68 years old and counting - this Air Itam dining icon still pulls in the crowd every day. Singaporeans take away packs to bring home on 1.5 hour flights, whilst KL-lites drive more than 350km for their asam laksa fix here.
Currently run by Ang Kar Seong, 67, who’s almost as old as the stall started by his late mother. The elder Ang is helped by his son, Ang Kar Foo, and other family members - in fact, the stall was run by an all-women kitchen crew when I was there this afternoon.
- Penang asam laksa has a spicy-sour soup base, characterised by its chilli-assam (tamarind)-lemongrass flavour, replete with minced fish-meat.
The laksa noodles are garnished with generous amounts of finely-julienned raw herbs & vegetables: cucumber, lettuce, onions, torch-ginger (‘bunga kantan’), red chillies and fresh mint. An indispensable dollop of “hae koh” (fermented shrimp paste) drizzled on top before serving adds a pungent spike of flavour.
- The stall is located by the roadside, outside the Air Itam wet market, and only opens about after 10.30am, when the wet market’s morning stalls start closing down.
Ayer Itam Assam Laksa
Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong
11500 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Operating hours: 11.30am-8pm daily