laksa shack

Laksa Shack is a franchise operating along the trend of establishing hawker food fare in the air conditioned comfort of malls. It has outlets throughout Malaysia and specializes in laksa, as the name implies.

laksa shack interior

Laksa is a noodle soup dish originating from Malaysia and has two major variants – curry laksa and asam laksa. The first one is santan (coconut milk) based while the latter is a medley of sour and tangy notes from tamarind. Sarawak laksa is an offshoot of curry laksa but I tend to prefer the asam laksa more.

laksa shack asam

Asam laksa has no coconut milk and is based on a fish paste broth with tamarind, which gives it the distinctive sour taste. I find that very appetizing, and it’s served with translucent thick rice vermicelli instead of the thinner version.

laksa shack operation

Laska Shack is a quick service operation and offers Asam Laksa, Johor Laksa, Curry Laksa, Laksam Kelantan, Tom Yam Laksa, Laksa Nyonya Melaka, Sarawak Laksa and Laksa Lemak Singapore. The soup base is all pre-cooked and kept in heated receptacles at the counter so they just need to pour the right gravy on the right kind of noodles.

laksa shack drinks

I went with my girlfriend to the outlet at MidValley Megamall and we shared a Laksa Set (RM 14.90) which comes with the laksa of your choice, 2 pieces of otak-otak and Sirap Bandung Cincau. The drink (left) is a rose syrup drink with milk and cincau (black jelly). I ordered another drink (right) for RM 5.50 – Ipoh White Coffee Cincau.

laksa shack set

This is what the Laksa Set looks like. The laksa ordered separately costs RM 9.90 each and the drinks will set you back RM 5-6 so it’s usually more cost effective to order the popular laksa set. The two pieces of otak-otak came really fast – the operation at Laksa Shack is all very streamlined.

laksa shack otak

Otak-otak (literally brains-brains) is a fish paste snack wrapped in banana leaves. Laksa Shack offers the steamed version and the otak-otak is (very) highly processed, leaving very little taste, as is oft the case in mass produced bulk food.

laksa shack asam laksa

The Asam Laksa at Laksa Shack is surprisingly good for a quick service restaurant. The soup base is tantalizingly sour and comes with pieces of fish. I find tamarind based broth to be very appetizing and drank all the soup in the dish.

laksa shack asam laksa macro

I didn’t quite like the fish pieces though – it seems to be sardine to my untrained palate and sardine is one of the few aquatic lifeforms I do not like to eat (due to taste rather than any sentimental PETA/Greenpeace ideology).

laksa shack end

You can probably get better laksa for a lower price at regular hawker stalls but Laksa Shack offers the experience (and convenience) of eating hawker food in air conditioned comfort inside a mall. I have seen this trend take off and I suspect the end is nigh for the novelty value of hawker-food-given-premium-treatment concept eating establishments.

It’s going to jump the sardine soon, mark my words. ;)

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25 Responses to “Laksa Shack”

  1. hi there. i’ve tried the laksa shack which is located in melaka. verdict: sad to say – two thumbs down:(

  2. HB, Your food subjects are so interesting to people in other countries. I always like to thank you for sharing it to all. Never had or see this type of food in San Francisco. There no way that make it. This why I like to visit Asia. I have some family memebers in Hong Kong and my cousin married to a Chinese born in Singapore and late father family in Taipei.

  3. ai-ling: Really? I thought it was pretty good. Which type of laksa did you have?
    Vickie: Hmm…there should be laksa in Chinatown. I’ve had laksa in Melbourne, Australia before and it tasted pretty authentic too.
    Anyway, I gotta go to sleep. My sister and her husband is here for the Sibu wedding reception tomorrow, and I’ve been busy helping out. My apologies about the tardiness in replying the comments – I promise I’ll catch up on Sunday when everything is settled. Cheers all! :)
    Have a great weekend!

  4. I kinda like Laksa Shack. Wish I had some laksa now. I’ve tried almost all the laksa on the menu, and my favourites are the Laksam, topped with lots of belacan, and the Singaporean laksa. The Laksa Johor is quite nice too.

  5. HB, my mom been reading your blog and and youtube. She see talent in you. Producing a TV show for states on PBS. Found you great for the Malaysia part of the show. Her name is Betty and been looking for fresh face for show. Hosts is well known stars from Asia. She will contact you for more development and want to keep in touch.
    Sponcers would love to paid for your blog due it popular with many people. Your writing skill and English very good and you photo well in front of camera. There will other film projects later too.

  6. The first and last time i was here was when i was so home sick and missed Laksa Sarawak so much. The laksa unfortunately tasted so bad but the service was really good . =)

  7. Over-priced and over-hyped chain restaurant. Support the local hawkers is the way to go.

  8. I think shop is closed. Went to Chinatown found no where. Guess have to see Malaysia more now.

  9. Found out it Chinese who went to Southeast Asia that invested this dish. Now to try to find a place that sell it.

  10. Dude, I have not had laksa since CNY’s trip…too bad the one and only Sarawak Laksa restaurant in America closed it’s door in March 2008.

  11. HB, my sister is getting married today. Too bad I can’t go home. Oh well, at least I have gave her the big wedding gift. ;) Hope you had fun with the wedding in Sibu.
    e, lu manyak sos laksa, masaklah sendiri. Jangan lupa bagi saya makan juga.

  12. argh! laksa n otak-otak! i’m a laksa n otak-otak fans!

  13. I find that there’s nothing to shout about Laksa Shack. probably that’s why it’s still in a shack. Laksa at hawker stalls taste better anytime. However, if you’re talking about paying-above-average-prices-for-a-bowl-of-hawker-dish, I do like Madam Kwan. The laksa’s not too bad but with the same price, you can probably eat 3 bowls outside.

  14. i’m a fan of good grammar too.

  15. I really hate the taste of bandung..haha anyway, how is the otah-otah? u are making my saliva drop, i wanna go muar to try out the authentic otah otah

  16. Greetings from Shanghai.
    Congratulations. You have just conquered the Great Firewall.

  17. Penang Laksa is the BEST ! ^^

  18. Never ate there, and probably not very likely to do that in the near future. hee-hee

  19. nv ate there too and it somehow never attracted me. i hate the noodles, i usually go for laksa-kosong

  20. whimsicaljottings: Yeah, it’s not that bad. Service is fast too. I’ve never had Laksam, gotta check it out.
    Amy: Hey, that’s great. I would love to be a host for a TV show. It’s one of my dreams. :)
    chefmel: Did the Laksa Sarawak taste anything like the laksa from over here? :)
    I find that other states generally do a poor version of the laksa sarawak so I never ordered that.
    Paul: I noticed a disturbing trend in Jalan Alor the other day. It seems that the hawkers are being absorbed into the restaurants behind them. You can sit inside and drinks are ordered from the restaurant and the hawker food is still the same price, but I wonder why this is done.
    Michale (Mike): Yeah, it’s a fun place to be in. :)
    Sally: Yeah, it was the Peranakan (Malay-Chinese) settlers who started this dish. :)
    e: How unfortunate. Some laksa in Australia is good too, but I haven’t seen the Sarawak version there.
    fish fish: Congratulations to your sister! :)
    vincent: Those two taste great together. :)
    eiling: Haha! I love that second bit. :)
    Madam Kwan is pretty good too, but yeah, it’s paying cafe prices for hawker food. :)
    goolooloo: Muar is where it’s at. The Laksa Shack version is overprocessed.
    Cheesie: Eureka! =D
    tintin: Penang Laksa is Asam Laksa, no?
    KY: Why not? You get to eat hawker food and pay restaurant prices. ;)
    xin: I like this kind of noodles, I was never a big fan of rice vermicilli. :)

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