Five-state laksa treasures

Perlis laksa is sweeter and has a thicker broth.

LAKSA is an interesting savoury treat as one dish differs from the other depending on its state of origin, making it a unique Malaysian flavour.

For diners who simply cannot get enough of laksa, then the Laksa Fest at Trace Restaurant and Bar might answer cravings for the dish. There are five varieties here with the local delicacy of Penang, Perlis, Terengganu, Johor and Sarawak. The promotion is being held in conjunction with National Day and Malaysia Day.

Executive chef Khairuzzaman Ahmad Hadzri said the idea to promote the different types of laksa was from his colleagues who originate from various parts of Malaysia.

Khairuzzaman said the freshness and originality of the ingredients play an important role in achieving a well-balanced flavoured laksa.

“We source all the main ingredients for our dishes. We even get ingredients from Sarawak because we cannot get them here, ” he said.

Personally, I have tried different types of laksa so the chance to enjoy Khairuzzaman’s creations was somewhat nostalgic as I remembered the times when I had the dishes with family and friends.

Laksa from Penang, Perlis and Terengganu use the same type of glutinous rice noodles.

Penang laksa features an asam based stock cooked with shredded mackerel, garnished with red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, mint leaves and torch ginger.

The addition of ground chilli paste and brown sugar makes the Perlis version somewhat sweeter.

The broth is also thicker compared to Penang laksa despite the similarity in flavour between them. Terengganu laksa is completely different.

It is creamier in texture as it is prepared with minced mackerel with onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and coconut milk.

It is then served with fresh herbs as well as spicy blended chillies on the side.

Having been a student in Sarawak for two years, I was surprised to find that thin rice noodles was used for the laksa. Today, it is one of my favourite laksa dishes.

The Sarawak laksa at Trace has a soup base made from dried shrimp paste, coconut milk, and tamarind. Omelette strips, prawns and herbs are added on as garnish.

Another must-try is the Johor laksa, which uses spaghetti for the noodles. The curry gravy incorporates coconut milk, asam keping, lengkuas and shrimp paste.

Each laksa dish is priced at RM38 nett per set and comes with rose pandan drink.

This is available until Sept 30 from noon to 5pm on weekdays.TRACE RESTAURANT AND BAR, Element Kuala Lumpur, Ilham Tower, 8 Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2771 3351) Business hours: 6am to 11pm, daily. Pork-free.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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