Laksa Bar (Melbourne)

Overall: 3/5

Big cities are always full of pleasant surprises for food. After a day of sightseeing, we looked to grab a quick bite close to the hotel. This led to the unassuming Laksa King in an alley nearby. People were waiting for seats, usually a good sign of decent eats.

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The interior is simple and clean. The moderate din of conversation will require flexing of your vocal cords to make yourself heard. A great place for a quick, casual dinner. The food is moderately priced, with nothing topping over $15 Australian.

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Crispy Spring Roll with Prawn and Crab

These were an interesting take on spring rolls. The fried wrapper was crispy and flaky. It was closer to fried taro than flour. The mealy filling had some nice snap from the prawns, but I could not taste the crab. These came out a little cold, which made it less appetizing. The chili/sweet-and-sour sauce on the side did not make much of an impact either way.

Laksa 3

Seafood Clear Noodle Soup

You have seen this before: it is the seafood udon you would find in most Japanese restaurants. A generous portion of shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid, tofu, and vegetables with thick udon noodles and a light chicken/seafood broth. Nothing objectionable, but not great either.

Laksa 4

House Curry Laksa with Soft Shell Crab

When in Rome, right? Curry laksa uses coconut milk as the soup base instead of the sour asam variant. An enormous piece of fried soft-shelled crab accompanies bean curd puffs and two types of vermicelli (along with some vegetables and other seafood that I cannot recall). The broth was sweet with very mild heat from the chilis. The had a very thick batter that made it harder to enjoy the meat underneath. My exposure to laksa is limited which makes me a poor judge of authenticity. Still, I liked the dish and would have finished it were it not for the massive serving.

In the end, this is a joint where your dining experience is primarily defined by how you feel afterwards (full and content). Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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Laksa Bar (Melbourne)

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