The Occasional Epicure

Occasional updates on my eating and cooking adventures...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Singapore - Laksa

In August 2004 RJ and I visited Singapore for my friends' wedding. It was way before I had ever even set eyes upon a food blog. But because food is one of my favourite things about Singapore, I ended up taking some photos of things we ate.

One of Singapore's most famous hawker centres is Lau Pa Sat. Situated right in the heart of the financial district it's a bit of a tourist trap, but still seems popular enough with the local office workers too. Lau Pa Sat is open 24 hours and features over 100 food stalls, so you can pretty much eat whatever you want whenever you feel like it.

This day, I only had eyes for one dish...laksa. Laksa is a firm favourite of mine from back in my working-in-Singapore days. My colleagues used to laugh at me because I wouldn't eat the bits that they thought were the most delicious - the fish cake, fish balls and cockles. They used to say "Ask the uncle to leave it out - he'll be very happy with his bigger profit margin!" My favourite ingredient is the fried spongy tofu that absorbs the delicious coconut milk-based curry soup, closely followed by the prawns, hard boiled egg, beansprouts and noodles.

It's really hearty comfort food. Eating a hot spicy soup for lunch in a country famous for its year-round heat and humidity probably doesn't seem like a great idea, but it really is!

In my five-year away-from-Singapore gap I had, of course, tried the laksa on offer at Australian restaurants. It's almost never as good, because it costs four to five times more and it never seems to capture the right flavour and mix of ingredients. That's why I just had to have it at least once on my trip back last year!

A trip down memory lane at Lau Pa Sat

The other fantastic thing about Singaporean hawker centres is the freshly squeezed juice. It's made on the spot and sets you back less than $2!

Oh, and the other thing in this photo is the ubiquitous "small packet tissues". There are so many uses for these in Singapore that you'll wonder how you ever got by at home without carrying them everywhere!


  • At 12:06 am, Blogger Venitha said…

    Uh, you get by at home w/o the damn tissue packets because places are civilized enough to provide napkins and toilet paper! This really drives me nuts about Singapore. Ply you with layer upon layer of free styrofoam and plastic, but napkins will apparently break the bank.

  • At 12:32 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    I'm with you on the laksa preferences. I love the spongy tofu and I really can't stand fish balls anymore. Beef balls are worse! So fake!

    You should've asked for vegetarian. More tofu please! lol

  • At 12:15 pm, Anonymous Barbara said…

    I love prawn Laksa

  • At 9:29 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hi Venitha, I know what you mean! But have you ever seen Singaporeans when there ARE serviettes available? I went on a cruise while I lived there, and there were Gucci-watch-wearing tai-tais sticking two-inch high piles of napkins into their handbags at the buffet! I guess it's a vicious cycle...

    Hey AG, I've just never been able to get my head around those fish balls. They're too processed - there could be anything mashed up in there!

    Hi Barbara, mmm, I love prawns too!

  • At 7:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm doing a school project on Singaporean Laksa. It sounds really good.Thanks 4 the info. it will really help me with my project.

  • At 3:19 am, Blogger Koh Tze Yin said…

    Laksa ! At the mention of the dish , I feel rather homesick.This is the very food that I 'll chow down the moment I touch down in Singapore and the best version of laksa for me is the Katong Laksa.Yummms;-)

  • At 10:15 pm, Anonymous Jessica said…

    Dear Kelly

    I'm S'porean doing a school project on singaporean food. I'm doing a marketing research to find out from those who have been to Singapore on their comments and if there are foodie groups overseas that would like to visit Singapore for the local food experience.

    So i hope if you can log into to answer my questionaire. Or if it is not too much to ask are you able to post the link (questionaire) on your homepage. Your contribution is much appreciated.

    Please advise. Thank you, jessica

  • At 2:55 pm, Anonymous Rojario said…

    I have a passion for freshly squeezed juice made of apple, orange, or fresh mango. Yummy!

  • At 3:02 pm, Anonymous London Best Night Clubs said…

    Absolutely delicious! I just moved to a new and discovered a local fresh food market so popped in a picked up a your ingredients. Such a fresh, light and easy meal!

    London Best Night Clubs


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