Johor Bahru Malaysia Night Markets

(Last Updated On: March 3, 2019)

There is no better place to experience the diversity and heart of Johor Bahru than a night market. The universal appeal of good cheap eats, fresh vegetables at bargain rates, and the unexpected encounter or trinket proves to be a universal draw.

Night markets open most days of the week, at different locations. We regularly visited the Monday evening night market outside the KSL mall. It was a huge party for the senses, and everyone and anyone is invited, for free.

Malaysian, Chinese, Thai and Indian cultures have all carved out their own culinary stake in Johor Bahru’s food scene. The best of what each has to offer is here to be found. Classic recipes that have been perfected over years of skillful preparation are all here, waiting for you.

The only question is, how far are you willing to wade into a thick crowd of strangers with no end in sight, all speaking different languages, most of which you don’t understand, to get the prize? (Whatever that prize may be) Even for the timid, it’s worth doing at least once. And for those who find what they’re looking for, it’s worth doing, and greatly anticipating, every single week. 

JB Night Market Food

For us, there were many many prizes. The first we encountered on our initial visit to the Monday Night Market were the shumai dumplings. We had come to love them during our weekend outings to Boston’s Chinatown.  And here they were, steaming away at one of the makeshift roadside stands. 

The second prize was finding Thai Pork Sticks, a favorite street food from our time in Chiang Mai. Sweet and salty bites of pork finished on a charcoal grill. Oh how we missed you, pork sticks!

Thai Pork Sticks
Thai Pork Sticks .   (Credit: KcKate16)

And then there is the discovery of food items that seem to defy imagination. 

Johor Bahru Night Market Fried Squid
Giant Fried Squid

The Giant fried squid looked like aliens had landed on earth and then prepared for dinner. 

Johor Bahru Night Market Hawker
Hawker stand at the Johor Bahru Night Market

We were told that we needed to track down Fried Carrot Cake while at the market. This is exactly what the man above is cooking up. Turns out that radishes are known as “carrots” in Malay. The radishes are preserved, then fried together with spices and lots of scrambled egg. We saw one woman, who clearly has been making this dish for many years, crack two eggs into the pan at once. I can barely crack one open without having to fish out little bits of shell. 

I can identify the rice above, but everything else on offer here goes into the “your guess is as good as mine” category. 

JB Night Market Fruits and Veggies

Jack Fruit
Jack Fruit

Beyond specialty food items, there are also lots of fruit and vegetables for sale, as well as other items such as cosmetics, clothing, kitchen supplies. Jack fruit was a popular item that people lined up for at the market.  Probably because they are enormous, so one family would likely have trouble finishing one by themselves. There were groups of people working together to free the fruit from the interior and dispense them in more manageable sized containers. The flavor is VERY sweet and similar to juicy fruit gum (is that even sold anymore?).

These little brown morsels look like potatoes, but they are actually mini fruits called long kong that have a citrus flavor. You just squeeze them to release the juicy flesh, nibbling around and spitting out the seed inside.

Malaysia Durian
Johor Bahru Night Market Durian

Malaysians seem to love durian. The odor of this fruit is pretty strong and pungent, which is why it isn’t allowed in many places. That makes sense, since the odor heralding their presence typically hits the nose from quite a distance.  It’s not a smell you’d want lingering in your cab if your goal was to attract customers.

Despite the smell, some people can’t get enough of it. This confounds me, but for those who love the fruit, there is plenty to be had at the market. For those who are a little more timid, trying it as a flavoring for some of the interesting confections might be a good place to start. 

Night Market Sweets and Desserts

Johor Bahru Night Markets
Ang Ku Kueh

These glutenous sweet snacks which are either layered or stuffed with fillings such as yam or sweetened shaved coconut (and yes, durian) are readily available for sampling at the Night Market. We actually learned how to make the Red Turtle Kueh (Ang Ku Kueh) at a cooking school in Singapore. They are delicious and so fun to make.

This soy beancurd pudding is another popular dessert. It’s sold warm from the huge pots and layered with syrup.

Lots of the foods available at the Johor Bahru Night Markets are also popular foods in neighboring Singapore. If you are planning a trip to the area, don’t miss our guide for what to eat in Singapore.

What to Eat in Singapore

Another find, below, demonstrates that you can find anything at the night market. We felt bad for the fighting fish. A light bulb isn’t much of a home.

Fighting Fish
Fighting Fish at the Johor Bahru Night Market

Our best advice for those who plan to visit the KSL Monday Night Market, is to get there right when it opens at 4:00 p.m. Things are just getting started, and not all of the food stands will be ready. But, it beats waiting until things get into full swings, unless you are the sort who loves crowds. 

 

Johor Bahru Malaysia Night Market

Johor Bahru

Location: KSL Night Market, outside of the KLS mall entrance, 33 Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Mondays 

There are plenty of other night markets (or Pasar Malam in Malay) in Johor Bahru, so if your travel plans don’t happen to fall on a Monday, no worries! 

Johor Bahru Night Markets

Johor Bahru Night Markets

Bazaar Karat Pasar Malam

Location: 26, 20, Jalan Segget, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

M-F 6 p.m. – midnight, Sat and Sun 7:30 p.m. – midnight

Sentral Meldrum Night Market

Location: 23 Jalan Meldrum, Bandar Johor 

Daily  5 p.m. – midnight

Meldrum Night Market

Location: 23 Jalan Meldrum, Bandar Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – midnight 

Kilang Bateri Pasar Malam

Location: 83 Jalan Tampoi, Kilang Bateri, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 3:00 p.m. – midnight 

Tuesday Night Market

Johor Jaya Night Market

Location: 40 Jalan Dedap 13, Johor Jaya 81100 

Hours: 5 p.m. – midnight

Wednesday Night Markets

Taman Bukit Indah 

Location: Jalan Indah 22/2, Taman Bukit Indah 2, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Thursday Night Market

Taman Impian Emas 

Location: Jalan Impian Emas 4, Taman Impian Emas, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday Night Market

Taman Puteri Wangsa 

Location: Jalan Badik 16, Taman Puteri Wangsa, Ulu Tiram, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – midnight

Saturday Night Market

Taman Munsyi Ibrahim 

Location: Jalan Besar, Taman Munsyi Ibrahim, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – midnight 

Taman Ungku Tun Aminah 

Location: Jalan Perkasa 5, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 6:00 p.m. – midnight 

Sunday Night Markets

Jalan Permas Jaya 

Location: 2020, Jalan Permas 10/10, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Johor, Malaysia

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – midnight

Bukit Indah

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