Update, 2013 – I have been back several times and the service has declined consistently. Last time the food took at least 20 minutes to show up and wasn’t cooked 0 parts of it were still cold [that doesn’t mean not hot, but actually cold – likely it had been frozen and not even cooked enough to get to warm]. Given all the good options in JB, I would not recommend eating here.
I shied away from the Manhattan Fish Market due to the name (it just seems like at least I should try Asian food). Not that there is really any reason for that, but I do feel a bit silly when I am eating western food here. As a traveler I would eat local cuisine, but as an expat I do find I enjoy to eat good western food, which thankfully I have found in several places in JB. I have eaten at the Manhattan Fish Market several times now and I really like their baked fish. They are excellent.
The market is located on the second floor of KSL Mall, in the Johor Bahru CBD. The service isn’t the greatest and the atmosphere is typical mall: not much to like. But the food is great and the price is reasonable (about RM 25-40 for a meal).
Manhattan Fish Market is certainly not a place I would try to visit as a tourist. But for those living in Singapore and Johor Bahru it is an excellent option. From what I have eaten it has been more of a Asian fusion type of food, but some of the other choices are a bit more typically western (fish and chips, for example). So expats or locals can choose what style they prefer.
Related: JB Station Kopitiam at Danga City Mall – Chez Papa French Bistro – Village Briyani Cafe
I thought I had photos from one of my visits, but I can’t find any. I’ll add some when I get a chance.
KSL Mall is one of 5 fairly large malls in downtown Johor Bahru. The others are Danga City Mall, Plaza Pelangi, City Square (right next to CIQ) and Holiday Plaza Mall. The S1 bus will take you between all the malls and runs about every 20 minutes between 10 AM and 8 PM (and less frequently earlier and later in the day).
KSL Mall in Johor Bahru
KSL mall is the newest and has luxury condo towers still under construction. The photo also shows that the area surrounding the mall all has some shops.
Inside the mall there are many choices for clothing, food, and beauty salons. The tenants include Tesco, MBO Cinemas and Sleep to Live. MBO Cinemas is one of the better options for watching movies in Johor Bahru. I would estimate there are over 60 stores (not including restaurants).
Some of the restaurants I like: Sushi King, The Manhattan Fish Market (my one order so far was great and seemed more Malaysian than Manhattan to me) and BreadTalk (bakery). I would guess there are over 40 places to eat.
For the downtown malls I believe City Square is the most used by visitors from Singapore (it is so close to CIQ that it is very convenient). KSL Mall and Danga City Mall (especially for computer and electronic equipment) are the others with the largest amount of Singapore visitors. Though the majority of Singapore visitors go to several of the larger malls outside of downtown, I believe. The malls get very busy on the weekends, with lots of visitors from Singapore, and also others who are off work for the weekend. During the week the traffic in the malls is often very light. The sales staff seems to spend more time using their cell phones (to I am guessing IM with friends) than anything else, during the week.
As with all of the malls I have visited here they have space to let out for daily or multi-day events that usually include incredibly loud speakers. The speakers are often blasting out more than enough decibels to damage your ears anytime you need to get by that area of the mall. I would imagine this helps explain why loud noises don’t seem to bother people so much (once you lose hearing from exposure to lots of excessively loud noise you don’t notice it – because of hearing loss).
Related: JB Station Kopitiam at Danga City Mall – Bus to Jusco Mall in Permas Jaya – Used Bookstore in Danga City Mall