This Johorean speciality hits the spot every time.
Take one whiff of the dish and you’ll immediately smell the goodness from the thick spicy fish gravy topped on spaghetti as a noodle of choice with fresh vegetables. This dish isn’t considered a laksa dish without its star ingredients: Ikan parang and kerisik (grated coconut paste). It does have a resemblance to a meal we’re all familiar with; the spaghetti bolognese, thanks to the thickness of the sauce but the flavours in this Johorean meal adds a certain kind of flair that’s out of this world. The dish may look simple to some but the secret to acing good laksa is really the gravy.
We may not be able to travel to Johor look for the real deal but you can get a taste of the authentic delicacy at these seven restaurants below.
(Main image credit: OpenHouse)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia KL.
Those who live around TTDI will know D’Cengkih in a heartbeat. Known for its famous Johorean delicacies, you’ll find your favourites served under one roof. The restaurant doesn’t only serve laksa Johor (which is what you’re here for) but a wide range of nasi campur spread, lontong and noodle dishes from mee rebus to Soto mee are available too. The place usually gets packed around lunchtime, so it’s best to head over early to enjoy your food.
Siti Li has become one of the best joints to serve authentic Malay food in town – ask around and they’ll say the same as well. If you’re looking for a taste of home, this is the best place to keep in mind. Located in Bukit Damansara, this restaurant celebrates the vibrant flavours of Malay cuisine and thankfully, laksa Johor is one of them. Apart from the good food, the interior of the restaurant gives out a nice ambience as well which makes it perfect for mini celebrations or family dinners.
Another hidden gem in TTDI is another family-owned business from Johor that’s humbly located behind the At-Taqwa mosque. Famous for its Johorean favourites from the infamous Laksa Johor, tomato rice with ayam masak merah and the nasi biryani – fans of Wannah’s would crowd the store on the weekends just to have a taste of the specialities. Heads up: the store is opened from 8 AM to 3 PM, so if you can’t make it in time, just order online or plan ahead. Trust us, it will be worth it.
There’s no feeling like waking up in the morning for local breakfast foods. If you’re willing to travel to Ara Damansara for a taste of the famous lontong dishes, nasi lemak and of course, laksa Johor, then you should add Lontong & Co to your list too. The price is quite affordable and it’s advisable to head over to the restaurant early as there’s always a crowd.
Imagine having a warm cuppa with a side of your favourite Johorean dishes. With two outlets to visit between Wangsa Maju and Damansara Utama, you can now enjoy your tasty meals with delicious cakes and coffee to enjoy on the side. It’s the best of both worlds when you’re served with iced coffee and laksa Johor on a hot day.
Adu Sugar in Lucky Garden is a hidden gem to some, but not to those who pride themselves on knowing on the truly good restaurants and chefs in the city. The laksa Johor here is served with a thick gravy topped with long beans and chilis. Chef Adu Amran Hassan isn’t just a talented cook, he’s also an incredible painter — you’ll notice how he’s turned his restaurant into a canvas for art.
One of the best spots in town for Malaysian fine-dining is no doubt OpenHouse in KLCC. The laksa Johor here is a favourite: made with spaghetti and topped with white sardine meat, white shrimp, bean sprouts, mixed village vegetables, coconut, and kerisik. Now you can even order a sharing portion of this dish on their website and have it delivered to your home!