As well as the quest for musical perfection, we have managed to pick up a side quest that involves eating lots of good Laksa.
Problem is, there are also some terrible ones out there which makes it really bloody hard. Imagine if there were thousands of rings just lying around in Lord of the Rings and they had to find the real one and it cost them between $10 and $20 each time they took a guess. Welcome to what we like to call the Laksa gamble.
To help our fellow gamblers, this page will contain a list of locations where Laksa can be obtained and their quality levels. Please feel free to scribble your recommendations on our wall in Facebook Land and we'll do our best to include them.
Hokka Hokka / Majura Park
One of the top 5 Laksa's in Canberra. Surprising considering it is in a food court. Order with extra chilli on the side. Not too sweet like Thai restaurants , not too milky like tee's
As good as an Asian noodle house Laksa.
Dickson Asian Noodle House - Really good flavours but sometimes can be a bit careless with their cuts of meat. 8 out of 10
Cafe Bamboo - Surprisingly tasty and different in the fact that they use cuts of meat you would expect to find in other dishes such as a beef and black bean or chicken and cashews. The sauce is always delicious though if sometimes a little oily. 7 out of 10
Thai Garden - The first Laksa I had from here the sauce was amazingly thick and incredibly tasty and if it was always like that, a ten out of ten would be in order. However there is variation in their sauce that ranges from brilliant to passable. They always take the utmost care with the meats and vegetables though. 8.5 out of 10
Sammys Kitchen - I have heard people rave about these Laksas so I was very excited to try one. I came to the conclusion that said ravers were tastebuddly challenged because this was perhaps the worst Laksa I have ever had. Ingredients were sparse unless you just want noodles and it tasted like watered down tomatoes. I will try it again just in case the work experience kid made that particular one. 3 out of 10. Harsh but I call them as I taste them.
Dumpling Inn - Food court Laksa. For the price and the location, this Laksa was not entirely terrible. The sauce was hot but lacking in a lot of the more subtle flavours like star anise, lime and coriander. It finished quite watery and the tofu was nearly inedible. There are better but there are definitely worse. 5.5 out of 10
Sakura Japanese - Nice. Very nice. The only problem newcomers will have is that they keep their chicken on the bone. Extra flavour but extra danger. They take great pride in their Laksa and it shows. Nice ingredients if a little processed. 7.5 out of 10
Home Made Holiday Laksa - Videos will be in shortly but this one was a 8 out of 10. Used a jar base but managed to work out the kinks. Could have used a bit more flavour in the sauce but the fresh fish and coriander really made up for it.
Curry House - Very generous with their sauce. With a take away they kept sauce and chunky bits separate and I got heaps of extra sauce. Ingredients were good and nice and tasty. Hit just above the Dumpling Inn with a 6 out of 10.
Tee's Trading - Very Milky, but quite endearing. Once I managed to get a taste for the milk I found myself thoroughly enjoying this Laksa. Nice separation of flavours and a really nice coriander kick. A beautiful variation that is well welcomed. 7.5 out of 10
Asian Noodle House (Civic) - I was in and out in a flash and had one of the best Laksa experiences I have had in a long time. Everything was in just the right quantities and it was as tasty as could be. Will have to try a few more times and pick some holes but for now, if you can only get one Canberra Laksa, make it from here. A solid 9 out of 10.
Guest laksa review by Matt Kendrick -
Sadly I don't know the name of the place, but it's a small asian deli thing in the Fyshwick markets, somewhere between Plonk and the pet store.
The good: $12.50. Not a bad price for a combo laksa.
The bad: The price is about the only good thing. The first disappointment was the smell, of which there was little. Soup was mostly tasteless, except for generic chilli oil heat. Colour was insipid glowing yellow/brown. The two prawns still had their tails on. There were weird thin slices of tofu (or possibly mock chicken) instead of the lovely soup-filled sponges that better laksas have. Apart from the prawns, there were no actual chunks of meat - just watery off-tasting dumplings, the content of which remains a mystery, and strange fuzzy balls of what seemed like seafood extender.
I suppose if I were being generous, the mung bean shoots had a bit of crunch, and the noodles were inoffensive.