Streetsmart eats – Laksa Me
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Why haven’t I been to Laksa Me before now? It’s taken Streetsmart to finally make the effort to go, and it was worth it. We were looking for somewhere to grab a quick and inexpensive dinner in the city, so checked the list and this certainly seemed to fit the bill.
You certainly don’t go there for the decor. That’s not to say that it’s uncomfortable, just that the furnishings and styling are utilitarian. You don’t go for the wine list, either, however you can bring your own wine for a $10 corkage (they have a small selection and we did get a cold, wet bottle of white from that but I’d suggest you make use of the BYO option). The location is great – public transport friendly with a number of post-dinner drinks options. Liverpool Street’s a little on the daggy side, but that’s not a criticism; comfortable is good.
I’d checked out the online menu before booking and had already mapped out the meal. Unfortunately three of the starters I’d chosen virtually weren’t available on the real menu (Thai sausage, beef in betel leaf and duck rolls). We ended up with the pandan chicken (sublime), mini rolls (perfectly crisp parcels with no oiliness, but nothing spectacular) and fish cakes (tasty).
Despite the fact that the menu listed a number of appealing dishes, there was no way I wasn’t going to get a laksa. I just had to decide between the “My Mum’s Laksa” and the Laksa Lemak (no WAY I was going for the “skinny” version). As I adore hor fun and cha siu I went with the Ipoh style. It was fine – the pork was very tender, the prawns were plump and fresh, the “soup” was spicy and not too sweet or too creamy. Negatives were that the elements of the paste were a little too obvious in the dish, rendering the texture quite grainy, and the chunks of chicken added nothing to the dish.
My partner chose the San-bei-ji, described as “Chunk of chicken braised with 3 cups of seasoning, garlic, ginger and chilli, served with steamed Jasmine rice”. It was simple, with the definite “breath of the wok” flavour – which, for some reason, I insist on calling “dragon’s breath” (possibly because it always elicits the same pained eye-roll). I’m glad he tried it; I’d be making my way through the Malaysian classics before I got to that.
I’m glad I finally got there but I’m still searching for the perfect laksa. Will have to return to try the laksa lemak, just in case… Perhaps before Christmas, when the warm glow of being satisfied by food is extended by the warm glow of supporting Streetsmart.