KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — Mention the word laksa and my eyes light up as I know it'll be a flavour packed meal. When laksa is done well, it trumps everything else with its delicious flavours.
When it comes to laksa, Malaysia is blessed with so many varieties so you can have fun exploring each type. We are all familiar with the tangy flavours of asam laksa or the creamy nuances of curry laksa.
That list goes on as there's Johor laksa that uses spaghetti rather than the usual rice noodles. It's not limited to just the peninsula either as across the South China Sea, we have Sarawak laksa.
Started in October last year, Rumah Laksa is a group of four friends who cook their family's favourite laksa for delivery.
What makes some of the laksa extra special is these dishes are made from handed-down family recipes. Each laksa is priced at RM12. The portion is just nice for a light meal.
Orders are only sent out on Tuesdays and Saturdays. All of the laksa is delivered and there's no self pick-up option. Expect to get your laksa between 12pm to 2pm. Orders must be placed before their 10pm cut off time, the day before delivery is made. Limited slots are available so try to book early to avoid disappointment.
Each laksa has its unique characteristics and story. Try them all so you can figure out which one suits your palate best. If you're a laksa fiend, you may want extra portions to satisfy your cravings.
The Kedah laksa is perfect for those who love tangy flavours. It seems the recipe was from an aunt and it is a favourite dish served during Hari Raya celebrations.
It's easy to slurp down the flavourful asam based broth thick with fresh sardines or ikan selayang. You also have torch ginger flower, kesom and dried chilli paste in the broth.
What's unique about this laksa is the rice noodles. The thick strands have a softer texture, which lets the gravy cling onto them making each spoonful a delicious one.
It is served with crunchy sliced Japanese cucumber, slices of onions and chopped daun selom. For an extra spicy oomph, there's finely sliced bird's eye chilli. Just squeeze the half cut lime over the laksa and enjoy it with half a hard boiled egg.
Personally I am partial to Johor laksa. It's hard to find a really good rendition of this laksa commercially as usually the ones served at home are excellent. This one fits the bill perfectly.
Apparently this laksa is a family heirloom that uses a recipe passed down from the cook's grandmother who perfected it.
With its thick gravy rich with flaked fish, you can easily eat it like the Johoreans do... using your fingers rather than utensils. It is served with cucumber cut a certain way where it is in a circular julienne strip.
Other condiments include blanched bean sprouts, chopped onions and whole kesum leaves. There's also a fragrant bright red sambal belacan served with the laksa so squeeze the cut calamansi limes over it. You also have the unusual but must-have preserved radish or choy poh served with the laksa.
If you're looking for a unique laksa, the Sarawak version will amp up your tastebuds. This version's broth is peppery but it's appetising so you will want to finish every drop.
It is served with thick vermicelli, omelette strips, bean sprouts, shredded chicken, blanched prawns and fresh coriander. You also have cut calamansi lime and a fiery looking sambal that tastes quite mild but is fragrant with dried prawns.
Last but not least, there's the Siamese laksa, which is this cook's family favourite. This laksa is based on the Southern Thai kanom jeen nam ya. This dish isn't usually found in restaurants hence it's unique.
Essentially you have soft fresh cut rice noodles paired with a pounded fish curry. On its own, the curry is sweet with the use of fish and shrimps that you will want to drink up the gravy. This is topped with cucumber, bean sprouts, a cut calamansi lime and half of a hard boiled egg. As the curry is very mild tasting, you are given chilli powder on the side to sprinkle over the laksa for a punchier flavour.