JoyCafe

JoyCafe was the scene of day one of the search for Perth’s best laksa.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Wasabi

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.

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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.

Prawns

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.

Prawns2

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…

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