There is a shop that sells roasted duck at Jalan Siu Nam ( Meldrum) which is near to Jalan Meldrum in Johor Bahru. Besides selling duck rice and noodles, the shop also offers char siew ( roasted pork ) and suckling pigs. The shop looks rather dull and worn out; which is a typical look of most of the food shops / stalls in Johor Bahru. I just wondered why these food outlets do not bother to upgrade the image of the shop to make it look more clean, bright and attractive. Perhaps they have the impression that as long as the food that they served are good, customers will continue to flock to buy their food.
Anyway, I ordered a drumstick duck noodle with added char siew and a cup of lime juice. I was there about 11 a.m. in the morning, there wasn’t many customers at that time. I do see people ordering the food and it mostly for takeaways. The roasted duck was rather oily and I could taste some fats in the duck meat. The char siew ( roasted pork) was thick and chunky and surprisingly lean. I like the noodles, as it tasted firm and crisp. The lime juice was rather too sweet for me, though you could request for less sugar. The shop also served their traditional herbal drink, perhaps I will try in next time. On the whole, it was a good meal and I paid slightly less than US$4/= for it, which is cheap.
There are quite a lot of food shops and stalls along Jalan Siu Nam/Jalan Meldrum. During the evening, you can see many stalls offering different variety of food on the back alley. I think this place is more crowded during the evening compared to the day. I will follow up to try the food with other food stalls when I am there again.
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I was strolling along Meldrum Road in Johor Bahru, which is by the way in close proximity to City Square mall. From Meldrum road, you can make a turn and walk to Jalan Siu Nam which leads to Jalan Ah Fook. It is a small area which is interconnected so you will not be lost. I saw Meldrum Hotel which is situated along Jalan Siu Nam. This hotel is just 4 storey in height and located along the rows of shops along the street.
So I have decided to check out this budget hotel. Walking into the lobby, the reception area was small. There were 3 staff at that time manning the reception counter. But the place looks clean and tidy. I asked the staff for the room rates and was informed that there are different categories of rooms available. Anyway, you can get a room for an average of RM120/= per night which is reasonable. As I did not want to stay overnight, I ask whether there is a transit room available. Yes, it was given to me at RM50/- for 4 hours, there is a need to pay a refundable deposit of RM20/-. So I got my keys and proceed to my room.
Surprisingly, there are 2 lifts in the lobby of this hotel. The corridor that leads to my room looks dull but bright. But hey, this is a budget hotel, so I don’t expect carpeted floor along the corridor. As I entered my room, I was indeed surprised to see a clean and comfortable room. There was a queen size bed and a small table and chairs, the TV is still a CRT model type but I could still view TV channels from Singapore. The attached bathroom looks worn out but there is a 2 soap bars and 2 towels. Yes, there is hot shower available. The only complain was that I could hear voices from people chatting outside my room. It means that the wall is thin and the main door isn’t those heavy duty fire proof door.
In my opinion, if you are looking for a budget hotel to stay in Johor Bahru, the Meldrum hotel is a good choice. Don’t worry about food, there are plenty of food outlets nearby. Going to City Square mall is also just a stroll away. But do be careful when walking the streets during the night, as there are still instances of robberies and thefts in Johor. I do see more policemen patrolling the streets which is a reassuring.
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