Fortunately, I have good friends who helped me out in my quest for Laksa Johor. My friend Francis Kee brought me to his favourite breakfast place, Al Ansar Café in Permas Jaya to try out their famous Laksa Johor.
The gravy of Laksa Johor was a thick grainy paste blanketing the mound of boiled spaghetti. What's inside the umami gravy was, of course, a trade secret. My taste buds told me that there were ground ikan kembung, salted fish, dried shrimps, belacan, various herbs, spices, coconut and other ingredients that I couldn't make out. Assembling such a complicated combination of ingredients alone was no easy task, let alone preparing and cooking them well. No wonder good Laksa Johor is so hard to find, in stalls or at home.
The Laska Johor gravy was flavourful and had interesting textures but was not overly spicy hot. I love to add this tangy, extra spicy hot sambal chili which boosted the taste of the spaghetti.
While enjoying my Laksa Johor and chatting with Francis, I heard the rhythmic musical pounding of pestle and mortar. I have not heard this music for a long time :)
I couldn't help but stopped and traced where the beautiful sound was coming from. It led me to Al Ansar Café's busy kitchen. This lady was pounding the mix of chili and spices with mortar and pestle in the old way.
This old tedious way creates a sambal chili that an electric blender simply cannot match.
I am so glad to enjoy this delicious authentic Laksa Johor today, with thanks to Francis :)
Here's a nice video recipe, click here, if you want to try making this at home :)
Restaurant name: Al Ansar Café
Address: Jalan Permas 5/16 (right next to Al Ansar Mosque)
Hours: 6:00am to 3:00pm (closed on Sunday and Public Holidays)
Date visited: 9 Oct 2012