We went on a road trip to JB last Sunday. We went for 2 reasons: we wanted to check out Marlborough College as well as visit the new Johor Premium Outlet and see if it was anything remotely similar to the amazing Woodbury Common Outlet just outside New York (owned and built by the same group).
Marlborough College was quite surreal in the sense that it wasn’t what I had imagined it to be (I am not quite sure what I had imagined…). The very modern architecture – see pic above, snapped from the car window – is a huge and obvious break with the tradition and history of a school like Marlborough: English public schools are always steeped in history which is somehow a huge part of their appeal. That, and the fact there are in England (Marlborough being a sleepy little market town in Wiltshire).
Isn’t a big part of sending your children there, apart from to get an English eduction, an opportunity for them to also get a slice of English country life? I’m just not sure how that can be transported to Malaysia.
The only other thing that really struck us, having been naughty schoolchildren ourselves, is that there is nowhere to smoke (a big part of public school life)! Being such an open site with absolutely no trees – perhaps they will ship them in once everything’s built? – there seems a lot less scope for misbehaving (no smoking and getting away with it; no sneaking off into town as you are miles from JB and surrounded by jungle). No bad thing of course, now that I am on the side of the parent.
It will be an interesting school to watch though, as if it’s a success it’s not only considerably nearer than Marlborough proper, but also considerably cheaper.
RESTAURANTS: TECK SING, JOHORE BAHRU
Our whistle stop tour was punctuated by a quick lunch at a well known local eating house in the Sentosa area of JB called Teck Sing where they specialise in herbal chicken. Juicy and tender, it’s cooked in a paper bag, doesn’t taste at all of herbs and has a lovely rich gravy. Yum. I took a picture of our chicken but it was so badly presented (it arrived upside down), all you could see clearly in my photo was the paper bag it was cooked in. Here’s one of their shots which gives you a slightly better idea. It still looks unappetising, but you will just have to take my word for it.
Teck Sing, 3-5 Jalan Satu, Tamen Sentosa 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor.
T: 07 334 7025; www.tecksing.com
SHOPPING: JOHORE PREMIUM OUTLET
I’m sorry to say that Johore Premium Outlet was actually quite disappointing. We were there with another couple and the only people who actually bought anything, most unusually, were both men. Prices weren’t as low as they are in the New York outlet – of course they weren’t going to be – even though the websites for both purport to offer 25%-65% savings; I suppose that prices in Asia are just 25%-65% more expensive in the first place.
Quite a few of the usual suspects were there in terms of the brands: there was Ferragamo, Coach, Ralph Lauren, but nothing desperately exciting and really probably not worth the trip.
Teck Seng chicken image via SG Food