I’m not sure if it’s my Asian DNA but I love my soup noodle dishes – ramen, pho, wonton soup all tickle my tastebuds in a most agreeable fashion.
One of my favourite soup noodle dishes is laksa, a Malaysian/Singaporean dish of coconut based soup containing egg or vermicelli noodles and seafood or chicken.
Fellow Boozy Buncher Grant alerted me to the Laksa Kitchen popup, which had taken over Tolli Cafe in Kentish Town for a few weeks. So, I took Emma for her first taste of laksa.
They weren’t quite ready for the 12pm opening time but we were soon seated and looking over the cute menu. My limau ais drink was authentically sweet and sour – it’s made with calamansi limes, which are more intense than their bigger green cousins.
We ordered pork & taro loh bak and chicken satay for starters. Loh bak is a deep fried spring roll and the version here had good ratio of fat to rest of filling to maintain a good level of juiciness. The only wrong note in our meal was the satay – in Malaysia, chicken satay is made with thigh meat for flavour and moistness. Here, the breast meat used rendered the satay tough and dry.
I opted for seafood laksa, which is more traditional. The soup was good though the chilli level had been toned down to a ‘western’ level. It had the depth of seafood umaminess necessary for good laksa and richness of coconut.
We also had Hainan chicken rice with silky poached chicken and served with traditional chilli/garlic and garlic/ginger sauces. However, the rice wasn’t as advertised – usually, the rice served in Hainan chicken rice has a wonderful aromatic richness from cooking it in rendered chicken fat and the chicken stock from cooking the chicken but here, it was plain white rice, which detracted from the overall dish.
Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★☆☆ Ambiance: ★★★☆☆ VFM: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Price: About average for western restaurant prices.