STUDIO'S MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: WHERE'S THE BEST LAKSA?
You’ve all done it. You’re not quite in the mood for a sausage roll. You’re voraciously thumb-scrolling Uber Eats at 1:25pm looking for your next laksa fix as your gaze drifts to the industrious Chinese-Australian fellow in your office and you figure “Yeah, he must know where the best Laksa is…”
I will immediately disregard the other question “Is it OK to ask someone where to get the best food from their place of cultural origin?” because I don’t take offence, and there is enough virtue signalling in advertising from the likes of Gillette and Nike lol.
Don’t worry, you’ve asked the right person.
Laksa is a studio staple. We work back, and we eat back. If you don’t know, ‘studio’ is the firewall to the advertising agency. It’s a pack of artists that finish things. Nothing leaves this agency until the last pixel is pushed with a furrowed brow. The job urges quick-thinking and worldly adaptability. It’s a given, that Studio knows how to work with lots of different formats from your back alleyway ad-shel to the crazy chess-looking billboard in Fortitude Valley to the Samsung Galaxy 10 that’s in the palm of your hand right now, perfectly displaying a lovely responsive Next Thursday website. Needless to say, we have a furnace appetite.
FIRST, WHAT IS LAKSA?
For those unacquainted, Laksa is a spicy noodle soup from Malaysia, also found in other South-East Asian countries like Singapore and Indonesia.
The most common laksa in Australia is the Malaysian variation with the spicy, yellow, fragrant coconut broth. What you want to look for are ingredients such like laksa leaves, fresh lemongrass and freshly-ground curry paste. You might need to travel to Malaysia for the most authentic experience. Important to note, there are other variations of laksa found throughout Malaysia such as Penang Asam Laksa which is my mother’s hometown preference.
Without further ado, here are my TOP TEN laksa fixes for Brisbanian palates.
Jimmy’s Super Bowl is Brisbane-famous for big round noisy tables, lots of laughing and having a good time over good food. Some people call it Superbowl, I call it Jimmy’s because the owner always says hello. Everything is good here, including the laksa. My #1 Uber Eats go-to agency eat.
This Malaysian hawker-style restaurant has a range of noodle soups including a traditional Chicken Laksa. I love that you can swap it out for fish head noodle soup, if you are an adventurous Australian. After an early dinner, catch a blockbuster upstairs at the local Dendy Cinemas. Best seats in Brisbane, maybe?
I can’t ignore Malaya Corner in Market Square, Sunnybank. I’ve lost count of how many times I have frequented this old haunt. The laksa is generous with a huge menu and the place is always busy.
Really nice range of laksa, Indo style. If you’ve never been to 8 Street, what are you doing? This is the best food stretch in a Westfield Shopping centre, ever. Pick up the latest Call Of Duty at EB Games while you’re at it.
It’s not Laksa, it’s Malatang (hotpot). Sacriledge! Don’t crucify me for putting malatang on a laksa list but if you love a good laksa, then malatang is not too distant and it deserves a quick spruik. Malatang is a Chinese street food that is especially popular in Beijing, also known as hot pot. At Yang Guo Fu Ma La Tang you self-serve your own fresh ingredients then pay by weight. The broth is next level.
I nearly forgot. Try Little Singapore. They also do bubble-tea & try the roti canai with lamb curry. Everyone in Sunnybank knows Little Singapore and there is something here for everyone.
This is a nice spot for a city date. They do mean laksa. Or why not go all-out and try their Malaysian Kam Heong crab. It’s sure to impress your friends but you may want to book a table, because it gets busy on a Friday night.
Taste Of Penang, St Lucia
Should you ever visit Penang, don’t leave without trying the local asam laksa which is a flavourful, tangy, and spicy fish-based rice noodle soup topped with colourful vegetables. Or, you could swing past St Lucia. Make sure you add plenty of chilli. Zingy.
My lovely wife introduced me to the Malaysian Chinese restaurant Satay Ria. It is unpretentious and the food is good, and you won’t be searching 30 minutes for a carpark. Try their seafood curry laksa or for something more adventurous or their braised assam whole-fish.
Jun is a mix of Japanese and Malaysian cuisine. Where else can you find a katsu don and a nasi lemak on the same table? You’ll find their Malaysian curry laksa is legit.
Nothing beats mum’s cooking ; home-town Penang Asam Laksa.
But even in Advertising, not everything is for sale.
For anything to do with Laksa and Advertising, Let’s chat anytime between now and nextThursday.