The Original Katong Laksa – New Outlet in Paya Lebar Sells Crayfish Laksa
Laksa is one of our national dishes and you can find it easily everywhere. The Original Katong Laksa was started by Mr Ng Juat Swee, who was better known as Encik Jaggut. Jangguat means beard in Malay because he had hair growing out of the mole below his chin. He was a Chinese immigrant from Fujian province and came to Singapore during his teenage years, in search of a better life. Like many of his predecessors, he married a Peranakan lady and was the first to set up a laksa stall.
In the 1940s, Mr Ng was always seen with a pole over his shoulders carrying metal baskets full of laksa around the Marine Parade beach area. His laksa noodles were cut short and could be eaten with a spoon. This eventually became a trademark for Katong laksa.
In the 1950s, he sold laksa on a tricycle with his younger brother in front of the bungalows along Marine Parade beach. The first physical stall was set up at 49 East Coast Road. Named Marine Parade Laksa, it was very popular and, till the early 1990s, was the only one selling the noodles in the area. Due to a huge increase in rent, they relocated and settled in Roxy Square in 2000 and opened another branch in Queensway Shopping Centre in 2005. A few months ago, they opened a new outlet in Upper Paya Lebar Road and this outlet is run by May Tong, the daughter of Mdm Tan.
This new laksa eatery has air-conditioning, so you can enjoy the laksa comfortably. And the special dish that is only available here? CRAYFISH LAKSA! That’s right, you can’t get this at the other two outlets.
The essence of a good bowl of laksa is the rempah that makes the broth. The spicy coconut milk soup base here is creamier with bits of dried shrimp that packs a lot of flavour.
Short strands of thick bee hoon and beansprouts are blanched with the laksa broth for a few times before they are topped with prawns, fishcakes, prawns, cockles, and laksa leaves. It’s extremely delicious and pleasantly aromatic. A regular bowl of laksa starts from $5 while the crayfish laksa is selling at $9.50 a bowl.
If you don’t wish to have laksa on that day, it’s not an issue as they also serve other mains such as curry chicken and fried chicken. The curry chicken looks ordinary but the flavours brought back some childhood memories of a neighbourhood cafe that I used to visit after school. The gravy is thick and rich, and moderately spicy.
The fried chicken turns out to be da bomb as each slice of meat is so crispy and juicy. We were already full but we just couldn’t resist popping the chicken slices into our mouths. If only they had a tangy chilli sauce, that would be perfect.
The Original Katong Laksa
Address: 331 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534949
Phone: +65 9736 1833
Opening Hours: 10am to 9.30pm daily
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