Piping hot, fragrant, rich in spices, served with noodles, chicken, cockles, shrimp, fresh bean sprouts, and tofu to soak up the delicious coconut curry broth — nothing quite compares to a bowl of Malaysian curry laksa. And with so many ways to prepare and serve the dish, this well-loved serving of comfort and joy never gets old.
Find your way to one of these restaurants all over the country to sample a bowl of happiness for yourself.
1. Kedai Kopi Yee Fung, Kota Kinabalu
Head to the Land Below The Wind, where a simple kedai kopi (Malaysian for coffee shop) serves up the best bowl of curry laksa in Sabah. Located on Gaya Street, Yee Fung’s Laksa is made up of a coconut curry broth, jumbo-sized prawns, tofu, noodles, mint, lime, and a side serving of their local sambal for an added kick.
The broth’s flavour is said to have been inspired by the famous Sarawak Laksa, but recreated with ingredients that are distinct to the taste of Sabahan cuisine.
Considering this little restaurant made its way to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Essence of Asia list just a couple of years ago, we’d say they’re doing something right!
Address: 127, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Contact: 088-312 042
2. Limapulo: Baba Can Cook, Kuala Lumpur
In the heart of Malaysia’s capital city lies a quaint Nyonya restaurant whose praises we have sung several times — and it’s worthy of every bit of it. They offer the best of Peranakan cuisine in the midst of bustling Kuala Lumpur (KL) for those in need of comfort flavours from the southern state of Melaka.
The recipe comes from the chef, Uncle John’s mother who was a Baba Nyonya from Melaka herself. The preparation of this dish is lengthy and tedious. Every bowl is made with the freshest ingredients and is often sold out by noon. So you’ll need to be up early for a taste of this iconic dish.
Address: 50, Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-2698 3268
3. Girl And Mommy Curry Mee, Kuala Lumpur
Girl And Mommy Curry Mee is well-recognised by foodies and self-proclaimed curry mee connoisseurs around the country. As the name suggests, the dish is prepared by a mother-daughter duo. A heaping bowl of noodles and rich curry broth is topped with a generous serving of fresh cockles. You might need to stand in line for a little bit before getting your hands on this bowl of deliciousness.
Address: 33, Jalan Emas, Chan Sow Lin, 55200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 018-321 3606
4. Air Itam Sister Curry Mee, Penang
No trip to Penang is complete without a food excursion so while you’re at it, make a stop at Air Itam’s Sister Curry Mee. Having served bowls of curry mee since the 1940s, the Lim sisters are veterans in their field.
The Penang-style curry mee is served with slices of cuttlefish, cubes of coagulated pig’s blood, tofu, and chilli paste. The gravy is thinner than the standard curry mee broth, and also spicy, so you’ll want to add and stir in the chilli paste sparingly.
Address: 612-T, Jalan Air Itam, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-410 8152
5. Hot Bowl White Curry Mee, Penang
Make your way to George Town and treat yourself to their famous bowl of White Curry Mee. The dish comes with the usual tofu puffs, prawns, cuttlefish, cockles, and Penang’s curry mee special ingredient — coagulated pig’s blood. However, the noodles are a mix of yellow noodles and vermicelli served in a white coconut broth. You can add in the red shrimp chilli paste to your liking to your bowl, doing so cautiously — even a spoonful of the chilli paste packs a punch.
Address: 58C, Jalan Rangoon, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-227 3168
6. Restaurant Yew See, Johor Bahru
Yew Swee adds their own spin to this classic curry laksa dish and locals love it! In the southern state of Johor, this restaurant serves their curry laksa with mee hoon kueh (hand-torn noodles). Rustic lasagna-like noodle pieces soak up the red delicious broth giving you so much flavour in every mouthful.
Though a far cry from the traditional curry laksa we know and love, it is a dish unique to this part of Malaysia and well worth a try.
Address: 64, Jalan Harimau Tarum, Taman Century, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor
Contact: 016-760 6409
7. Poh Piah Lwee, Melaka
Malaysians will travel far and wide for a good plate of food and Poh Piah Lwee has definitely become a local favourite. You find the shop next to Jonker Street, where they make delicious bowls of Nyonya curry mee, their famous popiah, rojak, minced meat and mushroom noodles, and Nyonya dumplings.
That’s right, the menu only consists of five dishes, because when you know how to do something well, you don’t need to do much. Customers return for a taste of the hand-wrapped popiahs and creamy and spicy bowls of Nyonya laksa because they are simply that good.
Address: 14, Jalan Kubu, 75300 Melaka
Contact: 06-282 7175