Hawkers Cuisine in Francis Street, Northbridge was the location of the next step in the laksa quest, and it proved to be a pretty good choice. Once located in a much smaller space in the China Town area, in the past year or so it has moved to this large restaurant opposite the Tax Office. Minimally decorated it has a counter area at the front – with interestingly the usually front window located fish tanks at the back of the room – and an abundance of tables and chairs of varying configurations.
The menu is geared towards Malay street food dishes – satay, roti canai, nasi lemak, mee hoon, nasi goreng and, of course, what we were there for – curry laksa.
We began with a plate of fried squid tentacles – a good sized serving, crisp, tender, well-seasoned, and fried with chopped chilli. The only down side was the lack of any accompanying dipping sauce; still it was a good start to the meal.
And now to the highlight, we moved onto a bowl each of Seafood Curry Laksa.
This was a very good example of the dish –a glossy, rich colour, chilli oil floating on the creamy surface, topped with half a boiled egg; full of tofu pok, fishcake, squid, shelled prawns, slices of fish and a number of clams. All the seafood was well cooked, tender and juicy; the vermicelli noodles slippery and al dente; bean sprouts added a little crunch. We were particularly taken with the small sweet clams – a great touch.
The spice level was around medium I guess – we had a small bowl of chopped chilli to spike it up a bit – while the coconut milk gave it a rich, creamy taste. All in all it was very enjoyable and a worthy contestant in the search for Perth’s best laksa.
Hawkers Cuisine had a reputation in its old place for turning out good quality, inexpensive Malay style food – and it seems to have maintained that standard in its current incarnation. The food we had was very good indeed, the service prompt, attentive and smiling. If you are looking for this style cuisine, then it is well worth a visit.