Melbourne: Laksa King

If you see Singaporeans or Malaysians going for Laksa King in Melbourne, make no mistake, it occurs only when they miss their hometown's food too much, or when this place serves really authentic and delicious laksa. For me, it's both. For my foreign friends in Melbourne who want a respectable representation of what laksa is like, Laksa King does the trick. Set in a very quiet district of Newmarket/ Flemington area, this restaurant is perhaps the only attraction in the region, unless you'd count this isolated My Chemist Warehouse (This outlet stocked a lot of popular vitamins and pills that tourists enjoy buying in bulk).

Laksa King only opens at 5pm, and I was there slightly earlier so it's time for a quick photo. I like taking photos on railways wherever I go and whenever possible. This is a functional track so I tried not to linger too long on it because trains go past it every 10 minutes or so. I love watching trains go past.

I returned to Laksa King after wandering around the little suburb (with a little bakery, very welcoming and warm bookshop, florist and a Korean restaurant) for a while. There was already a pretty long queue fifteen minutes after it opened its doors. A man with a heavy Malaysian accent came to receive the walk-in customers, and after knowing I'm here for a table for one, I managed to skip most of the queue and got ushered in quickly. Phew, thank goodness, I was starving and couldn't stand being in the mouthwatering fumes of the restaurant without trying their food!

How do you go to Laksa King and not order their laksa? That'll be simply blasphemous, so obviously I got their Assam Laksa (AUD12.50) which was seriously one of the best laksas I've had in my life - including those I've had in Singapore and Malaysia. I teared a bit at how good it was (and partially from homesickness) - it was quite spicy (approximately 6/10) but the best part was how the laksa soup base was powerfully tangy, sour and sweet, lemongrass and tamarind, rich in coconut milk, and then you have the taupoks soaked in the sauce... yes, they ooze yumminess when you bite into them. They have the freshest cuts of fishcake as well, and I simply couldn't stop slurping up this bowl of laksa until the very end. I was extremely satisfied.
The chefs in the open-concept glass kitchen were seemingly Malaysian as well, which explains why it's so good... I secretly do think Malaysian Chinese do the best cooking in the whole of Southeast Asia, though my tastebuds are developed in a biased fashion in my formative years... I ramble on way too much: but take it from a Southeast Asian/ Singaporean - this laksa is friggin' legit. More legit than some of the stuff we get in hawker centres around the island here.

I had extremely high expectations for Laksa King because there were so many good reviews and anticipation surrounding this name. Nevertheless, they managed to exceed my expectations... so I went ahead and ordered a dessert, the Coconut Panna Cotta served with ice cream (AUD8.50). Actually I didn't even skip a beat to order this because coconut and panna cotta could single-handedly coerce me to get them even on their own, let alone when they're made into the same dessert. So how? It was lovely, of course, though a little small in size for the price. Or I could just be greedy. By the way, if you finished eating and pay before 6.30pm, you get 10% discount off your receipt. Great way to flush out the crowd to ensure a quicker turnover.

Footnote for memory's sake: after this meal, it began one of the most petrifying nights I've had in Melbourne (there weren't many), because I walked over from my place in North Melbourne to Flemington area - an approximate 2km away and attempted to take the same route back on foot but got terribly lost. Moral of the story: take the tram...

Laksa King
6-12 Pin Oak Cres, Flemington
VIC 3031, Australia

+61 3 9372 6383

Opening hours
Sun to Thu: 1130 - 1500; 1700 - 2200
Fri & Sat: 1130 - 1500; 1700 - 2230

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a travel and food blogger with a constant longing to be somewhere to makes her feel alive ☆ life's an adventure

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