I was given this voucher from some Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports (MCYS) activity, and had the honour to try out Laksania @ NEX for their delicate serving. Prior to elaborating further on this review, I need to reiterate, even though my meal was highly subsidised in a way, this post is by no way influenced by their kind gesture. In addition, the owner and staff are not aware of this post, at least by the time of posting.
Laksania is a melting pot of laksa from around the regions, many of which I have never even heard before, such as Sarawak Laksa, Kelantan Laksa etc. I made up my mind not to try their conventional Singapore Laksa as I’m almost certain there bounds to be pros and cons comparing to the many excellent Laksa outlets all over our tiny island.
I settled for a Seafood Hotpot with Rice:
It wasn’t the same as the famous Hotpot Laksa at Alexandra Village. Not only it was served with rice, but the ingredients are entirely different as well. There are choices of Seafood, Chicken or Beef, but apart from the use of hot pot, none comes close in resembling the Alexandra Village style. So, to compare them would be like rating orange against apple. As for the gravy, I thought I find Laksania’s less spicy, but still enough to make me sweat nevertheless. To call it seafood may sound a little exaggerated, as apart from fishballs and cockles, the only seafood is prawn. There were plenty of veggie, which effectively made this quite filling for one patron. The gravy was kept heating throughout my meal, a very thoughtful consideration, not unlike some other food outlets, merely going through the motion to heat their food for a few meaningless minutes (eg Pao Xiang Bah Kut Teh.. thumb down!!), who might as well save on the redundant hotpot! At least, this stirred the thick fragrance of coconut milk filling the surrounding air with captivating scent, beside keeping the ingredients warm!
The other famous Laksa in this region has to be Peneng Laksa, although it’s a little difficult to find in most neighbourhood outlets. Laksania’s version is pretty eye-catching, with colourful mixture of onions, beam sprouts, polygonum leaves, chili, and mackerels among others. The broth is naturally tamarind (assam) based and even though in my opinion, it somewhat pales against the famous Penang outlet situated near Kek Lok Si Temple, blame it for the lack of shrimp paste.
Seriously, I have never heard of Laksa outside our typical Nonya Laksa and Penang Laksa, so the sound of Sarawak Laksa and the appealing pictures in their menu caught my eyes and I decided to give it a try over some of their other specialties. The ingredients comprises fresh prawns, fish cake slices, shredded chicken, and coriander leaves, nothing fanciful, but the broth tastes rather special! The rich herbal favour has overcome the traditional spicy taste, I wasn’t able to identify the ingredients, but some food reviewer revealed it comprises galangal, garlic, lemon grass, belacan, and tamarind. For me, it’s an eye-opener! Oh, and it was served in thin Bee Hoon, instead of the usual thick version.
Laksania’s Chicken Satay was not inside their main menu, and I wonder whether it’s available only for a specific period. I think it’s a bit pricey at $3.80 if not for the significantly larger portion. Contrary to conventional satay, the sauce was not typical peanut-based satay sauce. It comes with laksa gravy, offering a new dimension in savouring this local delicacy. I would rather they serve it in conventional size with more sticks, so I can appreciate the gravy more, but other than that, I would say it’s nice, but I didn’t find it spectacular.
The chicken wings are crispy and tender, but nothing much special worth mentioning in my humble opinion 😀
At the time of my visit, desserts such as Longan Jelly, Chin Chow Jelly, and Red Bean are offering at $1 each, considerably cheaper than many outlets in hawker centers. At such price, one has to forgive the unappealing look, but the portion is adequate for one person nevertheless.
Oh, and before I end this post, let me emphasize that Laksania is one of the socially responsible restaurants. What this means here is that, Laksania employs some marginalised personnel who might be mentally less privileged. And so, if you ever encounter slight unpleasantness in terms of slower response or something, do be more forgiving. These people are working hard to earn a honest living too, please give them a chance like Laksania does! (^_^)