When it comes to quintessential Singapore hawker food, the irresistible laksa comes on top of the list. Doesn't matter if it's the Katong or Penang kind!
Weâ€™re quite the obsessive bunch when it comes to food. From stalking stalls at our favourite hawker centres to attempting to DIY our own laksa in the home kitchen, thereâ€™s no denying that we are suckers for good food â€“ especially laksa, of course. On a cold, rainy day, there are few things we like better than a hot, spicy, soupy bowl of the stuff to tuck into. Hungry already? Hereâ€™s where to get your fix.
928 Yishun Laksa
Is it worth trekking up to Yishun for? Hate to break it to you, but yes. For less than $5, you can get a bowl chock full of ingredients like fried beancurd, hard-boiled egg, beansprouts, fish cakes, and cockles (you can request for it to be changed with crabsticks!), so thereâ€™s no need to add on any extras. You also get to choose your noodle and thereâ€™s an unlimited supply of laksa leaves and sambal.
928 Yishun Laksa, 01-155, Yishun Central 1, Block 928, Singapore 760928
Unlike the usual creamy and indulgent version weâ€™re accustomed to, Assam Laksa is punchy, sour and packs a lot of heat. Originally a popular pop-up business in Johor Baru, thereâ€™s no need to cross the Causeway anymore for Dâ€™Laksa. Besides the mouthwatering broth and all that flavour, one of the best things about Dâ€™Laksa is the springy and thick noodles made from tapioca starch. If youâ€™re a fan of fishballs, you can have them on its own, swimming in the delicious broth.
Dâ€™Laksa Penang Assam Laksa Singapore, 90 Hougang Ave 10 #B1-K7, Hougang Mall, 538766
328 Katong Laksa
This venerable institution made headlines after defeating celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, in a laksa showdown, but thatâ€™s really not surprising to its throngs of ardent followers. Laksa noobs should make this stall their introduction to this local favourite. The laksa here is laden with cockles and a good sprinkling of laksa leaves, but in our opinion, the best thing about the laksa here is the perfectly balanced gravy and the cut noodles you can slurp up with a spoon. Donâ€™t embarrass yourself by asking for chopsticks; and donâ€™t forget the sambal!
328 Katong Laksa, various locations
The Original Katong Laksa (Janggut Laksa)
True story: Honeycombers ed Selina once walked into East Coast institution Kim Choo one day with a bottle of lime juice from the aforementioned laksa joint, and was told off by the auntie behind the counter for not going to the laksa stall across the road in Roxy Square instead: â€śItâ€™s cheaper, and itâ€™s BETTER,â€ť she declared. Weâ€™re not going to go into a history lesson about the long Laksa War of old, but our verdict? This is a damn good laksa thatâ€™s intensely flavoured, but not-too-spicy gravy. If the Roxy Square branch was open beyond 5.30pm, weâ€™d have a regular table. Heads up: the Paya Lebar branch is serving up a crayfish laksa â€“ take us there!
The Original Katong Laksa (Janggut Laksa), 1 Queensway, #1-59, Queensway Shopping Centre, Singapore 149053; Roxy Square, 50 East coast Road #01-59, 149053; Food Republic, Lvl 4 Wisma Atria 435 Orchard Ro 238877; Quemoy Building, 327 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534947
Beast & Butterflies
While itâ€™s the hawker legends that usually come to mind when laksa is mentioned, this resto has entered the fray with its own slightly upmarket version of the dish. Enter Beast & Butterfliesâ€™ Mee Tai Mak Laksa â€“ a hefty hot stone bowl filled with a satisfying spicy, savoury broth. But this isnâ€™t your average laksa; the dish is chock-full of seafood like fresh, plump cherry stone clams, prawns and fishcake. And instead of the usual soggy tau pok, you get some crispy, brittle fried beancurd. This dish is fantastic value at just $16.
Beast & Butterflies, 90 Robertson Quay, Level 1, Singapore 238259
Alexandra Village Claypot Laksa
If itâ€™s thick, creamy laksa soup that does it for you, make this unique laksa stall your first stop. As its name would suggest, the laksa here is cooked and served in thick claypots to concentrate flavours and keep your laksa nice and warm. The thick, spicy soup base is the star here â€“ youâ€™ll struggle to find a more substantial and creamy variant. Need more convincing? The stall even made its way onto Michelinâ€™s Bib Gourmand list this year!
Alexandra Village Claypot Laksa, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-75 Alexandra Village, Singapore 151120
Sungei Road Laksa
This humble stall is another famous institution thatâ€™s easy to miss if youâ€™re not savvy with local food haunts. Located in an unassuming coffee shop on Jalan Berseh, this stall serves up your classic laksa that, while small, makes up for it with ample servings of plump, fresh cockles. Its $3 price tag is the cherry on top.
Sungei Road Laksa, 27 Jalan Berseh, #01-100, Jin Shui Kopitiam, Singapore 200027.
Chong Wen Ge CafĂ©
We canâ€™t possibly miss out this gem just down the street from our office. This quaint Peranakan cafe is right next to the Thian Hock Keng Temple. Step through its bright blue doorway and youâ€™ll be greeted with a rustic cafe that pays homage to coffee shops of old. And when youâ€™re done admiring the Peranakan tiles, sit down to a traditional Nyonya laksa that isnâ€™t too heavy; this one comes packed with ingredients like prawns, fish cake, hard boiled egg and soft, fluffy tau pok.
Chong Wen Ge Cafe, 168 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068619
The Penang-style variant swaps the thick, creamy curry for a lighter broth flavoured with tamarind, flaked fish, lemongrass and even pineapple. And Penang Kitchen is one place where you can find it â€“ its rendition of the dish offers a pungent, spicy broth heavy on belachan, and ample toppings of basil round up the dish with some fresh flavours.
Penang Kitchen, 5 Coronation Road, #01-05 Coronation Arcade, Singapore 437066
National Kitchen by Violet Oon
It is unorthodox to serve laksa without its signature broth, but we have no qualms whatsoever when itâ€™s in the good hands of celebrated Peranakan chef, Violet Oon. In this dry laksa, fresh rice noodles are instead tossed in Oonâ€™s flavoursome laksa gravy, ensuring they stay firm and springy. Expect brilliance in every bite.
National Kitchen by Violet Oon, 1 Saint Andrewâ€™s Road, #02â€“01 National Gallery, Singapore 178957
San Laksa Steamboat Restaurant
Now for something a little different. Some of us love laksa soup so much that we just want to dip everything in it. At San Laksa Steamboat Restaurant, you can cook ingredients like pork belly, beef striploin, fish paste, cockles and more in a boiling, free-flowing laksa soup base that will leave you addicted. Slurp to your heartâ€™s content!
San Laksa Steamboat Restaurant, 404 Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 098840
Like this story? Check these out:
Make your own sambal to go along with that laksa!
Check out this massive guide of local Singaporean foods and drinks you must try
Lau Pa Sat: The history and the lowdown on all the yummy food
Hot Hot Eats: Where to eat the spiciest dishes in Singapore