Sunday, July 10, 2016
The Original Katong Laksa: Janggut Laksa at Roxy Square
There are gems in my neighbourhood that I don't go to often enough. The Original Katong Laksa or Marine Parade Laksa is one of them. There is a branch in dark and dingy Roxy Square that still draws the crowds especially on weekends (don't even think of going there for Sunday lunch).
Much has been written about the Katong Laksa wars. Who was the real pioneer? Which ones were copycats? No one has described it better than celebrity photographer Russell Wong in a lovingly detailed post (I love his blog) - http://thewonglist.blogspot.sg/2011/12/which-is-real-katong-laksa.html
So long story short - Janggut the founder of Marine Parade Laksa is the orginator. Old man Janggut made history when he devised this style of laksa: the rice noodles are deliberately cut short, so you can use just a spoon to scoop them up, picking up a nice serving of savoury broth. In fact, a soup spoon is all you get with your bowl. The unitiated will feel odd at first, thinking they are short of an eating utensil. But go along with it, and you'll see it makes perfect sense. Saves on washing up too.
It's more robust and richer than the Sungei Road Laksa, but doesn't have the latter's charcoal-fire smokiness and fragrance. While this is pretty good on its own, I have a sense they used to be much better in their heydays. They did mention that they had to skimp a little on ingredients like dried shrimp because food costs are rising. My S$4 small-sized serving also was a little skimpy, as you can see.
They are still way better than 328 Laksa which seems to have totally sold out and made itself somewhat of a fastfood outlet.
Janggut's niece Ms Ng has an outlet at Queensway Shopping Centre #01-59 (open daily 10am - 9.15pm) and Janggut's sister-in-law has opened at Blk 128 Bedok North St 2, #01-02 (open daily: 9:30am to 5:00pm) as well.
UPDATE: one reader has alerted me that the Bedok stall may be closed for good, but I can't get through to Madam Ng (tel: 96221045) for confirmation. Anyone else know about this?
THE ORIGINAL KATONG LAKSA
50 East Coast Road #01-64
Open daily 8:30am - 5:30pm
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