Locals and foreigners which travel to Katong area in search for laksa will almost certainly notice this flagship stall and a secondary outlet further down East Coast Road. With both outlets possessing a prime location along the main road, one would naturally assume that 328 Katong Laksa is the original stall. There was an adjacent stall located beside this main outlet which had indoor air-conditioned seating. Upon placing the orders at the counter or with one of the staffs who would come to your table, the dishes would then be served to you.
Small Laksa (S$4.50/-)
There were 3 sizes to choose from for the laksa with the smallest bowl priced at S$4.50, the medium for S$5.50 and the large at S$6.50. We thought it was relatively expensive compared to its competitor, the Original Katong Laksa which had their smallest offering starting from S$3.
'Slurp slurp!', the first tasting of that coconut-based brought a smile to our faces immediately as we knew we were in for a good treat! There was a slightly gritty texture to that broth owed to the grounded dried prawns and spices. We particularly liked the densely rich flavours packed in that mildly sweet and spicy coconut curry soup base which delivered that much desired oomph. The balance in flavours was spot-on, with an initial creaminess, then a hint of the heat from the spices before a soothing richness from that coconut milk to round up a delectable spoonful.
The thick vermicelli was served classic Janggut-style, where it had been thoughtfully cut so that all you need is a spoon to feed yourself to all the goodness contained in that bowl. The beautiful broth stirred our appetite and made us crave for more, only to build up a great disappointment. It is no rocket science that fresh ingredients make or break a dish and on this occasion, the prawns and cockles in this bowl was sub-standard. The cockles had a distasteful fishy smell and a gritty texture due to the presence of sand. The de-shelled and de-veined prawns tasted limp and lacked firmness. As an essential ingredient for the laksa stock came from the prawn heads, I was surprised that the prawns served were not fresh as expected. Quite frankly, we were divided in our verdict because we were blown away by that beautiful broth yet left disgruntled over the freshness of ingredients.
Just some food titbits to takeaway with this, the pile of finely chopped laksa leaves, also known as Vietnamese coriander is an important ingredient contributing to the flavour of the broth. Apparently, it has the ability to repress sexual desires so many Buddhist monks grow this plant in their private gardens and eat it regularly as a helpful measure in their celibate life. Gentlemen, watch out.
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Must tries: Katong Laksa
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