Thanks to Nick Tan's sharing in 吃的平台 foodie group, this humble little Penang Asam Laksa stall is now the rage in Johor Bahru JB.
This 干妈亚叁拉沙 roughly translated "God Mom's Asam Laksa" is my favourite Penang style asam laksa in JB now.
I arrived here 30 minutes before opening time at 1:00pm on a rainy afternoon and there was already a queue patiently waiting.
The asam laksa is literally home cooked here as the stall owner prepares and serves the food right at her front porch. Seats are very limited and waiting time is a little long, I must warn you :-D Be prepared to share a table as there are two only :-D But, everybody is feeling comfy, happy and cheerful.
Stall owner Miss Beh 馬 hails from Bukit Mertajam (Penang). She opened this asam laksa stall just 6 months ago and business has been booming :-D
Everything is market fresh here as Ms Beh 馬 sources her ingredients like cucumber, pineapple, onions, lettuce, daun kesom, bunga kantan, assam keping, etc from the local wet market, just like any mum at home.
RM5 got me this large bowl of aromatic Penang asam laksa in a gorgeous brownish red broth.
The soupy fish broth is spiced up with finely chopped fresh herbs and spices. It's a nice balance of sour, spicy hot, sweet and savoury (with sour and spicy dominant). As the sardine fish was fresh, there was not the slightest hint of fishy smell or taste. The sourish spicy broth was highly drinkable and enjoyable with little, if any trace of MSG at all. (I often had asam laksa so sour that it made me cringe but at 干妈亚叁拉沙 it was just nice.)
If you need more umami kick, you can squeeze in savoury fermented prawn sauce to taste.
I like a little fresh chili padi to wake up my taste buds with a sharp sting.
The large bowl of Penang asam laksa comes with two big pieces of sardine fish. Ms 馬 gets her fresh sardines from the wet market every business day. (Real fresh sardine fish, not the mushy mess from a tin can or mixed fish mince.)
The fat rice vermicelli 粗米粉 is generic factory made but Ms 馬 cooks them well, so they have a nice bounce to the bite and is clean tasting.
The rice vermicelli complements the juicy crunch of the chopped vegetables and soaks up the clingy sourish spicy fish broth well.
The moment I finished my large bowl of 干妈亚叁拉沙's Penang asam laksa, I had to fight my instant craving for another bowl.
->> Now with 槟城干妈亚叁拉沙, I don't have to wait for my next Penang trip to enjoy a good Penang asam laksa. Indeed, I can boldly say that this is as good, if not better, than some asam laksa I've tasted in Penang.
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Restaurant name: 槟城干妈亚叁拉沙 (God Mom's Penang Asam Laksa)
Address: No 149, Jalan Permas 1, 81750 Masai, Johor. (They just opened an outlet at the food court on the 6th floor of City Square mall in downtown JB.)
GPS: 1.516634, 103.821710 / 1°30'59.9"N 103°49'18.2"E
Hours: 1:00pm to 7:00pm (Closed on Fri)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 24 Feb 2016
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