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Best Laksa??


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I need help! Constant craving for laksa has taken me to many cafes and food courts around Australia. But so many of them are sickly sweet pale imitations of the robust versions that you find in Malaysia or Singapore.

So far, the best I have tried have been at the Penang Coffee House in Hawthorn, Melbourne (probably the best I have tried in Australia), the Chinta Ria establishments in Melbourne and Sydney and the Asian Noodle House in Canberra.

Can anyone, anywhere help me with other places where I might find an authentic laksa!

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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  • 3 months later...

Have you tried:

F&L Gourmet in Macquarie Centre in Sydney.

Spice it Up in Melbourne's suburbs (can't quite remember where)

If you like Asam Laksa try Toh's in North Sydney

All are pretty good and rated by my Malay Chinese friends.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a veritable guru on the topic, having even stopped off in Singapore merely to eat laksa for breakfast lunch and tea one day before going to Europe.

Sydney Laksa

The T-Bar on King St Sydney is great!

The Happy Chef in the Australia Square food court is good

Bai Tong at Mascot is very nice, great other food too.

Michaels on King/Castleraegh st is very good.

Vietnamese place in the Mall in Chinatown is good.

The Thai place in Dixon St foodcourt is good.

This is my incomplete laksa list :-)

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G'day Shoey!

In regards to your post.

Poor old Roger just wanted to know where to get a good Laksa. I agree with you - the T-Bar on King Street is one of Sydney's finest Laksas and Michaels I would also rate although a bit curryish. Also the nice thing about the T-bar is that you can get a good "late laksa" (This means even if you turn up after lunch time - you're not getting leftover meat as in some of the food courts around Sydney.) The T-Bar also has a bar and a few pokies where you can spend a dollar or two. So far so good Shoey but the one thing I can not agree with is your recomendation on The Happy Chef. This is a very poor Laksa indeed - The place is nothing more than fast food joint and the meat is often undercooked. I would like to know what makes you such a guru on the subject you big puff! As for stopping in Singapour - That's just stupid.  Jesus X X X

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  • 4 weeks later...

My current favourite laksa is Skinny Laksa, at Melbourne's Ah Mu. Chef Allan Woo uses skinny milk. I know it sounds kind of offensive, but I think it's delicious! I tend to go with assam laksas over coconut-based laksas, on account of the amount of saturated fat in coconut milk. So, to me a "skinny" coconut-infused laksa is a very exciting thing indeed. Although I don't know that laksa purists would agree.

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Last night I realised that our local Thai place in waverton does a pretty good laksa...but that was after a few beers..

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Well, so far on my search i think that the best i have tried is in suburban Melbourne in Hawthorn. It is at the Penang Coffee House. This laksa is a deep brown colour, coconut milk based but not cloyingly sweet like some and made in front of your eyes. Very, very good.

I will keep looking and following up the suggestions that have been posted.

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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  • 1 year later...

I've been in the USA for about 8 days now, and I'm seriously in Laksa withdrawal...

I've been thinking about other good laksa places. A couple of weeks ago, I had a Laksa at the Bristol Arms Retro Hotel on Sussex St Sydney. That's not too bad.

But I still think that the T-Bar Laksa is the best. I can't wait to get back to Sydney after this business trip!

Chris

Edited by shoey (log)
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For the Singapore/Malaysian hawker experience in Sydney, in my mind there are two serious contenders:

Kopitiam on Harris St Ultimo (past the Powerhouse museum) - not well publicised and not covered in any of the mainstream guide books

Temasek in Parramatta - oft reviewed in the SMH Good Food Guide.

Now living in London I have a serious craving. I ask for triple chilli and it still don't cut the mustard

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  • 6 months later...
I need help! Constant craving for laksa has taken me to many cafes and food courts around Australia. But so many of them are sickly sweet pale imitations of the robust versions that you find in Malaysia or Singapore.

Hi, I know it's a bit of a trek but if you're after the best Laksa then you have to head north. Rendezvous Cafe in Darwin has been recognised as having one of the best laksa's in Australia. If the distance is a bit too far and you're not scared to cook then reply to this because I managed to get the recipe when I left the country.

:cool:

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I went back to Macquarie centre a month or so ago and had laksa at F&L gourmet again.. they have moved premises and gone seriously down hill. I wouldn't bother anymore.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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For my 2c, or $6.80 etc, the best laksa is at the Malaya / Chinese on King St, near the corner of King and Castlereagh in Sydney CBD. They do an awesome assam laksa, and a great mee siam. Can you tell it's almost lunchtime down under??

cheers

Maliaty

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The Easter Terrace in Malvern is a bit of a hole in the wall but they make (or at least a couple of years ago) the best laksa I've had. I love laksa! However, I haven't ever had it in Malaysia so I'm not sure if they do an authentic one.

Here are their details:

Eastern Terrance

71 Glenferrie Rd Malvern 3144 VIC

(03) 9509 5365

When we were last there they didn't have laksa on their menu but we've always been able to ask for it and get it with no problems.

Lori

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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  • 1 year later...

I finally got a chance to make my way to Fenix recently, and made a point to try the deconstructed laksa...

refresher, from Tim White's post "Dinner@Fenix"

"Pork Laksa 2005 - probably the signature dish at the moment - a 'deconstructed' laksa served as a warm salad with a curry viniagrette. The pork was tiny goujons caramelized, the noodles, coconut set with agar and the viniagrette was to die for. All agreed this was perfection..."

the thing was indeed superb. and now I'm determined to conjure up a couple of my favourite bits from the dish, starting with the caramelised pork goujons.

I'm not a professional chef. In fact, I'm not a chef at all. But I can follow instructions and then mess around til I get something I'm happy with.

Could anyone who has tried it help me figure out how to turn a slab of pork belly into the little sweet/savoury cubes of beauty? Would you start the experiment by simply dicing the meat, then maybe roasting, then caramelizing, then crisping?

thanks for any pork belly help you can provide,

kanga

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Sounds like the pork might need some funky seasoning.

Try this:

dice it up as you've described, then season with five spice powder, touch of honey, salt and pepper, dash of soy, leave for say 2 hours in the fridge, then simply slow cook in shallow oil till caramelised. save the oil for other uses... it will taste awesome if used judiciously.

let us know how you go.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Try this ... dice it up as you've described, then season with five spice powder, touch of honey, salt and pepper, dash of soy, leave for say 2 hours in the fridge, then simply slow cook in shallow oil till caramelised.

THAT is exactly why I tuned in. fantastic idea, I'll give it a shot, maybe photodocument if I'm really ambitious.

Regardless whether that yields the Fenix pork or not, it sounds great, thanks for the tip.

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Season/ marinate the pork. Then cover it in olive oil and cook on about 100 C for 8 hours. when this is done let it cool slightly and then put it between two chopping boards with weights on top to compress it for an hour or so. Then cut it up flash fry it to crisp it up and warm it through.

Thats how I do it anyway.... I usually serve this with a blood orange and ginger sauce; although I got the original idea from Aria's bangalow pork belly with cumquats.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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I would suggest vegetable or peanut oil. Olive oil, dunno, you might be Mediterraning the dish...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

I usually marinate the meat with either oyster sauce or hoi sin, garlic and ginger and brown sugar. I then grill it. Whilst grilling it, I baste with honey. I only dice the meat after it is cooked and cooled (that's how the Chinese do it).

But laksa with pork belly?? LOL - as a citizen of the country where laksa originated from, this is new to me. I miss it - laksa I mean. Heavenly coconuty broth with loads of chili boh (pounded chili) - yum.

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Laksa with pork is no big deal considering that most laksa variations common among hawkers in Malaysia/Singapore are Chinese inspired. Many a time I've ordered curry laksa with strips of pork added in, almost like har-mee.

In Australia, however, to stay on topic, the Fenix variation is the first I've heard of it.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Kanga, how did you go with the pork belly bits???

Very unhappy to report that I've entered an incredibly tumultuous period of sick children, whinging clients, emergency work travel and other annoying but unavoidable demands on my person that Pork Belly Experimentation has been forced to the bottom of my To Do list (while still remaining very near the top of my Want To Do list.)

Divine Mrs. G, not sure if you're in Melbourne or know about Fenix, but "Tradition" isn't its calling card ... some things they do might start with a traditional dish or idea (e.g., "laksa") and then deconstruct/reconstruct to see what happens. It certainly worked with the Laksa.

I will definitely still tackle the Pork, and I will definitely post the results. As I have one more necessary bit of travel (Perth this long weekend) ahead of me, current prediction of Belly attempt is probably midweek next week.

Off topic but still appreciated would be any recos for good spots to eat this weekend in The World's Most Isolated City. ?? Or maybe better if I start a new thread to see how many good things can be said about eating in Perth. See you there.

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Kanga, how did you go with the pork belly bits???

Very unhappy to report that I've entered an incredibly tumultuous period of sick children, whinging clients, emergency work travel and other annoying but unavoidable demands on my person that Pork Belly Experimentation has been forced to the bottom of my To Do list (while still remaining very near the top of my Want To Do list.)

Divine Mrs. G, not sure if you're in Melbourne or know about Fenix, but "Tradition" isn't its calling card ... some things they do might start with a traditional dish or idea (e.g., "laksa") and then deconstruct/reconstruct to see what happens. It certainly worked with the Laksa.

I will definitely still tackle the Pork, and I will definitely post the results. As I have one more necessary bit of travel (Perth this long weekend) ahead of me, current prediction of Belly attempt is probably midweek next week.

Off topic but still appreciated would be any recos for good spots to eat this weekend in The World's Most Isolated City. ?? Or maybe better if I start a new thread to see how many good things can be said about eating in Perth. See you there.

Sorry Kanga, I have been to Melbourne a couple of times, but do not live there. Glad to hear that reconstruction worked - I love adventure. :D

Edited by Divine Mrs.G (log)
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  • 5 weeks later...
Kanga, how did you go with the pork belly bits???

Back again, sorry for the time lapse in reporting, but here’s what happened.

I simultaneously succeeded brilliantly and failed miserably with the experiment (story of my life).

The miserable failure was in creating anything closely resembling the bits of pork in Fenix’ laksa. Just didn’t happen. It was probably doomed from the start, as the belly I used was actually quite meaty, so there was lots of actual, fibrous meat in the little cubes, whereas I remember Fenix’ dish having lots of little crunchy bits of cooked fat. So, I need to better embrace the fat next go. The suggestions as described upthread, however, did indeed get me close in flavour if not texture, had I better selected the meat itself. So thanks again everyone for your advice.

Now, the wonderful success was in coming up with something that was still hugely delicious. Cooking even meaty bit of pork in the way you guys sugggested still gave me a great dish of flavoursome little bits of pork. V. v. rich, but still yum would have been great with just a bit of steamed rice. As it was, we basically devoured it straight out of the pan!

I had another bonus that night, too. Since I had that big slab of belly to contend with anyway, I used half of it in the Fenix experiment. I used the other half to attempt some Carnitas (learn all about it here), which was an absolute stunner, and we had it wrapped in some white corn tortillas with a sort of ancho salsa. so good.

Might try the laksa'd pork again with a more appropriate cut some day. More likely instead just head back to Fenix.:wink:

Edited by kangarool (log)
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