328 Katong Laksa
Out of all the stalls that lay claim to the original "Katong Laksa", 328 Katong Laksa at least has been the most commercially successful stall. Their stalls usually have air-corn and their noodles are deliberately cut short so you can eat them with your spoon.
Upon setting foot into the shop, a well-ventilated but slightly cramped area, one would notice countless photos of celebrities with their lady boss. Celebrities like Mark Lee, Patricia Mok, to Hong Kong artistes have all frequented the shop.
This, of course, led my expectations higher. When my bowl of laksa came, I quickly took a sip of the laksa soup - nothing to shout about! In fact, I was disappointed by the lack of spiciness, only to find out after that that I have to add my own chilli (silly me!).
My subsequent visit saw me adding more chilli into the laksa, hoping that it'll entice my taste buds. Sadly, it did not leave an impression on me.
Further, I did not like the short strands of bee hoon, although I understand that it makes it easier for customers to consume. Their otah was more appealing to me - with the right amount of spice and the presence of fish.
The location is rather inconvenient for me as well, having to walk a distance from Parkway Parade after a 40 minutes bus ride from my house. Definitely not worth the travelling.
For now, I think I'll just get laksa from the kopitiam near my house, thanks.
One of the best laksa in Singapore. I especially like the well-cut chu mi fen so all you'll need is a spoon, which saves you a lot of the hassle you get using chopsticks.
Ordering the small bowl is usually more than enough for me, although I have seen many order the larger portions which I've tried, but couldn't finish due to the thick coconut milk making you feel full easily.
The waiting time can be quite long at times. But that's a small issue. Good place to visit as and when you find yourself craving for this local delight.
The Laksa is filled with the fragrant of coconut milk and it's not oily. The noodles are cut and I can eat it without chopsticks, a spoon will be sufficient. This is a plus point because the Laksa noodles are very smooth and slippery, and usually when I use chopsticks to eat Laksa at some other stalls, the noodles always fall back into the soup and splash onto my clothes. One more thing is that their Laksa is not too spicy which is perfect for me as I am quite lousy in taking spicy food. Nonetheless, for people who love to take spicy Laksa, they will give you a spoonful of chili sauce to add into the Laksa.
I will also recommend their Otah, it's delicious.
I actually had my first taste of laksa from here when my friend ordered a bowl, and I stole a few bites from him. Upon devouring those few spoonfuls of noodles and gravy, I instantly wanted to order a bowl for myself. Unfortunately, I had already had lunch that day and had to try it other day.
I would definitely recommend this laksa place to laksa lovers and those who are meh with laksa (like me) because it has made me love the dish!
Is it the best Laksa? This is very subjective. But to eat with spoon, along Katong, the experience is nostalgic, and one of a kind. In the years before, the experience was even better when our table was only next to the road! I went with my kids, and they had fun exploring how to scoop their noodles with only a spoon.
We recommend you to try their o-tak and rojak too. Both are popular side dishes with diners. Price can be cheaper. $4 or $5 per bowl is slightly pricey.
I remembered a few years ago, there was a "fight" between Singapore and Malaysia on who was the originator of certain food like Hainanese chicken rice and bak ku teh. I guessed for Katong laksa, there was no fight because this must originate from Singapore and from Katong where many Nonyas lived there.
As for which stall started selling this type of laksa, I guessed this may not be so important any more. I guessed as long as you eat laksa using just spoon and the gravy was full of coconut milk with minced dried shrimps and cockles, it can be considered Katong laksa and the difference would be in the flavour of the gravy. The flavour of the gravy varied from stall and stall and each one was original.
Besides, one can find similar tasting laksa in any local hawker centre or foodcourt. Not that 328 Katong Laksa tastes horrible, but since they pride themselves on being the origin of laksa, I expected more from them.
I would eat there maybe once in awhile, upon request of my friends who really want to try the original laksa, but I would not be the one who suggests the place. Once is enough!
The delicious laksa broth of coconut milk and chilli is really savoury and flavourful. The gravy is really thick unlike some diluted ones. With their sweet and fresh prawns, together with sliced fish cakes and sprinkled with chopped green garnish, it is close to perfection to satiate my laksa cravings. Not too spicy, but you can add in as much chilli as you like to add that fiery taste to your noodles!
I am generally fine with the ambience since it is a coffeeshop after all. Besides, the area is clean and at least comfortable for me to sit in and enjoy a hot bowl of laksa. I am thankful for the air-conditioned place as well. And I can almost imagine myself devouring the bowl of laksa right now as I am typing away.
The culinary ruckus outcome was that visitors to the area are spoilt for choices when it comes to this local iconic dish. Each laksa "brand" outlet commands its own ardent supporters and see its tables frequently packed.
328 Laksa has several branches over S'pore and is one of the more successful brands. I strongly recommend adding more chilli (if you like it spicy). The soup base is more "lemak"...meaning it's rich with coconut milk. Definitely different from Penang-styled laksa, which is more sourish-based assam type.
There is also other dishes like Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk) , or the Otah (Spicy Fish paste BBQ in coconut leave) that you can choose to complement your order of laksa. But don't expect 5-star restaurant service...just good old laksa in a fast paced setting.
Definitely a must-eat local dish that will have you coming back for more.
Our laksa arrived, all I could see was white noodles in a bowl of hot piping laksa soup. When I tried my first taste, it was actually pretty nice! I really loved the cockles that were added to it. It was spicy, but also refreshingly good. I cannot wait to come back again, and I am thankful that my friends actually recommended me this place!