Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Assam Laksa @ Petaling Jaya Pasar Malam (Night Market)



One of the best things about living in Malaysia - food is readily available to all, at anytime and everywhere. I reckon that's the reason why it'll be hard for me to relocate anywhere else in the world as I love Malaysian food too much.

Since I am flying solo this whole week with Splashie Boy in Thailand/India and my mother in Beijing, I had the itch to visit the pasar malam to get dinner. Unfortunately I was too early for my favourite Assam Laksa man but I did pull out an old archive picture of the salivating laksa for all of you. The picture has me dreaming about his tangy broth and the chunks of fish, so don't be surprised if I'm at the SS4 pasar malam later today.

Although there are two assam laksa stalls/vans at the Petaling Street pasar malams, this one is by far the more popular one. Known as the "four eyed man" in Chinese by his regulars, everyone knows the system. Take a number from the pile of tiny cardboard pieces stuck at one side of the van and wait for your number to be called. Once your lucky number is picked, order your assam laksa. Either pack back (the most popular choice) or sit at the sole table next to the van to slurp down the laksa. The plus point of eating there is you get to add as much prawn paste (har koh) into your laksa from the bottle. The downer is you'll have an audience of people staring at you slurping down those slippery strands of noodles and giving you death stares since you got ahead of them in the queue.

This particular hawker actually started out as a stall at a restaurant on SS3/64. However ever since he moved to the van and started trade in the pasar malam, business is so good that he only works for four days a week i.e. from Monday to Thursday. It's back breaking work though as he has to get up at 6am every day to prepare the broth plus the fish which is deboned and flaked. The toppings - shredded cucumber, pineapple and onions will also need to be prepared ahead.

To get full satisfaction for your laksa, order a portion with extra fish for RM1.50. The small portion is RM3.50 while the big portion is RM4.50.

Assam Laksa Stall (Tan Hock Hai)
Pasar Malam at SS2 (Monday), SS3 (Tuesday), SS4 (Wednesday) and SS2 Cheow Yang area (Thursday)

(Starts around 5 pm)

Updated on 16 May, 2008 - I understand the 4 eyed guy has sold off the business. Not sure if the assam laksa still tastes great but I can see the lady who took over, still maintains the queue with the numbers.

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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27 comments:

D said...

Pardon my ignorance but is assam laksa and Penang laksa similar? I had some assam laksa in Malacca and it was nothing like the coconut-curry-based ones I've had before.

Flower said...

I remember long long time ago my school canteen used to sell this type of laksa with chunky bits of fish. I was so delicious and only 50sen a bowl. We called the canteen lady, Aunty Alice. Missed her food because everything was so delicious. Then back in the 80's next to the 7-11 in SS14 SJ, we used to have a lady selling the same laksa. But unfortunately her house got burnt out and she stopped selling laksa. I'm a hantu laksa and the laksa they have here doesnt matched our laksa.

myCoffee said...

Is this the same stall as the infamous "tissue paper" asam laksa selling at the SS2 pasar malam?

MeiyeN said...

oooo yummy yummy! just had mine last sunday @ o&s restaurant, very good too! :D

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

mycoffee - what infamous tissue paper assam laksa ar?

boo - your bowl of assam laksa got a lot of fish hor? The numbering system sounds interesting. So he calls out the numbers randomly ar?

fatboybakes said...

wow, such chunky pieces of fish...very rare. but so far the best assam laksas i've had have all been homemade. alas, not MY home lar.

wmw said...

Like I mentioned in BSG's blog, this was not good enough in my books for me to queue and go through all that hassle. But obviously others (a lot of them) love it.

babe_kl said...

so much fish in your bowl!!! now i really wish i stay in that part of the world :(

Pink Elle said...

I've seen the guy at the SS2 pasar malam before but the queue!! My growling tummy never allowed me to queue to try it!

Xiu Long Bao said...

Me too!Though my family urged me to apply for PR in aussie, i decided not to just for the sake of good food in msia :)

sc said...

tried this before at chow yang, was ok as i'm never a big fan of assam laksa..hehe..preferred the odd one i had in PG, served with har peng and clear soup..yes, i do hav some weird taste..

team BSG said...

Aaha our favourite pungent noodles ! Actually one of us thinks he can outdo this PJ 4 eye man in terms of taste,( he actually displayed his assam pedas noodle talents in TTDI in some pasta cafe beside MBB 2 weeks ago which da 2 cute Pg ladies there cannot differentiate if Assam Laksa or not !)
But this PJ man is definitely a PJ/KL AL TOP 3 no doubt about that ! Some think SEA Park wet market van even more pungent( of course beside pork centre )and better V await your esteemed review soon ! TQ

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, that dish looks very yummy!

As I saw that you once spoke about "Marbled Tea Eggs", I would have a question to ask you...

I would love to know which traditional accompaniment you would recommend me (noddles, meat or vegetables dish) to make with "Tea Eggs". What kinds of foods do you eat with them in Malaysia? If you have a recipe to share with me, then I'd be very happy :-D!...

Cheers,

Rosa

Lin Han said...

Hey do you know where can I find the tasty asam laksa in PJ / KL? I’ve tried asam laksa in Red Ginger (Damansara), Mid Valley Jusco and few penang café in shopping malls, and I wonder if there are still places that really good in cooking asam laksa?

UnkaLeong said...

So much fish! Lucky you..More a fan of Curry Laksa myself. But now after reading your post gian Assam Laksa di...

Fulltime Mom said...

aiyah... look so good, don't know where to get in my area wor....

Precious Pea said...

YUmmy yum yum...just look at the cilipadi and the amount of fish!! Tonite I will hunt down this 4-eyed man.

boo_licious said...

d - yup, penang laksa and assam laksa sounds the same. It's tangy and not creamy like curry laksa.

flower - Such great memories abt laksa. I guess overseas, the only way is to cook it yrself as those in the restaurants won't ever taste the same.

mycoffee - no idea abt the tissue paper but I've been told he is known as four eyed man.

meiyen - I find the one in O&S too thick though.

lemongrass - not random but in order but such long queues.

fbb - yeah, of course home made is always DE Best.

wmw - I guess compared to the other fella, it's much better hence people prefer his.

babe_kl - am sure you can find it in yr part of the world as assam laksa is pretty common in night markets.

pink elle - You snack a bit then you queue or else you'll die with hunger waiting.

xiu long bao - yeah, don't think I will migrate elsewhere.

sc - yeah, assam laksa is nice at Penang. Doesn't matter where but it's nice as long as you eat it at Penang.

boo_licious said...

team bsg - yet to try the seapark one as the smell of the surroundings really put me off. Where's this TTDI one? You mention MBB, pasta cafes so is this Seri Penang restaurant?

rosa - we usually eat marbled tea eggs like a snack. It's found in stalls which sell tea and it's a teatime snack. If you want it to accompany food, suggest rice as it goes with anything.

lin han - think it's difficult as they're all in Penang. Usually the ones in restaurants have more kick as there's lots of fish served.

unka leong - once in a while, tangy assam laksa is nice. Too much santan in curry laksa though.

fulltime mom - pasar malam don't have?

precious pea - good luck!

Fulltime Mom said...

I have no idea where the pasar malam is wor....

babe_kl said...

tried oredi at pasar malam but nothing come close and funny, i dun remember my area got any assam laksa stall!

boo_licious said...

fulltime mom - ask those fellas from usj.com, they're a wealth of information.

babe - awww, that's sad. Guess you must make a trip to PJ to get assam laksa.

email2me said...

The SS2 pasar malam asam laksa very "kwa cheong" one. The que up always very long and it sold out pretty fast. Eventhough I am working nearby, I still haven't sink my teeth to this yet because of the que up.

I am a hardcore asam laksa critic because in Penang, asam laksa is use to be sold during high tea time. I ate the Air Itam so called tissue paper laksa since I am 12 years old cause my house is just walking distance to the stall.

SW said...

Wonder blog! All the pix makes me want to jump into the car and head there now!

My fav assam laksa in town.. but have to add the prawn paste for the real fish base broth to bloom in taste.

The queues at SS2 and Chow Yang is the longest. Try the SS4 (Wed) pasar malam for shorter queue.

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