Ito’s Malaysian is actually run by the To’s – the laksa legends who were behind the original To’s in North Sydney. After retiring for a while, they came back and I’m pretty damn happy about it!
The shop is located near Hyde Park in a small food court below the Starbucks. There are a couple of other restaurants down under street level, but with Ito’s there I haven’t really noticed who or what!
The laksa here is spicy (could use a bit more chilli) and packed with flavour. Proper flavour and I think more ‘fresh’ herb flavour than Malay Chinese. The soup is on the thin side, but has some real grit to it… My only complaint is that the servings are a bit smaller than average!
Right now, I think this is one of the best laksas in Sydney.
If you haven’t tried their laksa yet, go there. Now.
OK so Malay-Chinese Takeaway on Hunter St is no secret to Sydney Laksa eaters. It is the defending champ and has been called “the best Laksa in Sydney” (or at the very least, one of the best) for years. The recipe hasn’t changed and either have the long lines if you go at lunch time during the week!
Mid week either early (before 12pm) or late (after 1:30 pm) tend to be a little bit better.
So what makes the malay-chinese takeaway laksa so good?!
The broth is super tasty and spicy – definitely makes you break a sweat and awkwardly choke on chilli flakes a few times each bowl. I like to judge a laksa by how ‘gritty’ it is – and the Malay Chinese Takeaway laksa is right up there…
When there is grit – you know the soup is going to be tasty.
If you have had a laksa that tastes like plain coconut milk and chilli – you’ll know what I’m talking about! I bet the bowl is clean afterwards.
Malay-Chinese Takeaway is also one of the most consistent restaurants I have been to. It’s probably coming close to 20 years and the laksa is still basically exactly the same is always.
They never have off-days and have a reliable and stable team, so if one person was off sick, the laksa can still go on without them. That is pretty damn impressive…
Would it be better if it came standard with hokkien noodles in the mix? I think so – but it is still awesome and the one to beat.
If you haven’t been to Malay-Chinese Takeaway for their laksa – get down there and let me know what you think!
Temasek has been on my list of laksa to try for a long time and had been recommended by friends, family and laksa fans. I don’t get to Parramatta much and the last time I tried to go there it was closed for the Christmas / New Year break so I’ve been meaning to get there for years.
It’s in the centre of Parramatta down a little alley off George St and over the years has become popular enough to take over additional seating space in the shop opposite.
The laksa is one of the priciest bowls in Sydney – with a chicken laksa setting you back around $18… I’m guessing this is largely due to the huge amount of chicken that is expertly-poached and at least double the volume of your average serve.
Unfortunately for us, they had run out of Sambal today – on the plus side, we decided this was a good sign that they would only be happy serving their own homemade sambal and weren’t going to substitute anything from the asian grocery down the road…
The soup is one of the grittiest I’ve had for a long time – rich and complex in flavour and it is definitely on the thick side. Looking at the bowl after finishing is a great indicator for a made-from-scratch laksa paste where they care more about quality and using fresh ground ingredients than concentrates or dried versions.
As for the soup – it is rich with coconut (not cows milk like some places we suspect) and probably on the edge between soup and curry – any thicker and I would be thinking they need to balance it out, but it is just on the right side.
So how does Temasek stack up after all of this? It has to be one of the priciest laksa options around – virtually double the price of some alternatives but I’d recommend you go there if you haven’t yet! They definitely need to plan better with their sambal supply and I think should make their base laksa spicier, but it is an awesome example of a curry laksa in Sydney – especially if you like your laksa broth on the thick side. I’ll be going back again for sure and wish they had an outlet in the CBD.
CBD Noodles in Wintergarden has been one of the best Sydney Laksas for a while, but seems to get overlooked buy a lot of other people. I started going there originally as it was the closest place to Malay-Chinese Takeaway (whenever the lines were too long), but have since grown to love it. They make the broth spicy and include both noodles if you ask them.
I always thought it deserved more recognition, but seeing as there is a pretty big line there every time I go, maybe people are just keeping it a secret to themselves.
The line can get pretty long at lunch time, but since it is in the Wintergarden foodcourt it is usually easier to get a seat. They also have half of their staff serving laksa customers and half of them working on dry noodles and food – so the line does move quite quickly…
For anyone in a rush to get back or eat at the office, their takeaway containers and servings are much better than the ironically named Malay-Chinese Takeaway which uses terrible, small plastic tubs (one of their few flaws).
So for anyone who hasn’t been to CBD Noodles for a laksa, give it a try! They make it hot and it is close to anyone around Circular Quay or near Australia Square. There are a bunch of other pretty good food choices in Wintergarden now, but hey, why eat anything besides laksa?!
Penang Cuisine won a few brownie points for being open on New Years Eve for lunch – I really didn’t want to cook and needed a laksa so I could head into 2016 the right way. I hadn’t tried the laksa there before, so was a bit nervous I might end up having a shitty start to 2016 but hey, they delivered and are now my favourite local!
Since then, I’ve been back to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and they are definitely legit. The soup is tasty, gritty and consistently good though it is definitely under chilli’d and not quite as punchy as somewhere like Malay Chinese Takeaway.
You will need to ask for extra sambal & chilli, but on the plus side, it does come standard with both noodles so that is a tick for me.
They make the odd / pretty modest claim of being “The king of curry laksa in Epping”. Either they are really humble or I didn’t know how competitive the laksa scene was around here… I mean, how many laksa places are there in Epping?
If anyone knows other good laksas in the area – let me know!