PICKS

Here’s where to get the best laksa in Hong Kong

by: Abegaile Legaspi
11 Dec 2019

Food fact: laksa, one of the most celebrated classics of southeast Asian hawker fare, got its name from the Hokkien term ‘luak sua’ meaning ‘spicy sand’, which referred to the taste and texture of the ground, dried prawns which often form the backbone of the dish. But the well-loved Peranakan dish actually comes in more than five variations, which vary according to region and, of course, soup base, which can range from fresh and creamy to sour and fiery.   

And with winter (almost) in full swing, nothing invites refuge from the cold like a piping hot bowl of the Straits favourite. Here’s our pick of the best laksa in Hong Kong.

Chatterbox Cafe

While Chatterbox Cafe has taken Hong Kong by storm one bowl of chicken rice at a time since opening in K11 Musea in autumn, the Singapore import also dishes up some great takes on other classic hawker meals. Warm up this winter with the signature Chatterbox jumbo scallop laksa (HK$118) with thick rice vermicelli, king prawns, hard-boiled egg and fishcake in a spicy coconut gravy. Wash it down with a Milo Dinosaur (HK$22 hot, HK$28 iced) because why not, tbh.

Chatterbox Cafe, Shop B110, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2352 2173; @chatterboxcafehongkong.

Penang Prawn Noodle Shop

Since it opened in 2000, Penang Prawn Noodle Shop has developed a cult following for its authentic Malaysian fare. The Wan Chai spot brings the heat with their rich laksa soup base – a perfect blend of fine coconut milk and shrimp, perfect for the colder seasons (or any time, really). Highlights include the seafood noodles (HK$75) with squid wing, mussels, tofu fishcakes and crabsticks, and the sliced chicken and egg noodles (HK$68). Noodles can be matched to preference as well, with options like egg noodles, vermicelli or even glass noodles.

Penang Prawn Noodle Shop, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai; +852 2520 0268; www.facebook.com/prawnnoodleshop

Hainan Shaoye

Harbour City institution Hainan Shaoye may be better known for their famous Hainan chicken rice (HK$99) but don’t sleep on their laksa. Made with fresh ingredients and aromatics, their signature Singapore seafood laksa lemak (HK$93) with mussels, tofu and prawns is bursting with flavours that pack a punch and a bit less of a kick. Can’t narrow it down to just one? Go for their set lunch combo (HK$120) which includes Hainan chicken rice and seafood laksa – a match made in Peranakan heaven.

Hainan Shaoye, Shop 16, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2110 3533; www.hainanshaoye.com

Satay Inn

Well-loved for their range of authentic Singaporean fare, Satay Inn at North Point’s City Garden Hotel is home to a wide array of hawker favourites such as bak kut teh, char kway teow and, of course, laksa. Don’t miss their signature spicy laksa (HK$118) with freshly sliced king prawn, fishcakes and crystal noodles made according to traditional culinary techniques. If you can’t take the heat, feel free to customise your spice level – choose from mild, ‘authentic’ or spicy.

Satay Inn, B/F, City Garden Hotel, 9 City Garden Road, North Point, +852 2806 4938; www.sino-hotels.com

Toast Box

With multiple locations across the city, who wouldn’t be able to recognise the quintessential Singaporean eatery Toast Box. A perfect quick-and-easy dining option that won’t break the bank, the mild-spiced Singapore laksa set (HK$60) with tofu puffs, fishcakes and shrimps, plus a choice of either silver pin noodles or rice noodles, hits the spot every time. Double down on the carbs with a serve of Toast Box’s well-loved traditional kaya toast (HK$37).

Toast Box, various locations, +852 3520 1220; www.toastbox.hk

Café Malacca

Feel as if you’ve been transported to the hawker centres of the Straits – at least taste-wise – with the street-style fare at Café Malacca. Awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin Guide for two consecutive years (2014-5), this Sai Wan spot uses high-quality produce imported from Singapore and Malaysia in all its dishes, with highlights including the classic Singapore laksa (HK$108) with bean curd puffs, prawns and half a boiled egg, and an intriguing take on the spicy fish-based Penang asam laksa (HK$108) featuring thick vermicelli noodles, black shrimp paste, pineapple and mint.

Café Malacca, 2/F, Hotel Jen, 508 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui; +852 2213 6613; www.hoteljen.com

Rempah Noodles

When it comes to modern takes on traditional Nonya (read: native Singaporean) fare, look no further than Rempah Noodles. This cult Wan Chai favourite features some of the finest hawker classics this side of Orchard Road, all prepared with innovative cooking methods. Highlights include the classic Nonya laksa lemak (HK$98) with prawns, fishcakes and shredded chicken, while the dry laksa (HK$98) with prawns, fishcakes and silver pin noodles topped with a coconut-based gravy gives you all the goodness without the slurping.

Rempah Noodles, G/F, 18 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, +852 3618 4863; www.rempahnoodles.com

K11 MUSEA

Address   18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui