Sweet, sour and spicy are those magical words that will instantly come into mind when we mention Assam Laksa.
With so many food courts and hawker stalls in Penang offering Asam Laksa, sometimes we’d get so overwhelmed with choices.
After all, we have only one stomach, that can only fit in so much food at one go. 😤
You wouldn’t want to waste that quota, for a bowl that are not up to your standard, would you?
In this article, we try our best to bring you some of the most popular Assam Laksa; that are really good in our opinion.
Whenever you’re craving for a bowl of piping hot, sour and spicy laksa broth, this is the list you want to come back to!
Note: List is in no particular order; we will continue to update this post when we found something worth mentioning to you.
Best Assam Laksa in Penang
1. Asam Laksa at Air Itam, Penang
Your trip to Penang won't be considered complete without trying the assam laksa by the road opposite Ayer Itam market. This famous Penang Asam Laksa stall located just opposite the Ayer Itam market, is a well-known gem of Penang. It has been around for a whopping six decades and it's a place frequent by tourists and the locals.
Spicy sour fish stock soup 😍
Air Itam Assam Laksa
Operating Hours: Opens daily 10:30am - 7pm, close on Wednesday
Facebook: Air Itam Assam Laksa
2. Kim Laksa in Balik Pulau
Kim Laksa located at Nan Guang Kopitiam (in Balik Pulau) offers both Penang Asam Laksa and Siam Laksa. The broth here has more fish flakes than what we will normally get. It also tasted less spicy and more sourish.
It also goes really well with spring rolls!
Balik Pulau Laksa
Operating Hours: Opens daily 1am - 5pm, close on alternate Mondays and every Tuesday
Facebook: Balik Pulau Laksa
3. Penang Road Laksa at Lebuh Keng Kwee
This famous assam laksa has been operating in Joo Hooi Coffee Shop for almost five decades; in recent years, they have moved to a new shoplot further down on the same Lebuh Keng Kwee. The broth here is lighter comparing to those other famous ones, but nonetheless it is one of the authentic version of Assam Laksa you can find in Penang.
Penang's Signature Laksa
Penang Road Laksa
Operating Hours: Opens daily 9am - 6pm
Facebook: Penang Road Laksa
4. Laksa Bisu at Air Itam Market Food Court
The assam laksa stall located inside the Air Itam Market is known to many as Laksa Bisu. A family-run business started since the 1948; currently managed by a brother-sister duo. The word 'Bisu' means muted, as in the person can't speak nor hear. The stall owner (brother) is muted since birth.
In fact, many finds the laksa here more consistent than the famous one opposite.
Air Itam Food Court Laksa Bisu (哑巴 Laksa)
Operating Hours: Open daily 10am - 5pm
5. Asam Laksa at Taman Emas Kopitiam, Gottlieb Road
This famous but less-talked-about laksa stall is also called the Peng Hwa Laksa (as it is located opposite Penang Chinese Girl's School). The place is generally quite well-known to the locals around this area. The soup is slightly sweeter and less on the sourish and spicy side if you compare it to other famous stall. You can of course, ask them to add in extra chili if you prefer it spicier.
It goes really well with fried spring rolls offered by the same stall
Taman Emas Asam Laksa (湾岛头叻沙)
Operating Hours: Open daily 12pm - 5pm, Close on Monday
Facebook: Taman Emas Asam Laksa (湾岛头叻沙)
So there you have it, our latest list of best Assam Laksa you should try in Penang.
Which one have you tried so far? And which one is your favourite?
Asam Laksa is a spicy sour, fish and tamarind based soup.
Usually mackerel is used to prepare the fish broth; while there are also places which prepares them with a mix of mackerels and sardine.
After a couple hours of boiling, the fish meats disintegrates (and broken into small chunks) which will then become part of the final broth.
This dish is served with generous amount of finely sliced cucumbers, onions, red chilis, pineapples, lettuce, mint leaves, ginger flower, and thick rice noodles.
A spoonful of thick and sweet shrimp paste (hae ko) is added to further enhance the taste.
Penang Asam Laksa is ranked #7 of the World’s 50 Best Foods by CNN Travels.
Heads up! When it comes to food and experience, opinions varies from person to person. So please take ours with a pinch of salt.
Photo credit: @awt_0101