Updated: Oct 6
SINGAPORE: A spicy noodle soup popular in Singapore is good for every meal from breakfast to dinner. The Peranakan dish can find its lineage in South East Asia's countries, and there are multiple versions. Some called it "curry laksa", but it is not confused with being an Indian curry. The main difference is the ingredients used. Singapore Laksa must have dried shrimp, shrimp paste, turmeric, blue ginger and lemongrass. Famously also known as Katong Laksa in Singapore, this is a taste that you don't find it elsewhere outside of Singapore. The bowl of thick bee hoon is topped with ingredients like cockles, prawns and fishcake and sometimes deep-fried beancurd (tau pok).
5 places to check out if you have not. There are some famous stalls and some are popular within the neighbourhood.
Sungei Road Laksa
There are the 3 musketeers of laksa in Singapore. For the uninitiated, the safe bets are 328 Katong Laksa, Janggut Laksa and there is the Sungei Road Laksa. It has the iconic characteristic of Katong Laksa, which has noodles cut short and you eat with a spoon, without chopsticks. Despite being one of the most popular laksa stores, they are still selling a bowl of laksa for S$3, making them the cheapest of all 3. Go ahead and ask for additional cockles for only S$1. For the big eaters, a bowl will not be enough.
Address: 27 Jln Berseh, #01-100, Singapore 200027
Janggut Laksa (Original Katong Laska)
No doubt that they have many branches dotted across Singapore. However, to stay true to eating "Katong Laska", you got to have it in Katong itself. Noodles are cut into short pieces so that every spoonful of noodles is accompanied by thick, flavourful broth. Being the proclaim original Katong Laksa, it is priced at a premium too. For S$6, it gets you a small medium-bowl, and it is not enough for me. Additional S$2 for added 8 pieces of cockles does seem a bit expensive. This is the Ferrari of the Laksa world. Just like a Ferrari, you don't have to drive it on Singapore's ordinary roads all the time.
Address: 50 East Coast Rd, Roxy Square, Singapore 428769
Yishun 928 Laksa
If you don't know about Yishun 928 Laksa, you will definitely miss it. It is tucked deep within the HDB blocks in a tiny coffee shop of only 2 stalls with the other selling desserts. At S$2.8, this is the cheapest laksa I have seen. With an insanely long queue that wraps around the corner of the HDB, people travel far to have this bowl of savoury goodness. The laksa has the usual tau pok, fish cake, cockles and half a hard-boiled egg. Help yourself with the chilli and laksa leaves, to complete the laksa experience. Oh ya...you will need chopsticks for this, LOL.
Address: 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-155, Singapore 760928
Min Ji Laksa
Like every other hawker centre, there are always a few stalls with long queues giving you a hint that they are among the local favourites in the neighbourhood. Min Ji Laksa is what I would call the common laksa, without the characteristics of Katong Laksa. Besides the usual suspects such as tau pok, cockles, fish cake and hard-boiled egg, it has shredded chicken. The only regret of getting the large bowl, for S$5, is the run needed to burn off the calories.
Address: 29, #01-31 Bendemeer Rd, 330029 (Bendemeer Market & Food Centre)
Hong Heng Beef Noodles and Laksa
For true blue laksa connoisseurs, they will cringe when they see this. However, this is a true representation of Singapore, a melting pot of cuisine. Hong Heng Beef Noodles and Laksa has decided to combine Beef Noodles and Laksa into one dish, and hence, Beef Laksa is born! Thick bee hoon with laksa gravy is S$6/S$7 and it comes with beef slices, beef ball, tendon, brisket and tripe. With an extra S$1, you can have the added cockles too. This should not work, but it actually does. Located in Kebun Baru Market & Food Centre, part of Ang Mo Kio Heritage Trail, Hong Heng Beef Noodles and Laksa continues to bring back fond memories for those who grew up in the area.
Address: 226H Ang Mo Kio Street 22, #01-16, Singapore 568226