Monday, April 12, 2010

Laksa King, Flemington by Big Fil

I love a good Laksa. I'm not sure why but most Laksas in Melbourne don't seem to match up with what is available in Malaysia or Singapore. Whether it's difficulties with getting key ingredients or changing the proportions to a supposed local taste, but they always seem to lack the depth of flavours of a true Laksa. Laksa King has a good reputation and at first glance it was promising. Slightly rundown appearance - tick. Queue of people waiting to get in - tick. Sizzle of food cooking in a hot wok - 3 ticks ... I'm in.

The curry Laksa looked ok, if a little bit bright yellow and not as full of ingredients as it could have been. Tasting it confirmed initial impressions. It was ok, but no real heat or depth of flavour in the soup. The sort of thing available in lots of restaurants around Melbourne.

My companion, who was visiting from the UK, had never tried Assam Laksa before and decided to give it a go. Assam Laksa is a fish-based, somewhat sour Laksa originating in Penang. The soup always looks like used dishwater to me and it is a bit of an acquired taste. On the other hand, when prepared well it makes an interesting change from the much more commonly available curry laksa. The flavours of the mint and pineapple kind of overwhelmed the other flavours of the soup. Again ok but no better, with the curry laksa probably slightly the better dish.

I thought this was the best tasting dish. Strongly flavoured with big prawns, its main problem was that too much of the flavour was the sauce and not enough the other ingredients. I also like it when some of the noodles are kind of crisp and others a bit soft, whereas all the dish ingredients were pretty similar in texture. And no cockles, which very few places here seem to add.

While I always like my sago in coconut milk, this is the first time I've had it with ice on top. Strange, but still quite nice.

I had high hopes but was a bit disappointed. Laksa King seems to be very popular but another mediocre Melbourne Malaysian café. Maybe slightly better than most but not somewhere I would cross town again to visit.

Ambience - 5
Service - 6
Food - 6
Price 7.5 (Generous serving sizes)

320 Racecourse Road
Flemington Vic 3031
Tel: (03) 9372 6383

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