JoyCafe was the scene of day one of the search for Perth’s best laksa.
This is a place I have walked past, in William Street, Northbridge, many times and have never been in – but with the laksa search in mind, this time we did. It is a fairly small restaurant, long and narrow, but comfortable all the same. The owner who welcomed us in is a voluble, friendly chap who guaranteed he serves up one of the best laksa going around – of the curry laksa variant.
They are licenced, but happy for BYO wine as well – the wine list is small, and could do with a bit of work, but we grabbed a bottle of Fifth Leg Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – there being no rosé or Riesling, which we would have preferred, but this is a pleasant enough drop. And the fruity notes combined pretty well with the zing of the chilli we encountered.
The menu, as with most Chinese restaurants is extensive, ranging across chicken, seafood, pork, vegetable, tofu dishes, and they have a small section described as tapas or dim sum style; so to go with our laksa we ordered one of these – a plate of wasabi prawns.
The prawns were nicely fried, not at all oily, crisp batter, with a mild, creamy, wasabi based sauce ladled over the top, complementing the moist, sweet flesh of the prawns. It was fine and promising start.
Now for the laksa – the bowls were a good size, brimming with soup, and full of mixed noodles, seafood, bean cake and bean shoots; coconut aromas and flavours abounded, garlic and pepper notes, chilli hot, but not overly, the noodles beautifully cooked, and the seafood and bean curd retaining crunch and texture. It was a great start to our quest.
Once I have tried a few more I will assign scores to see how they stack up against each other but the JoyCafe effort was a good starting point.
From our experience on the day, JoyCafe is pretty good little restaurant; some of the tapas/dim sum dishes sound very good indeed, and are quite cheap to go along with that, so it will be place I will be returning to soon. A better wine list – just a few additions – could add to its appeal even more. Friendly, welcoming staff, good food, good value…what’s not to like?
More laksa adventures to come…