For those of you who can’t get enough of shopping in Johor Bahru (hello, RM3 to S$1 exchange rate), here is a new mall to add to your list when you next cross the Causeway. R&F Mall, which soft-launched just yesterday (March 28), is opened by the folks behind JB freehold condominium R&F Princess Cove (which is beside the mall).
1 of 24 - Causeway link
Both buildings are located next to the Causeway which leads to Singapore’s Woodlands checkpoint. In fact, you can see the bustling Causeway and R&F Princess Cove, the building shaped like an Issey Miyake Bao Bao bag in this picture, from certain parts of the mall.
2 of 24 - Walkable from JB’s customs checkpoint
You can walk from JB’s CIQ checkpoint to R&F mall via the CIQ link bridge in about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a relatively nice, comfy sheltered walk which helps you save money and dodge traffic jams; don’t be like us and follow Google Maps, which led us on a wild goose chase till we… gave up and just ordered a RM5 (S$1.80) GrabCar ride.
3 of 24 - Gimme mall
But first, 8days.sg did the legwork for you and sussed out whether you should race down to the three-storey mall this weekend to spend all your ringgit. We shall not hold the suspense and tell you the straight truth: do not go down to the mall anytime soon.
4 of 24 - Under construction
Just like our experience at the massive Capital 21 mall, which soft-launched in JB last October but was still heavily under construction at its time of opening, R&F Mall was also nowhere near completion when we visited it today. Most shops were hoarded up, and the floor was slightly dusty from construction work. But compared to Capital 21’s dismal opening, R&F mall is in better shape: we were able to walk around the cavernous mall and admire its architecture.
5 of 24 First impression
From its main entrance flanked by residential buildings, R&F Mall looks awfully cramped. But don’t let its narrow entrance fool you. The mall houses some 106 retail stores, with 46 of them being F&B establishments.
6 of 24 - Round and round
If you wanna visualise what R&F Mall looks like, just picture VivoCity or Ion Orchard (R&F Mall is, surprise, surprise, built by the same team behind Ion Orchard). Like the two Singapore shopping centres, this JB mall is structurally round, with shops circling an outdoor atrium in gorgeous arcs. It also kinda resembles the upcoming Jewel Changi Airport, which is donut-shaped, though at 74,322 sqm, R&F Mall is about half the size of Jewel (which is a whopping 1,440,000 sqm).
7 of 24 - Open air concept
Part of the mall is built with an open-air concept similar to Westgate mall at Jurong East in Singapore. There’s no air-con, but despite the sweltering Malaysian heat, the mall building design allows for cool breeze from the sea surrounding the nearby causeway to circulate around the space. Nice.
8 of 24 - Mall stuff
When we entered the mall, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in another ‘land’: instead of the mall facade’s clean, white and minimalist look, the mall interior is beautifully decked out in wood, with dramatic, organically-shaped wooden columns rising towards a gigantic geometric skylight. Prepare to Instagram like mad y’all, ’cos this place is chio.
9 of 24 - If Muji had a mall…
We would expect it to look like this. Read on for the cool stuff you should check out in the mall.
10 of 24 - Bubble tents
Most malls don’t boast its own Insta-corners, but R&B Mall has a central indoor atrium which houses three glass bubble play-tents. Other than it being a place to drop off your kids while you shop, you can also bloat your Instagram feed with the photo ops here.
11 of 24 - Pretty in pink
We predict that this hot pink tent with a giant teddy bear, ball pit, huge donut floats and floating cotton wool clouds will be perpetually crowded with Instagrammers.
12 of 24 - Garden party
Or gather your squad for a tea party pose in this charming floral hothouse.
13 of 24 - Gimme some space
For the dudes who want a photo for the ’gram without a pink Barbie House background, this galaxy tent with telescope props is just as cool.
14 of 24 - Emperor Cinemas
Hong Kong conglomerate Emperor Group launches its luxury Emperor Cinemas in Malaysia for the first time at R&F Mall (it currently has cinemas in its native Hong Kong, and China). The cinema promises an atas movie-watching experience: while you’re engrossed in the flick, you can also charge your phone at your seat, connect to Wi-Fi, and recline your chair, which comes with an adjustable legrest. Now, who’s planning to catch the three hours-and-two minutes Avengers: Endgame here?
15 of 24 - Wait a minute
Too bad the cinema was just a pile of rubble when we peeked inside its hoarding… for now lah. Let’s hope it will be completed in time for Avengers’ release on April 24 next month.
16 of 24 - Hipster salons
There’s a beauty ‘wing’ in this mall, which is where the mall’s hair salons and nail parlours and massage joints are located. We spotted two sleek-looking, side-by-side hair salons. Showlin Beauty Salon (pictured) has a stylishly sparse, neon sign-lit interior that warms the cockles of our hipster heart.
17 of 24 - Feels like we’re in Japan
It all reminds us of the chic Japanese salon Itto + Lim in Singapore, but at one-third the price for hair services.
18 of 24 - Planted here
If you prefer a rustic, botanical backdrop for your new hairdo ’gram, e3 Salon next door is just as stylo.
19 of 24 - Tui Na Massages
There’s also a massage parlour called D Asia where, according to its menu displayed at the door, you can get a Meridian Tui Na Therapy massage, fire cupping, ear candling and herbal soak. And your standard body massage and foot reflexology lah.
20 of 24 - Drink bubble tea and eat fried chicken
If you need to recharge with a drink, the now-ubiquitous Taiwanese bubble tea chain The Alley has an industrial-chic outlet here too. We are pleased to report that the air-con here is strong, there are plenty of seats, free Wi-Fi and… electrical outlets tableside, if your phone battery suddenly dies. Korea’s famed Kyochon fried chicken chain is also opening an outlet here, though it’s still currently under construction.
21 of 24 - Sip on Instagrammable juices
Taiwanese juice and smoothie chain Gocha Bar is also opening its first Malaysian outlet at R&F Mall. It looked sleek, though it wasn’t open for business when we were there, and there was a staff member cleaning the glass doors.
22 of 24 - Cheap(er) imported ice cream
Boston ice cream shop Emack & Bolio’s has a branch here. It is opening at Jewel Changi Airport too, but the difference is that your ice cream is cheaper here in JB (thank you, exchange rate).
23 of 24 - Swish washrooms
Okay, so we don’t normally recommend people to check out mall toilets. But we have had our share of gingerly answering nature’s call in grotty JB toilets, and R&F Mall’s washrooms are positively luxurious by comparison. There are marble sinks, wood-panelled cubicles, and the toilet is clean and dry (during our visit in the morning before more people started streaming in). It’s like a well-maintained Ion Orchard washroom.
24 of 24 - Supermassive supermarket
Now, comes the most exciting part. For folks who regularly traipse to JB just for cheap grocery shopping (that’s most of us), a massive Jaya Grocer “premium supermarket with a deep assortment of imported products” is opening here. It spans almost half of the ground floor of the mall, and we expect to see many Singaporeans schlepping bulging bags of shopping across the causeway once the supermarket opens its doors. Whee. But we say give R&F Mall a few months to complete its construction and settle down before you chiong there.
Source from : Today Online
Publish Date: 2020-01-22