a 5-minute drive away.

Opening hours: 7am-12pm

Price range: ~$8/pax

Address: 27, Jalan Dedap 8, Johor Jaya, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (20-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

True to its name (which means “usually full-house” in Mandarin), Changman does get very crowded during the weekends and public holidays as locals flock to get a taste of the piping hot sesame balls and loaded xiao long baos.
We’re told that the carrot cake is the bomb, and has a strong hit of X.O. sauce.
Or, take a break from dim sum and add the tender steamed chicken dish to your line-up in the meal.
For dessert, Changman offers FREE potong ice-cream. Flavours range from coconut to coffee, and red bean.
Talk about saving the best for the last. 

Opening hours: 8am-5.30pm

Price range: ~$7/pax

Address: 24G, 26G, 28G Jalan Bestari 5/2, Taman Nusa Bestari, 81200 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia (20-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

Restoran Gim Cheng is one that is extremely popular amongst the locals because of its quick service and light fried dishes that even the most health-conscious foodie won’t be able to resist.
Insiders say that this eatery is most famous for its homemade char siew bao, while close second must-try are the golden custard buns.
Also on the menu are prawn banana fritters and carrot cake. A big plus is that you get to dine in a well-ventilated open space.
A tip: Go before 9am to avoid the crowds and get a taste of everything they have to offer.

Opening hours: 7am-1pm (closed on Wednesdays)

Price range: ~$7/pax

Address: No.2, Jalan Sagu 36, Taman Daya ,81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (20-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

If you’re willing to travel a bit further out for steamy goodness (say, 30 minutes from the checkpoint), then you’ll find that the dim sum here is worth going the extra mile.
It’s all steamed fresh to order, and the time you spent on the road is made up for, since your dishes arrive so quickly.
Popular items include carrot cake, har gow, scallop dumplings, and the smooth “Three Flavour Taste Tea” (a balanced blend of the bitter pu erh, sweet chrysanthemum, and herbal licorice root).
The prices are to die for. Dishes like the xiao long bao are at an unheard-of RM5.50, or approximately S$1.84 (where can we find such options in Singapore?!).
Pair everything with YamCha’s homemade chilli paste. The best thing is they are open all day, every day, so there’s really no reason to not work this one into any JB itinerary.

Opening hours: 7.30am-5pm

Price range: ~$8/pax

Address: 4, Jalan Seri Orkid 31, Taman Seri Orkid, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia (30-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

8. RESTORAN HWA YI 好谊记点心茶室
Despite being located in a rather secluded part of the town of Skudai, Restoran Haw Yi still attracts the crowds, especially during the weekends.
Their pork/prawn chee cheong fun drenched in light soy sauce are to die for, and the seasoned pork ribs taste delicately sweet.
It is also a 10-minute drive away from the newly-opened Paradigm Mall of 600 shops.
Forget JCube, this largest shopping mall in the state of Johor boasts the first ice-skating rink in Johor Bahru, with all-day prices starting from RM25 ($8.40). Now you know where to go to walk (or skate) off your Dim Sum feast!

Opening hours: 6am-3pm (closed on Wednesdays)

Price range: ~$7/pax

Address: 20, Jalan Hang Tuah 28, Taman Skudai Baru, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia (30-minute drive from JB checkpoint)

This article was first published in The Finder