Laksa is one of Singapore’s most loved local delights. Speak of laksa and conversations flow endlessly with what variants of laksa one prefers. Some like it rich, some like it extra spicy, some like it without hum (cockles), some like it with lots of them, some like it with thick rice noodles, some like it with thin vermicelli. So what pleases your palate most?
Growing up, I used to order laksa without cockles, as my unadventurous palate refuses to step out of its comfort zone and cockles have always seemed alien to me. It was only in recent times that I allowed my teeth to sink into a cockle, and it happened to be one of the juiciest and freshest morsels I could ever imagine in a humble bowl of laksa; it was then that I decided I would not omit cockles from laksa. Never regretted that decision one bit.
Sungei Road Laksa
Jin Shui Kopitiam, Blk 27 Jalan Berseh #01-100, Jalan Besar, Singapore 200027
Sungei Road Laksa has one of the freshest and juiciest cockles, which come in generous portions, nestled atop thick slurpable rice noodles steeped in piping hot broth. The broth is thin and a tad watery, but some prefer it this way as it is less cloying. Plus, it is so tasty I could drink it like soup!
This stall is one of the last remaining stalls in Singapore that still uses an open charcoal fire stove for the cooking of laksa broth. The best part is: one bowl costs just $2. Not easy to find such good value in Singapore anymore with the rising cost of living.
Photo provided by OpenRice
It was all thanks to OpenRice and Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC), who jointly organised this Laksa Food Trail, that I get to encounter such a noteworthy laksa stall.
Together with 15 residents of Central Singapore and a fellow blogger, we began our foodie expedition at CDC’s office in Toa Payoh, where we played some ice-breaker games and got to know each other a little better, before proceeding to our first stop with rumbling tummies, all ready to devour all the laksa we can stomach.
Before appeasing our protesting tummies, we whipped out our cameras and snapped away. This is a common sight, really. If not how else can the Internet be swamped with endless foodporn?
Bugis+, 201 Victoria St #04-04, Bugis, Singapore 188067
Next up, we settled our bums at Laksania at Bugis+, awaiting more laksas to come our way.
Laksania began in 2008 as a social enterprise that provided employment for individuals with physical or mental disabilities. There are a total of 4 outlets: NEX, East Coast Road, Bugis+ and Jem. This laksa-oriented eatery features over 37 dishes inspired by the humble laksa leaf, some of which are the owner’s family recipes. Its signature Laksa paste is made fresh daily without the use of preservatives, which is then interpreted into various items on the menu to cater to diverse palates.
At Laksania, you can expect to see different versions of Laksa originating from various parts of Malaysia, and of course not forgetting our local version of laksa.
My palate is more partial to the Singapore Laksa, which is a richer version laden with coconut milk. It garners its fragrance from the spicy dried shrimp paste in the broth, and is served with taupok, prawn, fishcake, cockles and boiled egg, garnished with chopped laksa leaves.
Here’s us happily tucking into our laksa!
You don’t need to travel across the whole of Malaysia to taste their various versions of laksa, because Laksania has compiled them all into one menu.
The Sarawak Laksa comes with fine rice vermicelli noodle instead of the usual thick rice noodle. The broth made from chicken and prawn has been brewed for over 6 hours to attain ample flavour.
The Kelantan version of laksa is not easily obtainable in Singapore –a well-executed one especially so. Mackerel fish and yellow ginger are its star ingredients that distinguish it from other laksas, giving it its distinctive colour and flavour. The broth is generously laden with fish meat, which is painstakingly deboned by hand. A lot of work has gone into the making of this bowl of laksa, and this just makes me appreciate every spoonful even more.
Modern interpretations of laksa include the Laksa Lasagna, which I reckon will be a huge hit amongst youths. It is composed of taupok, pasta sheets, chicken, mushroom and cheese. Some felt that it was too rich, but I found it highly addictive and couldn’t get enough of it!
We ended the food trail on a sweet note with the cooling and icy Chendol.
Thank you OpenRice and Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) for this experience.
Find out more about Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) here: http://www.centralsingaporecdc.org.sg/the-central-singapore-community-development-council/