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Singapore showdown: 5 of the city's best laksas

Singapore showdown: 5 of the city's best laksas

The uniquely Singapore delicacies are at almost every corner of the streets: follow our tips and find out the best places to taste an authentic laksa.

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If you're planning to visit Singapore, for sure you can't miss a visit to one of the city's quaint eateries: the laksas' hawker stalls and their amazing dishes cooked at the moment right under your sight.

It’s not surprising to find these uniquely Singapore delicacies dished out at the corner of almost any street. Essentially a bowl of soup that perfectly balances sweet, sour, salt and spice, laksa recipes are the fusion food with locally available fruits, herbs, flavours and produce, laksas are an authentic pleasure that goes far beyond the few dollars they cost.

Below, you can find the best addresses not to miss if you're travelling to Singapore and you are eager to taste on of the authentic flavours of the city.  

Sungei Road Laksa

With only one thing on the menu, Sungei Road Laksa is the humble eatery on Jalan Berseh. They have been serving iconic laksa to hoards of customers for years, and neither locals or tourists appear to be discouraged by lengthy waits with some – including me – standing in line for more than an hour to try the famous laksa. Such is the popularity, that it recently incresded from $2 to $3, angering some locals.
As the declaration note states on the glass window of the vendor stand, “There is no other branch for Sungei Road Laksaso rest assured that this remains a one-location operation, not franchised like some of Singapore’s other popular laksa outlets.
The laksa gravy is cooked over charcoal to produce a light and not too spicy broth – that’s what the sambal (chilli sauce) is for. I opt to stir in spoonfulls of sambal for that extra kick. Topped with a fishcake and a scattering of cockles, it is a rather dainty serving compared to other outlets. My only problem with the laksa here, was that it didn’t come with egg or prawns like many of the city’s other options. Still, for $3 it’s good value and is packed with lip-smacking’ flavours.

Sungei Road Laksa
#01, 27 Jln Berseh

Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa

Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa is known all over Singapore for serving claypot laksa, ensuring that the soup and ingredients remain hot even when removed from the stove.
Often prepared in bubbling pots and served in plastic bowls throughout hawkers, the laksa here remains in the claypot, maintaining its piping heat throughout. The idea to serve in claypots is a brave one, because they break easily, so expect to incur a cost if you’re unfortunate enough to break one – but really, how many customers really pay?
The first use of the claypot was implemented by owner Zhang Li Jin’s aunt in 1995. As for the laksa itself, it is unapologetically spicy, a smash of chilli padi, ginger, turmeric, belachan, shrimp paste and lemongrass, all slow-cooked over fire. I notice also that the coconut milk is freshly-squeezed, adding sweetness to the soup base.
Frying the ingredients is also a critical step: the heat needs to be powerful in order to draw out the ingredients’ aroma, in turn making the laksa extra fragrant.

Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa
Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1

328 Katong Laksa

With multiple outlets across Singapore, 328 Katong Laksa is a recognised brand, but their profile really skyrocketed in 2013 after Gordon Ramsay paid them a visit as part of his Singtel Hawker Heroes Challenge. In the end, Ramsay lost to owner Nancy Lim.
Nancy is undeniably Singapore’s most glamorous laksa diva. Her loud fashion sense and even louder personality have attracted attention, both from foodies and the plain curious, and she has helped bring the Peranakan-style laksa to cult status with a franchise of 14 Katong Laksa outlets across the island.
The laksa is a feisty bowl of al dente rice noodles in a light spicy orange broth, made with a generous douse of evaporated milk and a hint of coconut milk. Jazzed up with piquant dried shrimps and chilli paste and perfumed with fragrant lemongrass and fresh laksa leaves (Vietnamese mint), the broth is not overwhelming like other laksas that leave you ‘jelak’ (“sick of eating”). Along with the standard prawn and fish cake toppings, you can request for cockles to also be added, which is advised.

328 Katong Laksa
51 East Coast Road, Singapore 428770

Janggut Laksa

Located in the Queensway Shopping Centre, Janggut Laksa delivers a mildly strong spice soup base full of flavour. Being hawker based, bowls come with an assortment of side sauces and spices, so, if like me, you like an added kick, go for extra helpings of sambal.
Janggut Laksa have more than one laksa option, and if you’re feeling extra special, then try the Crayfish Laksa (regular $9.50; large $11.50): the soup broth and noodles are the same as the classic laksa, but there’s the addition of a deliciously sweet crayfish tail that soaks up all of the wonderful soupy goodness. It’s a hefty price-tag, even for the regular serving, however, it is a generously plump crayfish, so worth the added coin.

Janggut Laksa
1 Queensway, Singapore 149053

928 Yishun Laksa

This popular laksa stall, tucked under block 928 at Yishun Central station, is an old-school hawker – two-decades-old – with a strong following to which the daily long queues attest.
The recipe has remained the same since day one, with a thick and creamy soup base that glows orange, and lashings of coconut milk. The owner never adds water in order to ensure a thick consistency throughout. Noodles are handmade, and you have the choice between vermicelli or yellow. Fragrant chilli adds both flavour and heat, as does a generous dollop of chilli paste.
Ingredients such as crabsticks, boiled egg, beancurd puffs, bean sprouts and fish cake follow. You can also opt for additional cockles at a cost of $1, which will add another level of texture along with some extra saltiness.

928 Yishun Laksa
301 Yishun Avenue 2, Singapore 769093

Do you want to take the challenge and try to cook laksa in your kitchen? Follow our tips!
Why don't you try chicken curry laksa recipe or laksa tofu noodles?

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