[JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia] A garden sanctuary brunch café across the causeway?
Plant lovers will be thrilled.
Eden is the latest brainchild by Wizards, a popular café in KL known for its stylish interior filled with natural greens and fusion dining concept.
Bringing their cosmopolitan philosophy to JB, café goers can now savour what they have to offer at Austin Heights neighbourhood.
It can be reached in good 20 minutes car ride from immigration checkpoint.
It is located in the industrial business area, along the same stretch of road with The FOUNDERS Café.
Upon arriving, there will be a holding area in the outdoor garden while waiting for your seats. After which, a concierge will lead you pass a foliage garden corridor to reach the dining area.
A stylish dining space with soft natural lighting pouring in from the glass ceiling, while the side full length glass mirror features a scenic view of curated botany landscape.
Almost like immersing yourself in a huge plant terrarium.
Not forgetting to mention that the garden is filled with tons of photo-worthy corners.
Did a quick comparison between the menu and identified a handful of dishes adapted from its parent café.
These include Chili Roasted Cauliflower (RM28, SGD8.10), Porto & Avo Burger (RM28, SGD8.10), and Salmon Chazuke (RM35, SGD10.20).
Being usually adventurous on Asian-inspired dishes, I went for the Green Curry Soft Shell Crab Pasta (RM35, SGD10.20), served with spaghettini tossed in Thai green curry sauce, basil leaves and burnt coconut flakes.
While the pasta smelled fragrant when being served, its taste fell slightly short of expectation.
The cream turned out to be overpowering and muted key flavours such as green curry paste and Thai basil leaves spices.
The same went to their Sambal Petai Prawn Salad (RM30, SGD8.70).
I was expecting an intense spicy sambal chilli sauce with unique pungent flavours from stink beans, but the plate of greens ended up slightly on the one-dimensional sweet side.
Perhaps they could probably just throw in a couple of whole petai bean to give it a flavour boost?
From starters to classic brunch fares, you can also expect dishes such as Roasted Pumpkin Soup RM25, SGD$7.30), Eden Big Breakfast (RM42, SGD12.20), Croque Madame (RM28, SGD8.10) and Egg Royale (RM32, SGD9.30).
Thankfully, the Avocado Toast (RM33, SGD9.60) was nicely executed with mashed avocados, tomatoes and poached eggs served on toasted sourdough bread.
I liked that they paired it with pesto sauce which imbued a fresh nutty flavour to the dish.
Another saving grace goes to their Almond-crusted Brioche French Toast (RM35, SGD10.20) and I enjoyed having its soft buttery brioche toast paired with a mix of berries.
Further complemented with mascarpone cream and gula melaka for the additional happy calories.
From the beverages department, unfortunately my dining companions and I unanimously agreed that their White Coffee (4oz) (RM12, SGD3.50) tasted weak and bland, which is my greatest café taboo.
The Wakatake Matcha Latte (RM15, SGD4.40) fared much better with a balance of earthy richness and grassy notes with bitter-sweet umami finish.
Not sure if they are new and still sorting out their operational issues, other than some of the taste misses, food serving speed was also quite slow for a weekday.
So better to manage your expectations. Even though I must say the space is pretty.
Eden by Wizards
19, Jln Tiong Emas, Kawasan Perindustrian Tiong Nam Tebrau 3, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Eden by Wizards
* Written by Lewis Tan @juicyfingers, a self-proclaimed coffee addict. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.