Assam laksa $8.50
The last time we'd been at Malay Chinese Takeaway, Mango Man had confided he'd yet to find a good assam laksa in Sydney. My ears had pricked up immediately at this foodie challenge, and off onto the internet I'd went.
Bingo. I found the places, and I made a list. We made grand plans. We would strike them off one by one. Jimmy's Recipe, To's Malaysian Gourmet and maybe Temasek out in Parramatta.
And then I suddenly realised that on the Malay Chinese website, assam laksa was listed as one of their weekly specials. On every fifth Thursday. Nestled in between the mee siam and lum mee, and the mee rebus and beef noodle soup.
The mobile phone rings at 12pm. "Malay Chinese?" is the G-man's first sentence.
"Count me in... hey, imagine if the assam laksa is the special today," I'd said.
You can picture the little happy dance that took place when we neared the counter.
Unlike ordinary laksas, assam laksa does not use coconut milk. It's a sweet and sour broth, made using mackerel soup with the distinctive flavour of tamarind (assam). In addition to flaking mounds of mackerel are slivers of cucumber, sweet pineapple pieces, shavings of raw onion and sprigs of whole mint leaves on top.
The pineapple flavours really come through the salty sourness, and the rice noodles are thick and chewy like plump albino spaghetti.
"This is very good," pronounces Mango Man.
"Oh my gosh... sooooo good........" wails the G-man.
There's a complexity of flavours to this dish but it's a harmonious balance that pleases the palate. We're slurping up every spoonful. I keep going until I see the white of my bowl at the bottom.
I win. I'm on the left.
Not everyone's gone for the assam laksa today though. And not everyone trusts themselves around big bowls of soup either.
Chicken laksa $7.70
with bib 50c
The G-man reviews his empty bowl with sadness, then suddenly perks up. "You know what," he says, pushing back his chair. "I'm gonna order another two bowls takeaway. I must have more. I'll put them in the fridge. I can't wait another month!"
We can the hear the anguished cry from two blocks away when the G-man texts me. "They've run out of assam! What will I do!"
I know what I'm doing.
I assam I'll be back.
Malay Chinese Takeaway
Shop 1, 50-58 Hunter Street, Sydney
(near corner of Bligh and Castlereagh Streets)
Tel: +61 (02) 9231 6788
Monday to Friday 11am-7.30pm
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Malay Chinese Takeaway, April 3 2007
Cafe Kasturi, Haymarket
Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo, April 2006
Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo, April 2007
Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney, April 26, 2007
Malay Chinese Takeaway, Sydney, April 3, 2007
The Malaya, Sydney
Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo
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4/26/2007 11:45:00 pm