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A Simple Life

By Sep 2022March 8th, 2023No Comments

A slice in Batu Pahat.

Malaysia is known for cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur, glitzy Johor Bahru, touristy Malacca and rustic Penang. Flying under the radar is Batu Pahat.

Batu Pahat is an unassuming small town in the state of Johor.

Originally a remote residential area for royalties, Batu Pahat, which means “chiselled rock” in Malay, is a key manufacturing industrial town for textiles, electronics, food processing, timbre, porcelain and plastic.

Populated by a Chinese majority, Bumiputeras, Indians and low-wage foreign workers, Batu Pahat is mainly accessible by road.

A simple life is evident. Places of worship and dilapidated buildings dot the sleepy, urban landscape.

Look up close, and you will uncover a few gems that speak of a new generation’s entrepreneurial pursuits.

Armed with artistic inclinations and an appreciation for good living, many commercial spaces come to life.

Homemade dishes are infused with cultural influences from Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Europe.

Tucked away in an affluent residential area is Bite Bite at 11 Jalan Susur Perdana Tengah, Taman Bukit Perdana 2, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia.

Helmed by a feisty young lady boss, it is well known for its pastries and cake boxes, all lovingly concocted with French ingredients and local produce.

The wait staff is passionate, attentive and personable.

Anyone is welcome to linger, unwind and discover.


MÒNG Bakery at 15A Jalan Seluang, Taman Banang, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia is a Muji-inspired cafeteria.

Founded by talented patissiers with the heart to bake and serve, the interiors are warm. Neutral colours evoke a dreamy, idyllic setting.

You are invited to slow down, take a breather and enjoy a slice of life.


Pattern Caffeine at 62 Jalan Cengal, Taman Batu Pahat, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia, features eclectic, psychedelic vibes, reminiscent of the good old sixties.

Fairy lights, juxtaposed with clunky television sets, antique decorative pieces and tableware, are a prelude to experiencing how experimental chefs can reinvent Japanese favourites with fresh Asian flavours.


Wooden Box at 20 Jalan Pasar, Kumpung Pegawai, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia, is a co-working space for artistes, designers and independent creatives.

Collectively, they come together to form a modern business community. Moving away from stodgy Chinese clans and hierarchical industry associations, these collaborative creatives huddle over salvaged furniture, turning a worn out shophouse into a vibrant loft for progressive ideas to flourish.


As an outsider looking into Batu Pahat, it is heartening to witness how small ventures with big ideas can bloom.

Often, the young are known to move away from country towns into advanced cities, like Singapore, in search of better opportunities.

But these brave hearts choose to stay and create their own legacies.

It is only a matter of time before Batu Pahat earns its reputation as a creative manufacturing hub in Johor.

Till then, let’s savour every inch of the simple life this humble town has to offer.