[Kuala Lumpur] Curry Laksa at Madras Lane

Kuala Lumpur’s unique curry laksa has been ranked by Lonely Planet last year at #2 out of 500 eating experiences in the world on their Ultimate Eatlist for 2018. And the three competing stalls on Madras Lane serve supposedly the best versions of KL-style curry laksa - a mix of yellow Hokkien wheat noodles and thin rice noodles in a soupy, spicy curried broth, enriched with coconut milk, garnished with poached chicken, pig skin, tofu puffs, cockles, long beans and aubergines.

Penang, Singapore and Ipoh all have their own types of curry noodles, vastly different from this KL version. So, when I was in KL last weekend, I immediately made a bee-line for Madras Lane’s famous curry laksa stretch to get my curry noodle fix.

The three curry laksa stalls are all located in a row, interrupted by only a chee cheong fun/steamed rice roll stall between Stalls #2 and #3.

All three stalls have their own loyal clientele, my preferred one is Stall #2, ran by a mother-and-daughter team:

Their rendition of the KL-style curry laksa suits my palate the most: not too spicy, although one can help oneself to extra chili paste and calamansi limes (to squeeze atop the noodles) from the condiment bowls on each table.

BTW, the chee cheong fun here on Madras Lane is not bad at all, eventhough I preferred the other stall at Jalan Hang Lekir, 5 minutes’ walk away.

KL-style chee cheong fun differs from the Penang version (which uses the strong-smelling fermented shrimp paste or the Singapore’s version which rely upon sweet hoi sin suce and extra-spicy chili paste for its dressing. Ipoh’s chee cheong fun closely resembles KL’s version, but has a paler-coloured sauce which is also gentler in taste.

The KL-style chee cheong fun has a mix of hoisin sauce, brown bean sauce and fermented beancurd in its dressing mix. A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds (same as for the KL, Ipoh and Penang versions) before serving is de rigeur, whereas pickled green chilis is atypical.

The stalls all open from 8am onwards, and closes after lunch.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo