Monday, September 25, 2006


After running some errands, I thought the boy deserved a treat and had the intentionof taking him to Malay Mama for one of his favorite dishes of Laksa.

However, typically, we got side tracked along the way and decided to stop in at Katong Laksa, which was conveniently across the street (please...I've given up trying to figure out why restaurants serving similar food are always right next to each other) with the excuse that there's a Malay Mama in Causeway Bay but no Katong Laksa.

Two bowls of Laksa were ordered. The supreme one for the boy ($68) and the 'normal' one for me ($48). We toyed with the idea of ordering a prawn mee for one of us instead but being allergic to prawns, I wasn't keen on accidentally swallowing a bit and swelling up like a hippo with German measels. I added vegetables for $3 to my dish to make up for the prawns I'd have to pass over to the boy.

We also added a dish of Rojak for experimental purposes. We couldn't work out from the name and the photo what it would be like so decided to try as intrepid foodies.

The main difference between the supreme and the normal was the presence of two huge fresh prawns and significally smaller (likely frozen) shelled half prawns in mine... oh and the $20 price difference (not a worthwhile splurge in my opinion...even if I could eat prawns).

Other ingredients in the Laksa were cockles (I only had about 5 in mine unfortunately) which tasted wonderfully seaside-dy, thin rectangular fish cakes, tau pok (deep fried puffy tofu balls), beansprouts and vegetables. My bowl was loaded with the green stuff (water spinach or 'tong' choi) and it was very nice although the soup lacked the strong, in your face flavor and spiciness hit I was looking for.

The rojak came halfway through our bowls and it looked promising at first with unidentifiable pieces coated in a dark brown sticky sauce and covered with crushed peanuts. I lifted a piece to my mouth and I was shocked to find that it was very well chilled and tasted both savory and sweet and actually quite awful. I wasn't sure what I expected but this wasn't it. The dish, as far as I could tell, contained fried dough fritters ('yau jah gwei'), pineapple, apple, perhaps some pear. It was salty without having any discernable flavor and cloying with sweetness. I ventured another piece, which turned out to be apple flavored with the sauce once again. Nope. Didn't like it. The boy valiantly tried and turned up his nose as well. Trust me, I love the salty sweet combo (chocolate covered salted potato chips is a match made in heaven) but this one didn't do it for me. It was ick personified.

I felt dreadful when the incredibly hospitable and kind owner came and asked us why we didn't like the dish and insisted on us taking it home to try again at a later time. She did warn us that the sauce contained Singaporean shrimp paste and that by taking it home, it may not be as crunch (although truthfully, we didn't think it could get worse). We took it home but it went straight into the bin despite our best intentions and attempts at poking at it, hoping to dredge up appetite for the shrimpy, sweet, cold, mushy dough.

Katong Laksa (2 branches)
G/Fl., 8 Merceer Street
Sheung Wan
Tel: 2543 4008

Shop D1, G/F Kam Sing Mansion
155 Jaffe Road
Wan Chai
Tel: 3168 2478


rmklee said...

i find it impossible to find decent laksa in hong kong. most of the time the soup base is heavy on MSG. and the prawns & to pok are simply not good. sigh.


crazy cooks neighbours said...

omg me and the hunnie have to go try it out. oh yeah...he makes Laksa too.

:) crazy cooks neighbours