5 of HK's best laksa spots

Nothing invites refuge from the cold like a piping hot bowl of soup noodles - a year-round staple in the city that receives even more love during the winter season. Laksa, a Peranakan dish known best to hail from Malaysia and Singapore, is among favourites. With its coconut milk-based curry soup and hearty seafood fillings, the southeast Asian dish is uncannily perfect for dropping temperatures. And so, while the cold’s still here to stay, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite places to indulge in this rich, fiery-hued bowl. Here are five worthy laksa trips to make.

Penang Prawn Noodle Shop

While laksa at this small diner features a stronger curry base, slightly muffling out coconut and shrimp flavours, everything else makes it worthy of the lunch queue and shoulder-to-shoulder dining experience: the excellent egg noodles, spongy tofu, delicately sweet fishcake. The seafood laksa also includes mussels, shrimps, crabsticks, and squid wing, although diners can opt for a bowl that features chicken, meatballs, or mushroom and vegetables, instead. Noodles may be matched to preference as well, with options that include egg noodles, vermicelli and glass noodles.
Shop 4, Ground Floor, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai; 2520 028
Hainan Shaoye
Filling and flavourful down to the last slurp, this is easily one of the best bowls of laksa in the city. The soup is creamy and textured, while the flavours – not too spicy – are clean and light on the palate. Serving size is seemingly compact, yet the bowl is dense, generous with mussels, tofu, prawns.
Shop 16, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2110 3533; hainanshaoye.com
Toast Box
It may be fast food, but Toastbox’s laksa hits the spot. The gravy-like soup, with a mild spice, is addictive, while the noodles are thick and chewy. This one’s served with tofu puffs, fishcakes and shrimps.
Multiple locations inc. Shop B01, Food Republic, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; 2111 1146; toastbox.hk

Café Malacca

The Penang assam laksa at Café Malacca is a top contender among the city’s best. Served at the Hotel Jen restaurant, known as a go-to for authentic Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, this bowl of laksa packs in tartness along with the spice. Its soup is also lighter.   
Level 2, Hotel Jen Hong Kong, 508 Queen’s Rd W, Sai Wan; 2213 6613; hoteljen.com
Old Town
Laksa’s flavours are so distinctive, there’s almost no way you could go wrong unless you’re trying to make another dish altogether. Old Town serves it classically and well, with coconut curry soup that’s extra creamy and milky, hitting all the mildly spicy, fragrant notes expected of the dish.
Old Town, The Loop, 33 Wellington St, Central; 2522 2009

Johna Baylon