I say Katong, you say Laksa.

Another one of the lucky days that daddy treats me like a princess; fetches me from tuition and whisks me off for a good lunch. Armed with my DSLR, I was ready to face the legend of Katong, the Katong Laksa. Situated alongside East Coast Road, the stretch is now home to a myriad of eateries. There has been a debate regarding the origins and authenticity of the various “Katong Laksa” that popped up across the island. Regardless, I just want to eat some good laksa.

When it comes to laksa, it is pretty simple. You either love it or you don’t. But what is so special about Katong Laksa? Besides eating only with a spoon, the laksa gravy is the best that I’ve ever tried. It is bursting with flavour, no thanks to the coconut milk, laksa leaves and dried shrimp. The white thick noodles were cooked perfectly and provided a springy taste. They were also cut to a shorter length so that customers are able to scoop them up easily with the spoon. The shredded fishcakes and fresh prawns are perfect complement to the dish as they provide a contrasting texture to the noodles. I had no idea how addictive this dish could be until I found myself staring at the bottom of the bowl within a mere 10 minutes. For people who cannot really take too much of spiciness, this dish will be perfect for you.

328 Katong Laksa
51 East Coast Road
Singapore 428770

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The Soya Beancurd Face-Off: Lao Ban vs 51

Long gone were the days when Soya Beancurd was scooped into a bowl and served with a layer of syrup. The tradition can still be found in the streets of Singapore along Rocher Road or Selegie. However, when you mention the word Soya Beancurd these days, Lao Ban will be the first to appear on many people’s minds. Ever since they opened a stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre, it has triggered a “beancurd” war nationwide. But, before those who were initially clueless about Lao Ban, let me first do a face-off between Lao Ban Soya Beancurd and 51 Soya Bean. Then you decide again.

Before I could even take a spoon of Lao Ban, I had the experience of buying it. Be prepared to queue for more than 30 minutes during the peak period. Do not be annoyed when the customers in front of you order by the bulk. I only wanted one, so I got pretty pissed when people were ordering by the tens. Technically, there shouldn’t be a long queue to buy Soya Beancurd, because it has been pre-made. So why the long wait? The answer lies with the boss. The way he packs your beancurd or returns your change, it feels like he’s practising Taiji. Nonetheless, he lost precious points. When my spoon took the first break, I noticed a layer of beancurd skin at the top. That did not really score with me. But was it love at first bite for me? I loved the level of sweetness but I could distinctively notice the powdery texture for almost each mouthful. In result, the beancurd disintegrated in my mouth leaving a weird aftertaste, instead of melting. I am not impressed at all and I definitely do not understand the hype about Lao Ban.

Lao Ban Soya Beancurd
51 Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Singapore

51 Soya, who probably got their name from the road name, is situated just 2 stalls away from Lao Ban. This is indeed a dog-eat-dog world. And it was not a pretty sight when people are queuing endlessly for Lao Ban while the competitor is literally “hitting the flies”. I guess people do really need to know which is the better one. At the first break with the spoon, I loved how the texture was smooth on the surface. Or you could say that the dessert was entirely smooth as a whole. While the level of the sweetness was also suitable for me, what really set 51 Soya apart from Lao Ban was the texture once again. Smooth, homogenous, consistent, velvety. The beancurd literally melts in your mouth.

It is time that people stop jumping into the Lao Ban bandwagon because there is a queue. Try 51 Soya one day and you tell me what’s your verdict.

51 Soya Bean
51 Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Singapore