Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Laksa in Penang

In Penang, when you say laksa, people would generally think of assam laksa. However, you can find 4 types of laksa in Penang.

The first is of course the widely available assam laksa. Sour and spicy, it is my favourite type of laksa. Generally thought to be one of Penang's best food, most stalls sell good laksa, if not fantastic. My favourite place to to is the one in Penang Road.

If you look around, you can find their "branches" around Penang but I still prefer this one because the kopitiam also has good char koay teow and my all-time-favourite dessert, Chendol.

Most visitors are quite familiar with the name Air Itam Laksa. So where is it?

On the way to Kek Lok Si Temple, you'll go pass a wet market. Right opposite the market, you'll see the stall with people congregating around. You can't miss it. I hardly go there because I don't like driving there - narrow road and difficult to find parking lots.

Nearer home at the Air Itam roundabout, there's good laksa available.

This open-air eating place is on the road that takes you to the Penang Hill. Good mee goreng and kaoy teow t'ng are available there. You can try the muar chee.

The second type of laksa is laksa siam. Also known as laksa lemak, it contains santan and it's sweet. Gf likes this a lot. Where's the best place to eat laksa lemak? At home, of course. Shades' mom is very good at cooking and among her specialty is laksa lemak.

Otherwise, it is not that widely available at the kopitiams. The only place I can think of is Lorong Selamat, the place with the most expensive char koay teow.

I also mentioned briefly laksa utara which is cooked by Malays. It is quite close to assam laksa but the smell isn't that strong. Can't really recommend you where to get it as I usually get mine at the pasar malam near home. But do be on the lookout for Malay eating places.

The last one is sold by Indians. Not sure what the official name is as I grew up calling it Indian laksa. It is also the most difficult laksa to find.

The soup looks orangy and it is spicy but not that sour as well. I managed to buy mine from the guy who happens to be cycling pass my home.

If you want to try this, head to Fettes Park. There is one selling right in front of the Hong Leong Bank, next to a van selling Soya Milk. There used to be one selling behind Penang Plaza, Burmah Road, but I'm not sure if the guy is still there.

While you're there, you may want to consider eating at Fatty Loh Chicken Rice.

So much for laksa recommendation....

NEXT: Penang's most expensive Char Koay Teow