Not-So-Late-Night laksa

Posted on November 25, 2010

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laksa

We live just outside the “war zone” in Katong, a groovy part of Singapore with a lovely urban village atmosphere.

laksa

My daily commute involves walking past the intriguingly-named Famous 328 Katong Laksa. The name is intriguing because the place is not at 328 East Coast Road, it’s at number 216, because I like laksa and because it’s famous.

Research into its fame leads me to beguiling mentions of the Katong Laksa Wars. Details are sketchy, mentioned only in passing, but other blogs say the Katong style of laksa differs from other styles of the well-known curry soup in that it can be eaten with a spoon – no chopsticks required! Obviously this is some kind of unique niche marketing to chopstick illiterates. But I digress.

The laksa wars were apparently fought much further down the road, among several laksa stall-owners who all claimed to make the best Katong laksa or be the inventor of Katong laksa. However, the laksa at Famous 328 Katong Laksa is so good we’ve never bothered to walk all the way down to the laksa joints at 49 and 51 East Coast Road.

Our famous laksa local is our go-to spot when we’re too tired to throw together a meal. However, the stall closes ridiculously early – at 9pm!

Often I walk past, inhaling the fragrant curry aroma, and arrive home calling out “honey! Do you want laksa for dinner?” I gather up Miss M (if she’s not busy with her own dinner) and hurry back to Famous 328 Katong Laksa – only to find it’s “finished” for the night. Either shut up tight, aluminium doors rolled down, or the curry experts are in the process of washing their equipment. No deal.

When we do manage to catch the laksa express, it’s heaven. Soft silky noodles, strips of fish cakes, sweet prawns and the surprise crunch of bean sprouts, all floating in a thick and creamy curry sauce. I always order my laksa without cockles, but the briny earthy taste of the cockles is capatured in the soup anyway.

You can watch the laksa cooker cook the soup right in the bowl, ladling gravy into your dish, swishing it around, then tipping the gravy back into the big hot cauldron. After three goes, the noodles, seafood and sprouts are ready to serve.

Darling Man likes to order a side of otah, a strange salmon-coloured fish paste squashed into a thin rectangle, wrapped in banana leaves and barbecued. The flavor is quite mild but I don’t like the texture. However, Darling Man made the wonderful discovery that a ripped up serve of otah thrown into the soup is fantastic!

The soup is served with deep green laksa leaves resting in the spoon. The diner gives the soup a stir, distributing the herb, and then proceeds to scoop up big creamy scoops of gravy, noodle and seafood.

laksa

Famous 328 Katong Laksa, 216 East Coast Road

Read what other, more experienced, bloggers and laksa eaters say about Famous 328 Katong Laksa here:

http://theninjareview.com/2010/03/328-katong-laksa/

http://ieatishootipost.sg/2007/05/328-katong-laksa-hits-you-right-there.html

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