If you think it’s absurd to name the best pisang goreng (banana fritters) in a region, then you have not met Pisang Goreng Mawar of Johor Bahru. This is where people of JB will direct you to, if you’re looking for a good place for tea-time, or breakfast. As long as you don’t hate bananas, there’s very little reason for you not to love Pisang Goreng Mawar.
I had thought that Pisang Goreng Mawar will be a run down attap warung in a location, plagued car parking issue due to their popularity. Imagine my surprise when it is right opposite of Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru with the Southern Tiger indoor football training ground in construction.
The warung itself is a rather clean-cut building nested inside the tidy compound of Majlis Wanita Johor aka MAWAR. So we know how the banana fritters got its name. As long as the crowd is not too overwhelming, there is adequate parking for customers.
At Pisang Goreng Mawar, a queue is inevitable and it might take a little while, as customers tend to buy their banana fritters in bulk! Seriously!
I’ve always like my banana fritters golden brown and as crunchy as it could be. To our delight, Pisang Goreng Mawar passed the above criteria with flying colors.
Sambal kicap or, soy sauce with ground bird eyes chilies is a signature (and must-have) of any Johorean-made pisang goreng. The sauce’s piquant taste will bring out the sweetness of the banana fritter. Somehow, Mawar’s sauce was not as spicy as other pisang goreng we had in Johor. Still, that was a tiny problem compared to the overall lovely tea time.
Oh, remember I said if you don’t like banana? If you happened to get pulled here by your banana-loving friends, there are plenty of selection you can savor. Nasi lemak, malay kuehs, laksa, noodles and many types of curry puffs.
We had a try at their beef curry puffs which was rather meh compared to its glorious banana fritters. I heard the lontong is rather good, so perhaps next time.
Pisang Goreng Mawar
Address: Off Jalan Sungai Chat, 80100 Johor Bahru. (opposite construction of Southern Tiger Indoor Training Ground, you won’t miss its white bulbous rooftop)
Estimated GPS: 1.461906, 103.741744