Saturday, September 29, 2012


Life changes mean that I now am mostly unable to do brunch, which I used to do over quieter times during the week. It's all a bit of a downer but the obvious upside is that I can now suss out the dinner scene for Melbourne's poor studes. So far, it hasn't been too much of a stretch but it does take a little more planning when finding places that will fit the budget in the PM hours. 

The Seafood Curry Laksa

To begin this slightly new phase, a small group of us hit up the west side to visit Flemmington's Laksa King a couple of weeks ago. We went on a Monday night, thinking it would be pretty quiet, but the place was a hive of noodle eaters, with a quick turnover of customers. 

For some reason, I had assumed Laksa King would be this kind of little restaurant, intimate and a little smaller. Apparently, that's the old one. The new Laksa King, in reality, is quite large, with long communal tables and not a lot of space. It's more like a diner-style, fast-eating restaurant, instead of the 'sit down, chat and enjoy your meal' kind of place.

To be honest, huge eating places like this kind of put me off. This should be called 'foodcourt syndrome' - I think there is something kind of nasty about lots of people who don't know each other, eating in a room together. But hey, it's obvious Laksa King is a big hit, and it's turnover is huge, which meant we didn't have long to wait for our table.

The Beef Curry Laksa

It's not Pho King, and it's not Rice King, and as long as we were in the palace, we we're going to order it's signature dish. Between us, we chose the chicken, beef and seafood curry laksas.

My friends were big fans of their chicken and beef laksas. They reported back that there was lots of meat, the perfect merging of spice and coconut milk and enough noodles to last the soup.
I ordered the seafood version, which was also a good choice on a miserable Melbourne night.
The quality of seafood wasn't great, which is always a risk when you order seafood for cheaps, but was more then bearable. I was however, a big fan of the big cubes of fried tofu that soaked up the laksa. But I will concur with my pals that the coconut and spice flavours were right on in terms of taste - if not a little too intense coconut-wise. If you don't enjoy that usual 'breathing fire' feeling after eating spicy soups, then this is the place to come to because the laksa's aren't too intense. Ultimately, because of the coconut milk, this is one full bodied, voluptuous laksa and we struggled a bit after.

The pluses are that Laksa King is super, super quick, and really great value and you don't have to get laksa- the menu is diverse in offerings. It's the perfect student eat, especially as it's so close to Newmarket train station. The cons are that it's not the best quality food and I've heard that it's authenticity is questionable. At the same time, it's not 'a hang out for a leisurely meal sort of place'- you're in and out the door within half an hour and because of this, there isn't much ambiance to speak off.  However, that's probably why it's so popular, especially around the 6.30 mark when we went, just as people were arriving for a quick meal, from the end of a long day at work or uni.

         Having and blast with Antonia and her beef curry laksa


6/10-12 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington VIC 3031

Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 5-10:30pm

Good for: A quick Malaysian-style meal with a group of friends, after uni or work. Probably not as good for dates or 'serious' catch ups as the venue is not particularly romantic or private.
Vegetarians: Will be happy with the selection on the rather extensive menu as it caters for most eating preferences.
Wait time: Only a couple of minutes. Laksa King's turn over is fast and the venue is huge.
Food waiting time: Not long as all; it is the type of place where your drink arrives only a few seconds before your meal does.
Cost: My memory is terrible, but I think we all paid around $16 for our laksa and diet cokes, which was really good value for the decent size of the laksa.

Laksa King on Urbanspoon

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