Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa Hot
A famous hawker stall originally from Depot Road that serves a lemak heavy variant of Singapore laksa.
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 8 user(s)
Spoonfuls of Richness
Unlike your usual orange or yellow bowls of laksa, this stall serves up laksa in a claypot, resulting in a broth full of flavour and richness. As all Singaporeans know, a long queue is testament of the stall's popularity, when I last visited, the queue was pretty long - and I wasn't surprised.
The noodles were well cooked; the broth was full of coconut flavour and I couldn't help slurping it down with every spoonful of noodles. I didn't add additional chili into the soup, but it's always an option for spicy lovers. Overall, I was satisfied; perhaps my only gripe would be the small portion size, but I'm definitely coming back for more!
One thing about Singaporeans is that we like to determine whether the food at the stalls or restaurants is worth trying by the length of queues formed. I guess I am a typical Singaporean who does this as well. When I first stepped into Alexandra Village Market, I decided to order this famous claypot laksa as it must be pretty tasty for the queues to be so long.
I must say the laksa looks very promising. The soup comes bubbling in the claypot and the broth does not look too oily too. However, it was quite a disappointment as compared to its hype. The broth did not taste very rich and in fact, it was a little towards the bland side. For $3, the portion of the noodles was quite little and could be finished in 5 mouthfuls. I would rather much eat my Katong 328 laksa anytime, anyday.
I guess not all queues are worth joining and they do not necessarily indicate that the food sold is fantastic. Would definitely not join the queue again for this laksa as I would much rather have other food choices in the very hawker centre itself.
only there for the claypot...
Claypot laksa is something I really like despite my low tolerance for spicy food. This stall used to be at Depot road and my dad would bring my mom and I there for the laksa. I really like the laksa because it was in a claypot, as shallow as that sounds. The claypot just makes the whole experience way better than having to eat laksa from a normal bowl. I don't see many claypot laksas around and even though the taste have been altered, I still swing by occasionally for my little claypot.
The portion here is quite small. They are quite stingy with their noodles but generous with the gravy, resulting in an imbalance. Sometimes I get my laksa bubbling in the claypot but sometimes I get it lukewarm. There isn't a consistent quality here. Taste wise, it is ok for laksa but nothing to praise about. The taste at depot road was so much better. More fragrant and tasty. There was something lacking in this laksa that I couldn't point out. My friends thought the laksa was tasty. So I guess it whether you like the claypot laksa or not, it all 'boils' down to individual taste. Try it for yourself!
Change in recipe?
I worked at CMPB many years back and there was a coffee shop along Depot Road selling claypot laksa. The laksa was very good and normally, the waiting time was 15 minutes or more. My colleagues and I normally went there only on Friday because that was the day that we did not feel so sinful having a longed lunch break. Since then, the store had moved to a few locations.
Once, it was near the coffee shop near Bukit Merah library. I had tried that and the taste was not as good already and the queue was not as long also. And for a while, I heard it also moved to a coffee shop diagonally opposite Queensway Shopping Center. I did not visit the store when it was there.
Recently, I moved to Alexandra area and when I visited AV Market, I found this store and realized it was the same store that started out at Depot Road. I tried the laksa and the taste was not as I remembered when it was at Depot Road. Somehow, the flavor of the laksa gravy was different. I still thought the old taste was better but it had been many years and I was not sure whether the recipe was changed along the way or was it just my memory of the taste was different.
Despite all the hype, I was pretty disappointed when I finally queued up and tried this laksa. The portion was tiny for a medium bowl and for the price tag, totally not worth it! What’s worse, the laksa gravy was not even hot. They are also not very generous with the topping such as the taupok. The gravy is also quite thick, not really the typical laksa gravy.
I certainly would not bother queuing up this laksa as the traditional one found in any other food centre tastes just as good and you get your required portion for one meal!
Hot and spicy....
The food centre is hot and humid especially at noon during lunch hour, doesn't exactly help when you are eating a bowl of hot piping laksa, but nevertheless I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I made the mistake of wearing a white top and risked getting splashes all over my shirt, so if you are reading this before you decide to head down, please do not be as silly as me.
The laksa was good, that is an understatement. I do not tolerate spicy food very well, however, although this laksa was quite spicy, I enjoyed every strand of noodle and every single drop of soup! I would dare say that this is better than Katong laksa and is probably one of the best in Singapore!
I love this claypot laksa and always make it a point to visit when I drop by Alexandra.
Besides being piping hot, it also has a 'peppery' spicy laksa taste and leave you in perspiration after you finished the whole claypot. Thus I don’t usually ask for additional chilli to be included. Make sure you have a glass of water with you when you are enjoying it. I seemed to be the only one in my family who likes it though as my family felt that it has a “curry powder” taste. Nevertheless, I always see a queue whenever I visit the stall.
My favourite Laksa in Singapore!
Nobody I have talked to in a long time has actually said they enjoyed katong laksa and most use terms like "overrated" or average. It was during this laksa discussion I had the other day that I happened to discover this Claypot Laksa place. A friend swore by it as the best laksa in Singapore, and although she lives in Katong, she had never eaten katong laksa again after trying this. I've eaten many Laksas but never a claypot version so the very next day I had to go down and try it myself!
Health conscious people should be aware coconut milk isn’t exactly healthy, the use of it in Singapore style laksa gives it a velvety texture and adds a distinctive richness to its taste. The Claypot Laksa here serves a no holds barred variant of Singapore laksa with plentiful use of lemak, making it extremely tasty. There are three different prices for the laksa here depending on the amount of ingredients you want - $3.5, $4.5 and $5.5. There is also sambal chilli at the side if you wish to make your laksa spicier so help yourself to it. They don’t have a sauce bowl for it so what you can do is put it on an extra spoon.
I found this variation exquisite and very different from any other laksa I’ve had in Singapore. Because they use the claypot style of cooking with steam, it lets the dish retain its moisture creating a very fragrant and flavourful laksa. Yes, it is unhealthy but who cares about that if you’ve made up your mind to eat laksa already! I happily finished up every drop of the sinful gravy and will be back soon for more!