Coconut House Laksa Special

449 Elizabeth St, Melbourne CBD
Phone: 9329 6401

Yeah, I’m back for more. Last time I had the chicken rice, so this time I thought I’d try the laksa. The laksa special, that is. Ooh, and what a special laksa!

As you can see (from my upside-down photo) there’s your regular fishcake, prawn and tofu puffs, but then add to that a chicken drumstick, and a beautiful sunny side runny yolk fried egg! Total WIN.
The laksa soup itself was probably a touch heavy on the coconut, and even the fresh chillies didn’t deliver quite enough heat I thought, but what do you expect from a place called Coconut House, right?

Coconut House on Urbanspoon

Laksa King: a tale of two laksas

12 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington
Phone: 9372 6383

I hadn’t been to Laksa King in a couple of years. It had since changed locations, and I’d heard varying reports about the quality of the laksa. Some people had said the quality had gone downhill, an others reported being quite pleasantly surprised that the change of premises hadn’t meant a change in quality or taste. So there was only one thing for it: I’d have to see for myself.

I ordered the combination laksa. I can’t remember if it was called the Laksa King special laksa, but that sounds like something I would order…? Anyway, it came laden with slices of fish cake, a couple of prawns, some sliced chicken, puffs of fried tofu (my favourite part of any laksa) and a huge plump oily chunk of eggplant. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, oily isn’t being used in a negative way here.

The soup was a heady mix of coconut milk and curry spices, and though others have claimed Laksa King’s soup doesn’t carry enough depth of spice, I have to disagree. It was enough to have me sweating within a few minutes. Though then again, I do tend to sweat quite easily when chilli is involved.
As you can see, I quite enjoyed this laksa.

Food court (South end), Highpoint Shopping Centre, Maribynong

Then I was at Highpoint Shopping Centre not long after, and I had heard that Laksa King had an outlet there. In the name of research (and not having eaten breakfast that morning) I decided to try the same combination laksa.

It was a little disappointing, given the fact that the girl behind the counter had bothered to ask me whether I was eating in or taking away, that I was served a laksa in a disposable plastic bowl. Combined with the disposable chopsticks and the thin plastic soup spoon,it made for a truly food court experience. Which is fair enough, I suppose. I was eating in a food court, after all.

The quality of the laksa, however, was definitely above your standard food court fare. Again, the (smaller) bowl was laden with seafood, chicken and tofu, though the soup was noticeably less spicy – perhaps catering to a wider audience? – and was a little overly coconut-ty.

So my verdict? If you’re out and about in the West – and you’re most likely in a car if you’re visiting Highpoint – take the trouble to drive over to Flemington and have the original Laksa King laksa. It’s much better than the food court facsimile. Though in all honesty, if you read food blogs with any regularity, you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.
Laksa King on Urbanspoon

Photopost: more from Chowhound

See my original post on Chowhound. I liked it so much I went back recently for brunch. Mr N had scrambled eggs. I had the laksa lemak (which was actually a bit TOO spicy for my liking). I can handle my spice, so people be warned!

Chowhound on Urbanspoon

KL Bunga Raya

34 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Phone: 9329 1762

Always on the search for good places for lunch, my colleagues and I wandered up to Errol St, North Melbourne. Unsure of exactly where to go, but with the idea that Asian food was the order of the day, we stopped at KL Bunga Raya, an unassuming little Malaysian restaurant. Having been to Nasi Lemak House the day before, I wasn’t super enthusiastic, but the smells upon walking in soon changed my mind.


I ordered the Curry Laksa, a pretty safe bet – laksa is like pizza and sex: bad laksa is still laksa – and also a good benchmarking dish for any Malaysian Restaurant, I think. This laksa delivered flavour in spades, with loads of curry flavour, as well as the sweetness and richness that indicates a heft amount of coconut milk and palm sugar. It lacked something in the way of heat, I felt, but then I do like my Malaysian food reasonably spicy. The amount of chicken and seafood was generous, but for me the standout ingredient was the eggplant; soft and richly smoky, melding with the laksa soup so beautifully. The overall size of the dish was also quite generous, and I would have been happy to have this for dinner, let alone lunch.

Mr R also had the laksa, but he opted for the Seafood Curry Laksa, which has no chicken, but calamari and mussels.

Ms S had the Char Kway Teow, which looked and smelled good – not too dark or oily, and with a decent amount of char and wok hei (wok air/breath – a certain smokiness which is one of the intangibles of good stir-fry cooking).

I liked KL Bunga Raya. It’s simple, classic Malaysian food, at the expected cheap prices (most rice or noodle dishes are under $10).

KL Bunga Raya on Urbanspoon