Roost Jalan Dhobi JB

Roost Juice + Bar
9 Jalan Dhoby
Johor Bahru
80000 Johor
T: 017 726 7489 (Sea)
FB search: Roost Juice+Bar on Facebook

Ex-trannie hangout turned hip ‘hood….
Once infamously known as JB’s bapuk central, Jalan Dhoby now attracts a different kind of patron. Gentrified several years ago, the roads around this city square have been bricked over and seedy recreation has been banished, leaving behind the perennial Indian garment stores and barbers that make it JB’s unofficial Little India and an exceedingly popular haunt for photography enthusiasts. Among the attractive kaleidoscope of pre-war shophouses is a smattering of hip restaurants and bars that have opened post-revamp, with café-bar Roost being the first to put a fresh spin on this once-dodgy locale.

Text + images April Kuan

Opened in 2005, a visit to Roost is a lesson in appreciation of all things vintage and pre-loved. The furniture and ornaments within this two-level café-bar are regularly sourced by Sea (fondly known to friends as Ah Hai) from junkyard sales and the karung guni. There are more antiques and curios on the upper floor, which also houses The Girl Next Door, a boutique selling vintage clothing, collectibles and lomo cams that also doubles (triples) up as a hair salon. Still, what we want to know is, where have all the nyahs gone?

Clientele Music lovers, JB’s hip and fashionable set, and the curious.

Music policy Easy to digest indie rock and folk tunes. On event nights, visiting DJs like Twilight Actiongirl, Foulworks, Mixing In Action, KBnL and Junk Junkies crank up the volume with the sounds of indie electro and whatever else is going.

Drinks Tiger RM11/bottle, RM49/bucket of 5 bottles, Heineken RM12/bottle, RM55/bucket of 5 bottles. Big on the juices here, which are served up in pint-sized buckets, the MangoTango, a delicious mix of mango and yoghurt (RM6.90) is the house favourite. All prices are nett.

Happy Hours None here as prices don’t get much better than this.

Eats Local and Western. The Chicken Chop (RM12.90) comes highly recommended, but don’t knock the Roasted Chicken Whole Leg with Rice (RM14.90) and Hainanese Beef Noodle (RM8). Favoured snacks include the Chicken Popcorn (RM8.90) and Chicken Cheese Nugget (RM9.90). All prices are nett.

Service Always prompt, although there might be a bit of a language barrier with some of the foreign wait staff.

Door policy Free as a bird.

Dress code Who cares? What? Are you some kind of hipster?

Open Mon-Sat: 10am-4pm, 6pm-12mn; Sun: 5pm-12mn.

Parking Mon-Sun: 9am-6pm: public parking with coupons 40 sen/half hour, 60 sen/hour, free after; Sun & public holidays: free.