In Penang, Laksa by default is made of a fishy and spicy tamarind soup with rice noodles. Garnished with ginger flower, mint, cucumber, pineapple, raw onions and then dribbled with a dollop of black shrimp paste, this dish will blow your mind away(among other things!). We also love another version of this dish called Laksa Lemak which gives it a varied flavour in the coconut-milk based soup. (Note that outside of Penang, what is known as Laksa is a totally different dish). Our laksa suggestions:
1)The elderly Aunty at Macallum Market (Opens about 1pm to 4pm.). Friendly vendor and one of our favourite laksa stall.
2) My Own Cafe on Cannon Street, almost opposite the entrance to Khoo Kongsi (Opens about 10am to 3pm. ). This vendor sells nyonya kuihs to go with the laksa and we suggest you try the cucur udang(prawn fritters) dunked in a bowl of laksa soup and you’d be back for more!
3) The internet sensation of Laksa Ayer Itam. (Opens 10.30am till about 6pm)This well-known stall on the pavement by the road has been around for as long as we can remember. But unknown to many (including locals! ) is the presence of another laksa stall just several metres away, on the opposite side of the road , the market complex. I actually preferred this stall for its more ‘crisp’ clean flavour of its addictive laksa broth. Both Ayer Itam laksa stalls have been around for a long time and are each “laksa institutions” in their own right.