As a Singaporean, there’s no better way to spend my leave days than with a trip up to Johor Bahru. With all the incredible food and experiences waiting in store via a short drive across the border, I can’t get enough of this amazing Malaysian city. If you’re in search of the perfect spot to spend time in JB, I’d highly recommend checking out JIN Gastrobar.
JIN Gastrobar is a restaurant bar under the luxe cinema brand, Aurum Theatre. They have outlets in The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey and Gardens Mall KL. We paid a visit to their outlet in The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey, which is located on the third floor of the mall.
Their name is a play on the words “jin” and “gin” — ”jin” translates to gold in Mandarin, while “gin” is one of their signature menu items.
JIN Gastrobar presents a luxurious and sophisticated appearance, with classy gold accents and warm lighting filling the space. The restaurant has all sorts of different seats, ranging from comfortable plush sofas to elegant dining tables and bar stools for diners to grab drinks.
I was the most impressed by how spacious JIN Gastrobar was — the tables had ample room between them, allowing for diners to enjoy their meals in privacy without feeling to claustrophobic. As someone who appreciates having personal space, I was in love with the atmosphere provided by the restaurant.
JIN Gastrobar is directly connected to the exits of Aurum Theatre’s cinema halls, each of which contains lavish, Getha recliner seats for the ultimate movie experience. With the restaurant being located right outside, movie-goers can enjoy a fantastic meal right after their film.
Despite that, JIN Gastrobar is also open to the public, meaning that you don’t need to have watched a movie at Aurum Theatre to indulge in their sumptuous offerings!
What I tried at JIN Gastrobar
We first began our meal with JIN Gastrobar’s Chargrilled Chicken (RM38), which was served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. I was impressed by the immaculate plating of the dish, and I was excited to dig into the juicy chicken.
The chicken meat was tender and succulent, while the golden brown skin was satisfyingly crisp. I especially loved pairing each bite of chicken with the mashed potatoes, which were creamy and thick.
The dollop of scarlet beetroot puree on the side was a welcome addition to the dish, as its sweetness provided a flavourful contrast to the more savoury elements.
If you’re looking for a convenient treat to share with your fellow diners, JIN Gastrobar’s Mini Wagyu Burgers (RM35) are perfect. These adorable little burgers come in a set of 3, and contain a thick Wagyu patty, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and gherkins.
This dish also works as both a main and a snack, with it being a great light option to pair with drinks too.
The standout element of these burgers was definitely the juicy and chunky Wagyu patty within. It had been cooked perfectly, ensuring that it wasn’t too dry or crumbly. The cheddar cheese added a slight sharpness to the entire burger, while the iceberg lettuce and tomatoes balanced out the heavier elements with their lightness and refreshing crisp.
The burger buns had been lightly buttered and toasted, with a soft yet slightly chewy texture. They perfectly encased the assortment of fillings inside.
Seafood lovers have to try JIN Gastrobar’s Seafood Aglio Olio (RM38), a beautiful pasta dish made with extra virgin olive oil, bird’s eye chilli, roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes. I was pleased at the wide assortment of seafood, which included prawns, squid and even baby octopus!
I find that of all pastas, aglio olio is one that varies greatly in terms of quality — many restaurants unfortunately do not season their pastas well enough, resulting in a slightly bland and underwhelming dish. Thankfully, JIN Gastrobar presented an amazing take on this dish. Each strand of spaghetti was packed full of flavour from the liberal amount of herbs and spices added, and the dish as a whole wasn’t too oily either. The generous amount of seafood would be sure to satisfy seafood fanatics, too.
Aside from food, JIN Gastrobar is also known for its amazing cocktails and other alcoholic beverages. You must try the 3 Gintonica (RM118), a set of 3 gin-based cocktails that will satisfy your eyes and your tastebuds. The gorgeous drinks came in the flavours of Lemongrass and Lime, Raspberry and Peach and Cucumber and Floral.
We watched as each drink was carefully made by the bartender, who expertly combined gin, tonic and the respective ingredients used to create the Gintonicas.
The Lemongrass and Lime was my favourite, with its bright and refreshing flavours. The sweetness of the Raspberry and Peach was enticing and I loved how fruity and pleasant it was. Finally, the Cucumber and Floral surprised me with its strength, while still being incredibly revitalising and tasty.
To end our meal on a satisfying note, we satiated our sweet cravings with JIN Gastrobar’s High Tea (RM19), which came with a dessert of our choice and a pot of tea.
We got the stunning Chocolate Lava Cake, which was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Breaking into the cake revealed a beautiful molten chocolate centre which oozed out tantalisingly. The cake was crispy on the outside while being luscious, smooth and rich within, and the cold ice cream was the perfect pairing with the warm cake.
The French Earl Grey Tea was equally as delightful, as it was incredibly aromatic and fragrant. Its slightly floral qualities and light taste made it an amazing palate cleanser for the richer Chocolate Lava Cake.
Our meal at JIN Gastrobar was nothing short of satisfying. I loved the wide variety of mains, desserts and drinks on the menu, which ensured that regardless of taste, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Its vast and luxe atmosphere also made it even more relaxing to dine at, and I couldn’t imagine a more sophisticated place to enjoy an affordable meal.
Regardless of whether you are a local in Malaysia, or a fellow tourist looking to indulge in a splendid meal while in JB, JIN Gastrobar is the perfect spot to visit!
Expected damage: RM25 – RM100 per pax
*This post was brought to you in partnership with JIN Gastrobar.