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Johor jive: Indie cafes in residential neighbourhoods in Johor Baru

Published on Aug 15, 2014 11:26 AM

The drive to The Factory 30 by Just Want Coffee is a ride off the beaten path, meandering through small neighbourhoods and industrial estates.

When you find the cafe, which takes up an entire 21/2-storey warehouse building, its black shutters over the main entrance gives passers-by the impression that the facility is closed.

But the interior is decked out with a cool, industrial vibe, complete with brick walls and fluorescent lights. Exposed pipes are used as railings and shipping containers have been turned into rooms.

It all screams hipster cafe in an obscure part of Singapore, but the ringgit signs on the menu - and the very affordable prices - remind you that you are in Johor Baru.

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By car

The easiest way to reach these cafes is by going through the Johor Baru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex via Woodlands.

After clearing customs, head for the Johor Baru Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway - look out for the E14 signs - to get to the Taman Mount Austin and Taman Molek cafes.

The toll-free expressway will get you there in about 15 minutes, if there is no traffic.

Alternatively, you can head for the Lebuhraya Tebrau to get to both these places, though this is a longer and more congested route.

For cafes in Country Garden, Danga Bay, look out for the brown signs pointing out Danga Bay. These will lead you to the coastal road, where you will see an entrance for Country Garden. Drive all the way in, and you will see many restaurants on your left and right, and both Insomnia and W Espresso Sporting Club are located here. Parking is limited.

By public transport

If you are heading to Johor Baru by bus, the best cafe to look out for would be Faculty Of Caffeine.

The Jalan Trus stretch is right behind the popular City Square Johor Bahru Shopping mall.

Landmarks near the cafe include a Hindu temple and a Sikh temple, and an old mall called Plaza Seni.