Penang Assam Laksa, being voted as the Top 10 Yummiest food in Asia by CNN, is the quintessential Penangite favorite food. Speaking of Assam Laksa, my favorite Assam Laksa can be found here, at Nan Guang Coffee House, Balik Pulau (or commonly known as Balik Pulau Laksa).Balik Palau is a quiet village approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour drive from the heart of Georgetown. Penangites have no qualm in driving all these meandering roads up the hill just for a bowl of decent Laksa, but of course, the place will be thronged by tourists especially during Durian season. It should be quite easy to spot this place, if you are using the Paya Terubong- Bukit Jambul road to Balik Pulau, you should be able to see this place at the T-junction after passing the Balik Pulau Market.
Heavily influenced by Thai Laksa, Lemak Laksa (Rm 3.50) is not too common in the island. The broth itself carries a hint of sweetness as well as the creamy and distinctive flavors inherited from Coconut Milk. The soul to Laksa lies at the Shrimp Paste/ Hae Kor, a drizzle of that dark, thick and sweet Shrimp Paste does make a huge difference, it gives a very unique seafood sweetness to the Laksa. Unlike any other Laksa stalls, their very own version of Laksa noodles are springier and bouncier, or al-dente.
This mouth-watering Assam Laksa (Rm 3.50) was delectable and robust in flavors. It has a medley of sweet, sour and spicy notes. One sip of the broth widens my eyes, pulsating with flavors, the sourish broth was appetizingly delightful. No, it was not too spicy and it should be perfectly okay for the spicy-intolerant. Extra condiments such as Peppermint Leaves, Cucumbers, Pineapples give an extra crunchy yet intricate texture to the dish. An aesthetically pleasing bowl of comfort food that I can ask for, well, exclusively in Penang.