A healthy laksa? It is possible | Photo: Daniel Ang
This is not your typical laksa. The spicy noodle soup stall at Hong Lim Complex serves the popular Singaporean hawker dish with two halves of crayfish, and there is more to this first impression.
Their Asian Delight laksa ($3, $4 or $5.50 with crayfish) is a bowl of thinned-out (with coconut milk), light soup, topped with generous servings of chicken strips, prawns, fish cake and tau pok (tofu puffs). Having the shelled crustacean in the bowl does, however, make eating rather messy
Hawker and stall owner Daniel Soo (he is in his 60s, although really, he looks a decade younger), is health-conscious and believes that the food he sells should be nutritious on top of being delicious, something he's achieved with his dish of choice.
According to Mr Soo, the laksa gravy is cooked using quality ingredients such as scallops, fried oysters, dried prawns and fresh coconut. Refreshing and tasty, the flavour was a cross between the usual laksa and seafood soup. If you like your laksa thick and cholesterol-laden though, this may not be your bowl of curry.
Another of Soo’s best-seller is a fruit juice mee siam ($3-$4), where the usual assam is replaced with a “secret formula fruit juice”. He revealed he included mainly “natural ingredients” as it is healthier. We tasted pineapple juice.
The gravy is not done with pre-mixes, nor does Soo take any short-cuts – the laksa is cooked every morning.
Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa's dish is very different from the other versions, the gravy is light on the palate, with a somewhat sweet and tangy aftertaste. The consistency is so thin you can drink this non-spicy broth on its own without feeling like it sits too heavy. For an extra indulgence, add a crayfish to the mee siam for a mere $1.50.
Crayfish or not, these dishes should appeal to the health-conscious, but probably need some getting used to as they are in a class of their own.