Sunday, August 16, 2009

328 Katong Laksa vs Famous 49 Katong Laksa

I was very hungry after the 10 km Army Half Marathon and Sheares Bridge Run hence we decided on a great feast that afternoon!

First we headed to Aston for its famous steaks and other Western yummies! Well I would touch more of our great Aston experiences shortly in the coming post as there is really a wealth of great yummy experiences to share!

After Aston, we proceeded to eat the Laksa that Katong is famous for! There are two particularly strong contenders for Katong’s No. 1 Laksa: 328 Katong Laksa and Famous 49 Katong Laksa! We decided to try the laksa from 328 Katong Laksa first!

I have not been to 328 Katong Laksa for close to 3 years already! The walls of the shop are as before, adorned with pictures of the stall owner with all stars, either local or foreign! Displayed on the front of the stall is a picture of the owner with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng too! I was a bit shocked but not really surprised that now one bowl of laksa at 328 costs $3.50 as compared to $3 three years back.

It has to do with inflation and the rising cost of living, thus it came hardly a surprise to me. When the bowl came, the laksa portion is as usually not big. I could easily gulp it within a minute. However, when it comes to such a reputable Laksa stall, it is quality more that matters to Singaporean foodies than quantity! For if you want quantity, one can easily get an average Laksa from the scores of other hawker centres here!

This Sunday (16 Aug) afternoon, my Dear and I went on a food hunt in Katong, reputed to be the island’s No.1 food haven for Singaporeans as here in Katong, one could taste a wide variety of food which is uniquely local! From the Peranakan (the heritage of Katong) to Chinese, Western, Muslim, Indian as well as food of other countries! The laksa from 328 scored in its presentation. My Dear and I found it tasty and delicious and after the meal, we proceeded to try the Laksa from 49 Katong Laksa.

It was evitable that the customers for 49 Katong Laksa are fewer than 328 Laksa and the walls of 49 Katong are adorned with fewer local and foreign artistes. However, there was a picture of the owner with ex-Deputy Prime Minister and his wife. The Laksa sold at 49 Katong cost $3, 50 cents lower than the price of 328 Katong. I was a tad disappointed when the laksa came, the soup of the laksa seemed watery and the bowl it was served it was not too impressive though it was traditional.

Moreover, the stall was non-air-conditioned unlike 328 Katong. My thought is that in hot and humid Singapore, 49 Katong Laksa may consider revamping the layout of the stall and have its shop airconditoned to draw in more customers. Singaporeans are really a pampered lot when they are outside. There is not much of a choice as it is really very hot and humid and one would need to find solace in an air-conditioned place.

It was not after my Dear and I had tucked into the bowl that our impression of 49 Katong Laksa changed. It was not bad at all! The soup, though not as ‘smooth’ as 328 Katong Laksa, was more grainy with more ingredients, which combined to give a uniquely yummy taste! There were more fish cakes in the 49 Katong Laksa though the cockles may be slightly smaller than its 328 Katong Laksa counterpart!

It was hard to come to a deliberation of which of the two stalls served better laksa. Both stalls have their own USP (Unique Selling Points), but after some consideration, we decided that 49 Katong Laksa serves better laksa in our opinion!

1 comment :

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