B.A.CA - a book lover's haven

Heard of the KL Book Exchange or the Subang Jaya Book Exchange? 

Well, guess what? Johor Bahru is joining in the bookish bandwagon with B.A.CA - a rent-a-book library where you can read any of the various titles available for free, sell some of your pre-loved reads or if you're kind enough to let go some of your books, donate!

Concept. Staying true to its industrial interior, the organic-looking wooden DIY bookshelves and book stands  at B.A.CA holds over 600 pre-loved reads at the moment, all for your reading pleasure! Brought to you by an avid book lover herself, Klux, who started out by opening the space with her personal collection of books to share with the Johorean booklovers out there. Only a month into business, B.A.CA has grown into a space for people to rent, donate, sell and read books. 

I just want share my love for books and to promote the habit of reading to fellow Johoreans. - Klux, Founder of B.A.CA

Books Available. Everything under the sun. There is something for everyone - from the infamous trilogies and series, lovey-dovey romantics, bestsellers, fantasy slayers (not sure if that' a saying but it sure sounds cool!), non-fiction loves, contemporary reads to locally-written books.   

I made a trip there last weekend to let go of some of my pre-loved reads which has been collecting dusts on my bookshelf at home. I am so glad that my books have a better home now and they are able to inspire more people with B.A.CA :)

Got your book and want a cup of coffee with some light munchies to go with it? Well, we headed downstairs to Pots Industries for some light snacks. Since we didn't want to stuff ourselves before dinner, we ordered off the Kids' menu and went for the mini beef burgers and Big Oreo ice cream - vanilla and peppermint scoops of ice cream in a crispy cone with sprinkles and Oreo on top, to share and I had a Iced Latte. It wasn't fancy food or anything but it was definitely just right for tea time. 

How to get there? It is a block on its own facing the Selat Tebrau seaside, along Jalan Skudai. It is quite easy to miss as Johorean drivers tend to roadbully slow drivers but the key is just keep on the left lane, if you're heading towards town and turn in when you see Brazzo by the bay. Pots is right beside Brazzo and B.A.CA will be on the second floor of Pots Industries.

B.A.CA @ Pots Industries, 2nd Floor
29C, Jalan Skudai
80200 Johor Bahru

B.A.CA opens at 3pm -12am daily.

Sea & Saw, Johor Bahru

Ticking like a time bomb, waiting for the weekend. Saturday night, Saturday night!

It's Saturday!!! Simple Plan's 'Saturday' is on repeat every weekday while I wait for the weekend (cz that's when I have the car to go just about anywhere I want) to come hahaha Today being a Saturday puts me in a good mood and with that comes some motivation to jot down my thoughts on a fairly new cafe in Johor Bahru.

Sea & Saw. Where wood and steel furniture crafting meets horticulture and cafe culture.

Directions. If Jalan Skudai doesn't ring a bell to you (like it didn't to me), it is the road along the seaside. Slow down after passing M Suites Hotel on the left. Sea & Saw is exactly after Eight Lido, don't miss it! I usually slow down cz the turning in is small and if overshot, you'll have to make a huge turn.

Concept. The founder and friends of the pioneer Roost Cafe and Roost Repurposed & Recycled brought us yet another addition to JB town! Situated on top of a hill by the seaside, Sea & Saw has a completely different concept from the Roosts, where it prides itself on pleasing-to-the-eyes wood and steel furniture. I liked that the colour scheme was black, white and brown. Simple.

Horticulture infused with cafe culture, basically means the practice of garden cultivation can be seen all around the cafe! They have succulents, tiny cacti, a random tree bark or two in the cafe, a rather creepy toilet wih plants on the wall and in the bathtub (you have to see it for yourself!), and even a hydroponics area next to the cafe!

Being one of the latest cafes in JB, no doubt there would be many patrons. However, it's definitely not the sole reason why people pay a visit. This cafe attracts cafe hoppers, food hunters, hipsters, OOTD enthusiasts and perhaps, even plant lovers!

Perfect environment for picture taking, chitchat over teatime, relaxing dinner or even a reason just to stay out till late (they're open 3pm-1am)! :P And that explains my twice-in-a-week visit hahaha

Space. One thing that's very common in cafes is the lack of space or seating area. Not an issue for this one, though! Plenty of chairs for everyoneeeee! They have huge blocks of wooden tables for bigger groups, regular sized table for fours, seats by the window for perfect lighting and people watching, table-for-twos, fancy outdoor seating..what more can you ask for?!

Worth mentioning is an outdoor space for use of mini gatherings... like a proposal that took place during my visit with Char! Outdoor seating would be nice once the Sun is down, or you'd be roasting in the JB heat :P

Menu. The range of choice for food and drinks isn't very wide, but it was sufficient. Burgers, spaghetti, quiches, cold-pressed juices, coffee...etc. I wished they had more snacks or finger food though, for when you just want to munch on something during teatime instead of a main dish. They only have two types of chips, for now. The price is of course, regular over-priced cafe prices. One of my pet peeves is having mediocre food that comes with a hefty price..in JB. 


Sea & Saw's chips is in between fries and wedges. Umul and I didn't quite like it cz we wanted fries fries. Definitely should pair a dipping sauce to go with it cz the thickness makes one satiated after eating a couple pieces. That's something to think about.

Salmon & Avocado Quiche, RM15.90

The quiche was unexpectedly yummy! I didn't want a heavy meal then, so I opted for a quiche of salmon and avocado. I was kind of expecting a bland quiche with heavy egg taste, but I was wrong! The sweetness of the salmon and avocado makes a perfect blend for the quiche.

Fish & Chips

Plated on a wooden piece were two pieces of breaded fish, chips and flavourful salsa. Potato overload cz Umul accidentally ordered chips, forgetting her main comes with some of those. I really liked the salsa!! I wish they'd give us more cz I dip the fish and chips in it.

Iced Lattes, RM10.90

Butter Fish Thai Pesto Spaghetti, RM19.90

Didn't taste much Thai in the spaghetti, but the pesto was surely there. Well-cooked fish (aka no fishy smell), although I was hoping for a more buttery taste to it. Nice touch to have one ring of onion :P

Seared Salmon & Poached Egg, RM20.90

Salmons are a hit or miss thing for me. Usually if not cooked properly, there'd be the stinky fish oil smell which I don't like and would struggle finishing it up. So that was my concern when ordering this main. I'm glad the chef cooked it really well! The skin was so crispy, heck, the outer layer of the fish was crispy too! The garlic paste on it is probably to mask the fishy smell, if any.

Poached egg was cooked as well as a poached egg can be, no comments cz it isn't my favourite way to have an egg. Mostly because the whites have a rubbery feel and somehow the taste of yolk neutralizes and becomes tasteless. My favourites are sunny side up and scrambled!

See & Saw
6B, Jalan Skudai
Straits View 80200
Wed-Mon, 3pm-1am

The Ice-°Cream Project

The one-less-Black Widow meetup last Wednesday turned out to be rather fruitful when we tried out a 3-week-old baby ice cream shop on Jalan Dhoby.

The Ice-Cream Project (TIP), a business run by an ice-cream passionate is situated right smack in the middle of Jalan Dhoby, just opposite IT Roo Cafe. The shop lot doesn't have a huge signboard for you to notice it, just plainly-painted dark grey (colour hex #202020). Do not fret though! There is cute swing from our childhood days and a striking green carpet (fake grass) under it which aids in finding the shop :)

Parking would be more of a hassle during daylight as the roads are narrow and not many parking lots are available. Many people like to dine around that area, resulting in no parking. What Char likes to do is to park at the post office and walk from there. At night, there'd be a better chance of scoring yourself a parking lot on Jalan Dhoby.

The swing isn't just for nice, it's usable too ;)


Welcomed by the strong smell of milk as we stepped in, I set my mind to try out their ice-cream in Original flavour- none other than milk. Fyi, the milk smell was more sweet than stinky like milk factories haha I've been to one and will never forget the stench.

The ambience is cool and cozy, perfect for catch up sessions with friends and even studying or doing some work on the laptop. It is double-storey and I'm sure there is ample space for patrons to fill up because downstairs alone, with only 2 small cable wheel tables and 2 bigger tables isn't quite enough.

thumbs up for the creativity!

The tiny chairs/stools are rather uncomfortable cz the width of the metal bars are too close, making my butt hurt. It would be suitable for kids, but not grown ups.. Hopefully they get those replaced with other kinds of short stools. Noting the fact that they want the old school and vintagey look, I remember when I was a kid, my grandma had a wooden short stool that we would sit on outside the house. So that's one idea :) Orrrr...smaller cable wheels! Ah hah!

each cable wheel table can fit 2-3 people

Menu-wise, it consists of mostly light refreshments to sip on while chit-chatting with friends during tea time. No heavy meals available here, just a heads up. Upon arrival, I expected more flavours of the homemade ice-cream because the shop's name gave me the impression that it's all, if not mostly about ice-creams. Maybe they'll have more of a variety in the future, at least I hope so. TIP also serves Gryphon Tea in various types as shown below on the menu.

Let's talk ice-cream since that was what the shop is named after and also because our goal that day was to try out their ice-cream.

The ice-creams are made on the spot as you place your order. How is that possible? By using liquid nitrogen, of course! This method isn't a new discovery, in fact it has been used since the 18th century. It is however, still rather new in Malaysia...with only one other ice-cream maker I know of which uses this method too- Oh My Gas in Kuala Lumpur.

Basically, liquid nitrogen is super cold that when poured into the mixture, it freezes into ice cream in a tremendously short period of time. This method produces smooth and fine ice-creams as it is free from crystallization from the rapid freezing process.

the young boss who was donning a red Thai pants that day made Char feel like he's her friend haha (she loves Thai pants)

I've never had milk-flavoured ice cream ever, so I decided to give it a shot. He said this flavour is for those who love milk or else the taste would be strong for them, technically not for the faint-hearted haha I don't particularly love milk, but I do like it and drink it every morning so I wasn't intimidated by the remark made.

My verdict is....I really really liked it! It smells strongly of milk powder and tastes of it too. Although growing up, Sustagen's chocolate milk always won my side, I really enjoyed om nom noming my milk ice-cream :D I'd list this flavour on the must-try list if there was one cz it's not very often you find ice-cream in milk flavour AND taste this good. As a result of the no-crystallization, the ice-cream was seamlessly smooth and soft that I enjoyed scraping it into a flawless dome surface as I ate haha

so good, can't waste even a drop of melted ice-cream

Char had what's called Brownies & Cream, a nice twist given to the regular Cookies & Cream. She loved her ice-cream and said she would definitely pay them a visit again because of their ice-creams. The generous huge chunks of brownies blended into the ice-cream was delicious and played a big part in flavouring the ice-cream!

I had a spoonful of it, but couldn't really make up the taste because the milk ice-cream was overpowering. I took another small scoop once the milk flavour has toned down a little and found that the brownie chunks was yummy, rich and the best part- chewy :D

milk // brownies & cream (RM10)

Overall, the ice-creams were up to expectations and let's hope they come up with more unique flavours for the menu.

Upon leaving TIP, we noticed a notice (NOTICEPTION :O). A shout out to those looking for a job, here's one to consider! TIP is looking for people to join their team, requirements as stated on the notice (card)board. Note that the pay will be low, which is why I didn't consider it haha I'd say TIP would make a good place to gain experience in ice-cream making and basic F&B services besides smelling the sweet smell of milk for 12 hours a day XD Give it a try if you need something to fill your time with :)

 The Ice-Cream Project
31, Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru