Thankfully, it didn't become a sorta' craving or this entry would have been done wayyy back.
I've been inquiring around for a good bowl of halal Asam laksa because the only one I've had here in S'pore was at Tan Tock Seng - yes, the hospital. At the foodcourt, anyway. This nyonya food stall or smth. Wah, that's my first time trying it and I was blown away!
I went back there again when I visited someone (that's always the case). Had another bowl... Still syiok! But that was the pre-H1N1 period, lah. Now I don't have anyone to visit at TTSH and I dun bother to travel all the way there just for this.
However, I once candidly asked my mum-in-law if she had eaten Asam laksa before. She told me she always had that at Banquet Eastpoint... Oh, hello?! That's like.... so near!
Yeah, so near and yet never gone there yet... -_-
Fast forward to today, my mum-in-law and me, we were on the train to Kembangan for my gynae appointment and we passed by Eastpoint Mall. "Been a long time since I went there...," she remarked.
"Oh, you mean for your Laksa Penang..?" I suddenly had this idea...
"Yah. You want to go later...?"
"I don't mind. I'm on 1/2 day anyway so I only need to get to the office at 2pm."
Straight outta' gynae's clinic, we took a train ride back to Simei. Being 11++am on a weekday, I'm amazed to see the foodcourt being pretty empty (I usually had to wait for a table to be vacated when I'm there).
Straightaway, I went to that stall (which also serve 'Traditional' laksa, Ipoh Hor Fun etc.) and made an order for 2 bowls of Penang laksa (as displayed on their signage).
I was wide-eyed to see the stall-assistant heaping on the greens; which consist of large cuts of leaf lettuce, julienned cucumbers and whole mint leaves. The absence of 'daun kesom' (Vietnamese mint) was sorely felt. That's the variant typically used in 'traditional' laksa. Oh, also missing was the ever-fragrant 'bunga kantan' (ginger-torch flower).
Other than that, this bowl wasn't that bad at all. The onions, fresh pineapple and even the sardine/mackerel fish flakes came in fairly big chunks/piece. Either they're really generous or the stall hands were too
Or they felt obliged to give me more, considering I am with a very pregnant belly...Should have requested for more of that 'hei ko' (prawn paste) that's drizzled on top.
The sour taste of the gravy/soup was really refreshing and I'm glad it only had a slight hint of sweetness, unlike the one I had in KL, which was sooo sweet that it's just so wrong. It could have been spicier, though. However, I don't feel obliged to eat the cili padi on the side (my heat tolerance has yet to improve).
My mum-in-law had remarked previously, that the bowl that they served the laksa in was pretty big and she always had a hard time finishing hers. When I saw the medium-sized bowls that they served me, I told her that the economy must have affected them, making them reduce their portions.... Or so I thought.
Even as I scooped my last strand of noodles, 3/4 of her laksa remained untouched. In fact, she had pushed her bowl aside. Goodness, maybe it's just her minute appetite and not the stall cutting costs!
I saw all those greens floating on her gravy and offered to finish that up for her (talk about eating-for-two). I can't help it. I may be slightly full from my own portion but I just can't resist those veggies. I love my greens too much to just ignore them, seriously.
So there. After so long, I finally had my bowl of Assam laksa. Oh, correction. 1 AND half bowls of Assam laksa. Also known as laksa Penang. Yum!
Oh, do prepare some breath mints. That sardine/mackerel gravy + prawn paste + onions?? Surefire cause for evil breath. Especially when you're taking the train after all that.