Being a quintessential Singaporean dish, laksa is not difficult to find anywhere around – but to me, only few places get it right!
According to my dad who’s a regular patron, Sungei Road Laksa started out in 1956 as a pushcart stall along Sungei Road. Customers would stand by the roadside enjoying their laksa, which cost only twenty cents per bowl then! Now, you get to savour your bowl of spicy, piping hot goodness in the comfort of a kopitiam(meaning coffeeshop in Hokkien).
From here you can see that there wasn’t much of a queue when I was there on a late Saturday afternoon. I do have to warn you though, that it’s a whole different story if you’re there on a weekday for lunch! Good thing is, while the queue can get really long, it’s also very fast(yay!).
For those who know me, laksa is one of the few dishes I’m particularly FUSSY about. I’m not keen at all on the fancy ingredients like egg, tau pok(deep-fried tofu) or fish cake. A good laksa to me just needs to get the basics right – gravy, see hum(cockles), and of course, the chilli.
If you haven’t noticed, only a spoon is provided with the bowl of laksa! Chopsticks are not used so that one can fully savour the gravy with the typical thick bee hoon(which is cut up for this reason).
Even at just $2 a bowl, they are generous with the fresh, fat see hum which we all love! The laksa is also topped with the stall’s home-made fried fish cakes, tow gay(beansprouts), a dollop of sambal and shredded Vietnamese coriander(the usual laksa garnishing).
Unlike the popular Katong Laksa, Sungei Road’s version uses less coconut milk, resulting in a lighter taste that is much easier on the palate. Even so, the taste of the gravy is not compromised – in fact, the laksa gravy is cooked in a rustic aluminium pot over a charcoal fire which lends a gentle heat to keep it warm, as well as giving it a distinctive charcoal flavour that is adored by customers.
In my humble opinion, Sungei Road Laksa is a place to go for a bowl of authentic, flavorful laksa. The fact that there are so many ‘imitation’ stalls around Singapore is adequate proof of the family’s success! In terms of taste, it is definitely nothing short of fantastic – and besides, what more could you ask for at $2 a bowl?
Blk 27 Jalan Berseh
#01-100 Jin Shui Kopitiam
9am – 6pm
(Closed on the first Wednesday of each month)