Frequent travellers to Johor Bahru will probably find the name of this bakery extremely familiar. In fact, it is so popular amongst Singaporeans, you get plenty of airfrov requests just for their banana cake.
Nestled amongst new hipster cafes sprouting up on the same street, Hiap Joo has been holding fort since 1919.
Widely known for their banana cakes which is the most popular item on their list, most of their items are freshly baked buns which runs out as early as before 12pm. Rumour has it that their buns and the coffee and butter cakes which are only available on Wednesdays are equally wonderful. Regretfully, I have only tried the banana cake since that’s the item usually available after we brave through the weekend traffic.
Nearing the bakery, you can smell the distinct fragrance of freshly baked cakes coming out of their oven. The bakery still uses fire wood to cook some of their ingredients giving it that extra layer of roastiness absent from modern appliances. The entire bakery looks straight out of the 1980s with walls smoked black from the firewood and simple shelves and counter tops to cool the cakes.
The banana cakes are packed into plastic boxes once they are slightly cool but to prevent condensation, the staff usually keep the covers open. The cake is best eaten warm but taste as good chilled too.
When eaten warm, the cake is very soft and moist with a fresh banana sweetness. When chilled, the cake is still soft but slightly stiffer and dryer. The cake is a great choice for breakfast or tea. People usually grabs boxes of them so don’t miss them if you are in JB.
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000
Operating hours: 7.30 am to 5.30 pm. 12 pm to 5.30 pm on Monday and Closed on Sunday.