328 Katong Laksa, Singapore

The first time I heard of Katong Laksa, it was from KL People KL Food. At that time, I was kinda amazed at the fact that it has to be eaten without chopsticks (no kidding!). Stories had it that this variant of curry laksa, originated from the Katong area of Singapore but there are a lot of proprietors dishing out the same dish all over Singapore (talking about competition) – it is almost impossible for many people out there to really determine which one is authentic. The coconut milk content in Katong laksa is higher than the usual curry laksa, hence the slightly pale orangey-red curry broth.

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Talking about laksa, there are two main types; the curry laksa and assam laksa. Curry laksa, as you might already know, is a coconut-based curry soup with noodles, while the latter is a sour fish soup with noodles. Commonly used noodles is the lai fun or laksa noodle – a white, rounded thick rice noodle (similar to loh shee fun but longer and less thick in shape), but different types of noodles are used in different places, such as Johor, where spaghetti is used instead of lai fun, where else, rice vermicelli (meehoon) is commonly used for Sarawak laksa.

Ops, I think I digress.

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I finally got the chance to try out Katong laksa with Danny’s help. He was courteous enough to wakes up early on a weekend morning to bring us to have laksa for breakfast. But since Danny is not a typical foodie himself, he don’t really know which one is the authentic. Therefore, he brought us to this place, which is the nearest one to where we were staying – 216 East Coast Road. This is supposingly the newer outlet on the same street.

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Coconut milk definitely is higher in this variant of curry laksa. The noodles (SGD 4 for small, SGD 5 for medium and SGD 6 for large) they used is slightly smaller than the usual lai fun and cut up into shorter strands so that the entire dish can be eaten with a spoon alone (yep, no chopsticks, no fork). Normally served with chopped daun kesum, prawns, cockles, sliced fish cake and bean sprouts, we asked them to omit the seafood (me not a selfish shellfish person).

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As the coconut milk ratio is higher than curry paste, the spiciness has been toned down. People who can’t take spicy stuff will be thrilled with this laksa, but not for those who can’t take food heavily laced with fatty acids. The curry broth was flavourful with spices like lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, chillies and belacan but I would suggest to thread with care as you might get nauseous or bloated if you’re sipping too much of the santan-laden broth. If you want it to be more fiery hot, add in the sambal provided.

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328 Katong Laksa,
No. 216, East Coast Road,
Singapore.

For map, click here.
For more stories, hop over to Pureglutton and VKeong.

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Hainan Tea, SS2

If you’re a fan of modern kopitiams, then you might want to try out Hainan Tea. Taking over the spot where Leo’s Cafe used to be, it became one of CK’s favourite spot for weekend breakfast, mainly because he can’t stand the heat while dining at coffee shops and hawker centres. *tsk tsk tsk* Apparently, they have been around for quite some time, starting with their outlet at Low Yat Plaza and only expanded to PJ and Puchong just recently.

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They have quite a number of interesting stuff on the menu (or should I say, innovative) like this Hainan Brown Toast 3 Layer (RM 3.80). Generous spread of butter, kaya (coconut jam) and peanut butter sandwiched in between 3 pieces of brown toasts – you get a myriad of flavours (slightly salty, sweet and egg-y at the same time). Good stuff!

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The usual coffee and iced Milo fix, and also the Honey Cucumber juice. I love cucumber juice for its refreshing aftertaste and this one is quite a potent thirst-quencher.

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The menu says “hainan noodle” but in fact, it is wantan noodle. The Hainan Noodle with Curry Chicken came with big, tender chicken pieces and not overly spicy but the overall dish was a little bit too dry. More curry gravy would be a nice change.

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BBQ Chicken Roll (RM 6.90) – steamed rice roll or cheong fun/chee cheong fun with diced barbequed chicken was kinda bland. The filling were not fragrant enough to our liking, although the sauce given was aplenty. The Rendang Chicken Nasi Lemak on the other hand, has quite a number of condiments, including the acar (tangy preserved vegetable with spicy peanut sauce), a big piece of rendang chicken thigh and papadam. No complaint on this one.

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While I was unable to find out any Hainanese characteristic about the place, Hainan Tea definitely is a better place for something different than the usual kopitiam stuff, although there are some hit and misses. While other kopitiams were charging exorbitant prices, Hainan Tea is still affordable at the time being. A nice place for yam cha and bread (if you like bread!)

Hainan Tea
No. 61-9,
Jalan SS2/75,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Similar links: VKeong.

Battle of the Pan Mee: Cha Cha Pan Mee Original

*Updates: Cha Cha Pan Mee has relocated to a new premise behind 6 2 10 Nasi Lemak & Grill, opposite Toyota showroom at the same area.

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If you ask me what are the food I like in Klang Valley, my answer would be char siew (barbequed pork) and pan mee (direct translation: wooden board noodles!). However, not all types of pan mee are my favourites, especially the hand-torn, flattened flour dough (where some people call it mee hoon kueh) because I don’t really enjoy chewing on a big piece of flour (no offense to all the mee hoon kueh fans out there yah, this is just my own preference).

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Cha Cha Pan Mee at Aman Suria is WMW‘s favourite haunt for pan mee after her usual church session on Sundays. She introduced this place to me and since then, I’ve been coming back regularly for my pan mee fix and sometimes after gym for dinner. The range of pan mee they offered here were not the fancy types (curries, tom yam or maybe other types of ingredients thrown in – you get my drift) but the usual soup and dry being the bestsellers, among other like Loh Pan Mee (pan mee in thick, slightly starchy gravy) and Fried Pan Mee. If you like, you can request them to add egg to your noodles too. CK likes their traditional mee hoon kueh in soup because he said that the soup is sweet from the long hours of boiling.

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I would usually go for the dry and thin pan mee with egg as it looked more sumptuous with all the minced pork, mushroom, lard crispies and choy sum on top of it.

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And there was one time I decided to try their Fried Pan Mee, which to my surprise, it was absolutely delish and redolent with breath of the fire/wok (wok hei). The lard crispies added brownie points to it! ūüėČ WMW tried their Petai Fried Rice before (pardon the image quality) which was rather good too.

They have tong sui (sweet dessert) as well, but they rotate the choice everyday. They also serve nasi lemak and economy fried noodles in the morning.

Cha Cha Pan Mee Original
K-G-1 & K-G-3, Jalan PJU 1/43,
Aman Suria,
47301 Petaling Jaya.

Business Hour: 7.30am – 4.00pm & 5.30pm – 9.00pm.
Closed on alternate Wednesdays.

More pictures and stories at KY Speaks and Bangsar Babe.