[Photographs: David Straight]
There are times – a rainy Tuesday, say, or maybe Friday – when nothing but Malaysian hawker food will do. And when that happens, we head straight to Laksa House in the Newmarket Plaza Food Court. The environs are nothing special: it’s in a narrow covered street under the Rialto carpark affectionately known by some as “Smelly Alley”. Fluorescently lit, though it’s clean, there are just a handful of stalls – it used to be much bigger here, and we mourn the late, great Xian De Lai.
No matter. Laksa House is painted bright orange, the service is friendly and it does what it says on the box – classic Malaysian hawker food, including said laksa. Everything seems to cost $11.50. There is a char kuay teow – an accomplished iteration, nicely smoky from the wok – and a very, very good laksa and a roti canai with a thick, fragrant curry sauce and chicken that just falls off the bone.
Our latest discovery? Wat tan hor. They make a char kuay teow, then add an eggy gravy and put it in a wide, shallow bowl. It comes to the table looking all gloopy and you wonder quite what you have done, before adding a saucer of soy, rice wine vinegar and chilli, which cuts through the egg and makes for a wondrous gravy – smoky and eggy and salty. See you Friday? SFG
ADDRESS Newmarket Plaza Food Court, 5-11 Kent Street, Newmarket.
IMPORTANT DETAILS Pop across the alley while you’re there to Seafood Harbour – some of the best fish in town.