Monday, January 27, 2014

laksa | travel

Marine Parade Laksa
the original Katong laksa
Laksa is a noodle soup popular in Southeast Asia. Laksa can be divided into two categories, curry laksa, a coconut milk based curry soup, or asam laksa, a sour fish-based soup. The most popular type of laksa in Singapore is Katong laksa, a type of curry laksa that originated in the Katong district.


Marine Parade Laksa in Queenstown
The original Katong laksa
The original Katong laksa was created by Mr. Juat Swee Ng, better known by his nickname Janggut, who sold his laksa on East Coast Road. The Ng family has relocated and renamed their shop multiple times over the years and now has three branches. The closest for those on the West side of the island is the small kiosk on the ground floor of the Queensway Shopping Center.

The laksa soup, also called gravy, is made with coconut milk and so much shrimp paste that it leaves a gritty mouthfeel (maybe that's why it means spicy sand in Chinese). The gravy is poured over a bowl of rice noodles, bean sprouts, prawns, and slices of fish cake then garnished with a spoonful of sambal and chopped laksa leaves (aka Vietnamese coriander, rau ram, or daun kesum).  As you stray from tradition, people add cockles (seawater clams), tofu puffs, or even a hardboiled egg to laksa. In Katong laksa, the noodles are deliberately cut short enough to fit on a spoon. Each spoonful delivers a perfect bite of noodles and gravy. No chopsticks required.

To read more about the history of laksa, I enjoyed:
this blog post
this blog post in three parts (III, and III)
lively chowhound discussion

Original Katong Spoon Laksa formerly known as Marine Parade Laksa or Janggut Laksa
Address: 1 Queensway, Queensway Shopping Centre #01-59 Singapore 149053
Public Transportation: take the East West Line (Green) to Queenstown Station, take exit B, take bus 195 and the shopping center is the third stop (one stop after IKEA)
Time: 10am - 9.15pm
Tel: 96221045
Website: http://www.sbestfood.com/originalkatonglaksa.htm

Branches:
East Coast
50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square
#01-64 Singapore 428769
Time: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Bedok
Blk 128 Bedok North Street 2
#01-02 Singapore 460128


Prima Taste Laksa Kit

Katong laksa is one of the hardest dishes to find in the States. When a bowl of laksa in Singapore is $2 or $3, it feels wrong to pay twice that for just the sauce pack. But in a few months, these Prima Taste kits are priceless when the craving for laksa is overwhelming. 

Where to Buy
Available at most supermarkets and grocery stores in Singapore
Also available in Changi Airport

Prima Taste Kitchen
Changi Airport Terminal 3
After immigration
Departure/Transit Lounge North
Mezzanine Level unit No. #03-K2
Hours : 6.00am - 1.00am
Tel: (65) 6242 8508

Honorable mention goes to the Ya Kun Kaya Toast branch in Changi Airport. Why mention airport food? Because this shop is open 24 hours, perfect for travelers on red-eye flights. This bowl of laksa at 5:30AM was my last meal in Singapore.

Laksa at Ya Kun Kaya Toast at Changi Airport

Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Terminal 3 (all terminals are easily accessible once inside the airport)
Basement 2
Opening Hours : 24 hours
Tel : (65) 6241 4341

1 comment:

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