There is never enough room in my stomach for Singapore. From my very first meal in the lion city, munching on kaya toast with kopi, watching the city wake up from my seat at a kopitiam, I’ve been hooked. I love the South Indian vegetarian, Malay and Peranakan delights. If I didn’t live in Hong Kong, I’d probably also love the Chinese food, too, bit I need a break from it when travelling 😉 I love the assortment of tropical fruits, even durian. I love the unpretentiousness of kopitiam and hawker centres. This city loves its food and is deservedly proud of it.
Laksa is one of my favourite foods, ever. (Well, not Assam laksa – tried that years ago in Penang, never again!) Today I tried two well-known Katong laksa joints – I believe both claim to be the original?
Why both? Why not 😂 I wasn’t sure if I’d be back in Katong this trip and I thought trying to one after the other would allow me to be able to compare as accurately as possible. Investigative journalism right here 😉
I ordered the small size, which I found really generous! Definitely enough in the Singapore heat. The noodles are chopped up so you don’t need chopsticks, just the spoon provided. Sambal is provided in packets, so you can adjust the level of spice yourself. Laksa leaves are on top as a garnish, though their flavour wasn’t as noticeable as that of Marine Parade Laksa. Seafood portions are really generous at 328, and featured fish cake, prawns and cockles. The broth was creamy and just plain yum! I couldn’t resist trying the otah, and it was delicious.
Cross the road and head into Roxy Square, and you will find Marine Parade Laksa. I forgot to take a picture of the stall, but there are plenty of such pictures online.
The laksa is brought to your table,unlike at 328 where you take your tray of yums to your chosen table. The first thing I noticed was the oilier sheen. The broth tasted lighter than 328’s, and I could taste the laksa leaf more. Sambal is on the side of the bowl so the spice level may be harder to control for those who don’t like it spicy. Me, I love the heat, and I mixed it all in 😉 The amount of seafood seemed a little less than 328, and I don’t recall cockles in the soup here. Like 328, the noodles are chopped up so you can eat it with a spoon.
In the interests of otah appreciation, I also tried the otah from the neighbouring stall. It was still warm and the blend of spices flavoured the fish perfectly. Delicious. Definitely a winner here.
All in all, I loved both laksas. They were both delicious yet slightly different in the broth. Everyone’s bound to have their favourite, but I would happily revisit either one, and Katong is a great area to explore and appreciate the gorgeous architecture. It seems like a popular expat area too, and during my wanders I overheard snippets of familiar expat conversations – same topics, different locations.