928 Yishun Laksa
It’s time for some more Singaporean food! This time, it is laksa. Yes, some of you may or may not like spicy stuff, or maybe not the taste, or even the hum (this is optional though). But for those who do appreciate this, you may find worth in this post.
So, a little history for documentation: Laksa is a spicy dish from Peranakan culture. It merges Chinese, Malay elements of cooking from Malaysia and Singapore to create the dish. The etymology is interesting: One theory traces it back to Hindi/Persian lakhshah, referring to a type of vermicelli, which in turn may be derived from the Sanskrit lakshas (लकशस्) meaning “one hundred thousand” (lakh). It has also been suggestedthat “laksa” may derive from the Chinese word 辣沙 (Cantonese: [lɐ̀t.sáː]), meaning “spicy sand” due to the ground dried prawns which gives a sandy or gritty texture to the sauce. Wikipedia comes up with such affecting explanations. As for this stall’s variation, it is the more traditioninal Singapore-type curry laksa.
So, for those who have not tried the 928 Yishun Laksa before, let me tell you where it lies. Going from the Yishun MRT station, cross over to North Point and to the bus interchange. Go through all the way to the end of the interchange and go up the escalator at the end. You would come to the other side into an open alley of shops. Directly opposite, on the left at the corner, would be this comely shop selling laksa on the left and drinks and dessert on the right.
This small stall has accumulated various accolades for its laksa. The shop itself has been there more than 15 years now, as other food bloggers like foodiefc has made note of it being around since his school days.
Yishun, where the shop is situated, fits its image. Somehow, it gives off a very comely feel, and you feel right at ease eating in the small shop. The place has a few long and round tables, so there are limited spaces, but it always seems to have just enough space. Also, despite long queues and lack of fans, the food is still worth waiting for. Usually, even at four in the afternoon on a weekday there would already be a queue forming for a quick dinner.
As you can see from the first pic, laksa goes for $2.50 or $3.00, and there is a choice of whether you want yellow noodle, thick or thin vermicelli (所谓的幼和粗米粉). Personally I like thick vermicelli, but everyone has their own preferences.
Well, this is a $3.00 bowl. The main difference between the two prices are that the $3.00 bowl has noticeably more noodles plus two halves of a hard boiled egg instead of just half, a few pieces of crabstick. Your conscience is also appeased when you scoop more chilli and laksa leaf than other people.
Everything else is the same. The soup is most impressionable. After all, it is what makes or breaks a laksa. It is amazing. Unlike most laksa, you can feel the freshness in you mouth. Most other laksas pale in comparison. The amount of coconut milk is just right, and it is fresh. There may be tao gey, tau pok, si hum and all the other fresh things, but the soup is fundamental to a laksa’s success. This stall’s laksa achieves a high standard indeed, although sometimes the broth is not the most consistent. But that proves that it is homemade. I always finish it up to the last drop, including the gritty bits of dried small prawns.
Also, for the price, it really is a good deal, as a $3.00 bowl really does fill you up, not leaving you half full like how some other hawker foods can.
I recommend to everyone who has tried laksa before and have had no adverse reactions to it. Happy dreaming about it at night and in your waking dreams.