Date visited: 25th January 2013
MerlinFan and I wanted to go to Gami as I was craving fried chicken ribs but we both somehow failed to notice that it was only open at night (we both really suck!). Anyway, on the way there we passed this place Laksa Bar wafting great laksa fumes outside and murmured to ourselves "we should try it one day." And since Gami was closed, we both stood outside for a few minutes freakily checking it out on Urbanspoon. 74% Likes was good enough for us, so in we went.
We were greeted by a cheery waitress who brought us to our tables and gave us our menus. You put your own orders in and pay at the counter. You also get your own cutlery and condiments (if needed) from a small rack.
I really liked the contrast of sheek tables with the somewhat barren, industrial look of the interior. There was also a window where you could look right into their kitchen.
MerlinFan had the Sharon Rose Ice Lemon Tea and I had the cold Teh Tarik which was Malaysian frothy milk tea.
|Ice Lemon Tea $3.50, Teh Tarik $3.50|
MerlinFan had the Laksa Mee Goreng. Fried yellow noodles in laksa flavour with garlic, onion, chilli, chicken, tomatoes, tofu and wait... a wedge of lemon? Either way, MerlinFan was happy with her dish.
|Laksa Mee Goreng with chicken $11.90|
|East Malaysia Laksa $14.50|
Not many people are aware but East Malaysia Laksa (namely Sarawak laksa) is actually completely different from curry laksa from our West Malaysian counterparts. East Malaysia laksa has no curry in it and has a base of sambal belacan, tamarind, garlic, lemongrass and coconut milk. The ones back home are usually topped with omelette, chicken strips, prawns, bean sprouts, coriander and lime. Damn. If only I had more time to check out Urbanspoon I would have noticed that a few other diners had already commented that this particular laksa wasn't authentic <grumble grumble grumble>
The curry broth itself was quite tasty but very rich. The spiciness was very mild - you could ask them for a spicier version. They also used thick rice noodles rather than thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon) which is common in East Malaysia - I kind of lost some enthusiasm for my dish when I discovered the noodles were overcooked and flaccid. Although they were very generous with the toppings, some were a bit bizarre. Rather than shredded steamed chicken they used some sort of marinated chicken which was unusual - I don't know if they were trying to cater for a more Westernised palate. They also had other odd ingredients on the side like tomato and cucumber, which I obviously didn't add to my laksa.
Overall, the laksa was okay, not the best in Melbourne. MerlinFan enjoyed her dish and I think perhaps if the East Malaysia Laksa hadn't been labelled as something it wasn't, I wouldn't have been so sorely disappointed.
<a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/1629642/restaurant/CBD/Laksa-Bar-Melbourne"><img alt="Laksa Bar on Urbanspoon" src="http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1629642/biglink.gif" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>