To get really good Sarawak laksa usually entails a 2-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching on Borneo island, across the South China Sea. I'd been totally captivated by the unique & very addictive taste of Sarawak laksa from my very first taste of this divine dish during a trip to Kuching (Sarawak) a few years back - so much so that I'd insisted on having it for breakfast every day for the rest of my stay there.
So it was an utter joy when I finally discovered perhaps the BEST Sarawak laksa in Kuala Lumpur at the much-talked-about Auntie Christina's in Lucky Gardens this morning (after disappointing versions in Laksa Shack, Alexis, etc.). There's a sign on Christina's stall which proclaimed that she'd been dispensing bowls of her piquant delicious Sarawak laksa since 1960!
Christina Jong, Sarawakian native of Chinese-Hakka descent, is a pleasant little lady, immaculately groomed, and took great pride in meticulously preparing each & every bowl of her laksa. I ordered a bowl, then sat & watch as she carefully blanched the bee hoon rice noodles, followed by the beansprouts (just 30 seconds or so in hot water to remove the raw flavor, yet retaining the crunch). Into the bowl went the blanched noodles & sprouts, which were then topped with finely shredded egg omelette, strips of poached chicken breast meat, and 3 peeled/blanched fresh shrimps. She then filled the bowl with her hyper-delicious Sarawak laksa broth, which had the viscosity of lobster bisque, but with an absolutely different, semi-herbal, semi-spicy, totally-addictive scent and flavor. Christina's version has the requisite slight-sourish taste, but lacked the bitterish after-taste of the versions I had in Kuching (e.g. Min Heng in Carpenter Street - the supposedly grand-daddy of all Sarawak laksa eateries in Kuching), perhaps because Christina has tweaked her recipe to suit KL tastes and is less concentrated. Still, she explained that she uses native spices flown in from Sarawak on a regular basis. She topped her laksa with fresh green sprigs of coriander leaves before it's proudly served.
The textures & flavors of the ingredients - crunchy sprouts, al dente noodles, tender chicken, fresh shrimps, sourish kalamansi-spiked laksa broth, all came together like a perfect symphony. Definitely a must-not miss foodie spot in KL!
Auntie Christina's Stall
Nam Chun Coffee Shop
2-4 Jalan Ara Kiri 2
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Open: 8am to late-afternoon.