Sunday, November 11, 2012

Petaling Street, Chinatown

This post has been a L-O-N-G time coming! I first went to Petaling Street, a Malaysian hawker-style restaurant in Chinatown, as I was desperate to try Asam Laksa...whatever that was. The plan was to duck into Petaling Street, try a bowl of Asam Laksa one night and then come back to work my way through the menu in order to right a decent and well-rounded blog post.  Yep, never happened.

It's amazing how much I've learned about food since I started blogging. The most wonderful thing about the blogging community is that there are so many people all from different backgrounds - Australian, Polish, British, Indonesian, Filipino, Malaysian...just to name a few. This great big blogging melting pot means I'm always hearing about food that is totally new to me.  Take Asam Laksa for instance.

I noticed a lot of talk on twitter about Asam Laksa but had no idea what it was. At first I though it was just a generic Malaysian phrase for "Laksa"...wrong.  When I think of Laksa I think of that coconut milk based soup that we're all familiar with from our lunchtime food court visits. You know the one - a huge steaming bowl crammed with noodles, tofu puffs, chili paste, coconut milk and topped with bean shoots and coriander. For people "in the know" this is referred to as "Curry Laksa".  It's lovely and for the longest time I was ADDICTED. But now I've developed a new addiction.

Asam Laksa is incredible - a thick, potent tamarind based broth that is both sour and slightly sweet from the various garnishes like pineapple.  The noodles are thick, chewy and perfect for slurping - this is not a dish to indulge in whilst to be wearing a white t-shirt. The broth is dotted with shredded mackerel which lends the soup a lovely chewy texture and the garnishes of cucumber, mint, pineapple, red onion are a nice crunchy counter-balance to the soft noodles. It's like a soup and a salad all in one dish.

I've been back to Petaling Street quite a few times now and I can never EVER order anything but Asam Laksa. It's THAT good. 

On one hot day I did manage to order myself a Lychee Drink - just to prove I'm not totally boring. It's sweet and refreshing and I always think that eating lychees is so exotic.

I dragged The BFF along on one visit and he kindly ordered something other than Asam Laksa...for the blog, bless him.  The Pork Hock is flavoursome but there's not a lot of meat on it so it's a bit too much hard work after a long day at work. There is a generous serving of noodles and greens...but I'm thinking he should've ordered an Asam Laksa.  I mean, why wouldn't you?

Petaling Street is at 760 George Street,  Haymarket. Try the Asam Laksa - you owe it to yourself.

Petaling Street: Malaysian Hawker Food on Urbanspoon


  1. I've found some great restaurants in Haymarket. You're right - when you start a food blog you suddenly start to learn an incredible amount about food from growing it yourself to cooking it yourself to reviewing what's presented in front of you xx

  2. im so happy that you try new dishes so willingly and so very excited that you loved the assam laksa! it's not for everyone but for those who love it we become almost fanatical searching out more places for it!

  3. You love assam laksa?? that is like music to my ears, it is my ultimate fav type of laksa. Hands down!

  4. I've never tried Asam Laksa at Petaling because I've always gone for the fried whole fish! Love Petaling - it's tasty and relatively cheap!

  5. How great that you're getting out there and trying new dishes like Asam Laksa. I've never had it before but will have to note Petaling for next time I'm i Sydney. Thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I've just added you to mine. Hope we meet sometime in the future!

  6. I've only had take out from here and tried the CKT - it wasn't too bad. It got a bit too soft because the container had been closed up and took me about 10 minutes before I could sit down and eat it. think I need to go back and try a few more things!

  7. We were talking about going here a few weeks ago. It sounds like it's definitely worth it for the Assam Laksa. I know that some people can get really opinionated about it and whether one is as good as another so it sounds like a winner!

  8. Oh my gosh, this is the just the post I needed to read. I've been to Petaling Street quite a few times now (love it!), but am yet to have an Assam Laksa... it's been on my list of things to try but there are just so many yummy things on that menu I haven't got there yet. Next time!

    There Nasi Lemak is really good too :)

  9. I wish I was brave enough to try assam laksa! I always opt for the safe option of the curry laksa but you do make it sound very tempting! is it spicy? i can't handle too much spice unfortunately

  10. I love learning more about different foods through blogging as well but I must admit I'm not that adventurous with my food choices a lot of the time. But maybe I should give this a try - I have heard amazing things about Assam Laksa :)

  11. You're nor boring; you've just discovered a new addiction! LOL

  12. It is amazing how much I have learned since I started blogging. You are right it is a massive melting pot of cultures, and the best thing is, everyone shares.

    You aren't boring, on to a good thing, stick to it, until you get bored of it I say.

  13. I haven't tried the assam laksa from Petaling Street to compare, but I really like the version served up at Malay Chinese Takeaway in the CBD. Always respectable, and sometimes really, really good. It's just a bit tough to get at because it's only offered once every 4-5 weeks, and usually sells out by 1 pm! Give it a go; I'd be curious to know what you think.

    Peter (changp at


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