Heritage on a Plate

The Great Laksa Shootout Part 4

Malaysian Food, Penang Food, Food TourDanny MahesComment
"Life is short, and there's a lot of laksa to be had."

It might not be the most well known quote, but it's definitely a quote we live by here at Heritage on a Plate. If you're following us on Instagram, you'll know that we've been out and about trying some laksa in Penang over the weekend. So here's Part 4 of the Laksa Shootout Series!

Nyonya Assam Laksa from Moh Teng Pheow

When I'm thinking of getting my assam laksa fix, more often than not it's this place that jumps to mind. Moh Teng Pheow has been making nyonya kuih (cakes and savories) for more than half a century and the corner canteen alcove is just this wonderful quaint place to enjoy some local Penang Nyonya food.

The assam laksa here is spicy, sour and, well, fruity. The pineapple flavour is strong and the addition of red and green chilies gives it a nice edgy look without actually being too much. Think of it as the Green Day of the Laksa scene. Noticeably absent is the pungent fermented shrimp odour, even with this much loved (and hated) ingredient being provided on the spoon.

All in all, a really great introduction to laksa and its flavour profile. One of my favourites.

hop penang food assam laksa 1
hop penang food assam laksa 2

Crab Laksa from Chulia Court

If you didn't know that crab could be an ingredient in laksa, well now you do. One of the reasons we decided to embark on this epic laksa journey was because there's just such a diverse variation to this complex and colourful dish. At the moment, a few local cafes offer crab laksa and I'll be trying as as many of them as I can find.

The crab laksa is different from the Nyonya assam laksa in terms of flavour. It's creamy, and the seafood flavor will be more familiar if you're accustomed to the Western seafood palate. The crab laksa at Chulia Court is quite light, with a hint of crab but stronger on the coconut milk and herb. It comes with a milder version of the shrimp paste on the side, along with calamansi lime and chilies. My preference is to drop it all into the bowl :D

hop penang food crab laksa 1
hop penang food crab laksa 2

That's our contenders for this round! Have you tried either of these laksas? What's your take on them?

If you haven't already, find more laksa dishes around Penang from the Laksa Shootout Part 3.