Whenever anyone tells me that they are going to JB, my eyes light up as I thick-skinnedly ask “OMG CAN YOU HELP ME BUY BANANA CAKE?”.
And usually the response from a non-foodie friend will go like huh? WHAT BANANA CAKE?! GO YOUR HOUSE DOWNSTAIRS BUY LAH.
Bitch please. Don’t be rude. Haha! What banana cake am I talking about? Of course, it’s the crazily popular Hiap Joo Bakery located just at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, a stone’s throw away from the customs. Hey, and there are A LOT of cafes nearby too, doesn’t that give you MORE motivation to visit Hiap Joo AND help ME buy banana cakes?
You’ve no idea how many times I’ve had these cakes, but yesterday was my first time there in person, and it felt just like meeting a legend, as I shriek in delight and admiration.
It would be difficult to miss Hiap Joo even though it’s exterior may not be exactly flashy, but you will definitely see throngs of people queueing on the outside after noon, because THAT IS WHEN THEIR FAMOUS BANANA CAKES ARE READY!
The interior of this little bakery is nothing like the ones we have here in Singapore. There are just baskets of breads, ranging from red bean, otah, coconut, peanut etc, wrapped in plastic bags for you to grab and go. Yes BASKETS. Got no nice glass transparent cases.
Most of the area is occupied by this HUGE wood fire oven, that is used to bake ALL THEIR BREADS AND CAKES. No wonder these banana cakes taste just so different from any of the ones I’ve had in Singapore!
DO NOTE THAT THESE BANANA CAKES ARE ONLY READY FROM NOON! And they are all FRESHLY BAKED, while stocks last. And they do not open till late, so HEAD THERE EARLY TO GRAB THEM BUNS!
And these banana cakes are all so evenly sliced by hand! Crazy! But that just shows how much experience these people have!
As most of you would know, I LOVE banana cakes, and I’m lucky to have people who LOVE ME to get me banana cakes from there! Despite having it a couple of times, I just can’t stop raving over these moist, delicious and not too sweet banana cakes. Amazing, is what it is.
Here’s a quick tip! Leave the box overnight, preferably in the fridge, and then consume it for breakfast the next day. I find the banana cake tasting better like this, as it becomes more fragrant, soft, and oooh so moist! The fragrance of these cakes is crazy. It will leave your whole room smelling like bananas. Ah..
Since it was my first trip there, and we had to wait for the banana cakes to be ready, we got their coconut bread as well. Because COCONUT IS MY NEW LOVE.
I honestly did not know what I was expecting from this, but the interior was filled generously with grated coconut and that left me hyperventilating. This was SO DAMN GOOD. Why you do this to me HIAP JOO. Will you marry me already?!
I’ve yet to try the rest of their items, because carbs lah. But I heard that their otah bread is DIVINE too. Probably the rest of their offerings too! Since we arrived slightly earlier before noon, we entertained ourselves by having some great thai milk tea at a store, just one minute away, till we missed the first batch of cakes (which were snapped up in like 10 minutes??!), and had to wait for the second! Stay tuned to find out where we got the milk tea from!
How to get there?
13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru
7.30am to 5.30pm (Closed on Sundays)