Food: Katong Laksa in Singapore

FAVORITE FOOD ALERT!! Singapore is known for their food. It is the perfect mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian food cultures. If you are going to be eating your way through Singapore, then one of your primary destinations should be the Katong district in the the eastern part of Singapore.

I knew that Singapore was going to be a serious foodie destination when I booked the flight there. But all I really know about Singapore was the Hainan Chicken Rice (which by the ways is a close second to Katong Laksa). My food journey hopes rested upon the hope that the hostel would have some kick-ass recommendations.

My hostel in Singapore was called Betelbox and it definitely had some really good recommendations on what to do. On my very first day, I asked for a recommendation on what to eat and the front desk girl immediately said that I have got to try Katong Laksa. It was a few blocks south of the hostel so I did my tourist thing during the day and came back for dinner at night. Walking around the Katong area of Singapore is a bit sketchy. There are a lot of lady escorts with drunk gentlemen on the streets. This being Singapore, I was worried about any serious crime but did worry about getting pickpocketed.

Once I got to the main street where the laksa restaurants where located it felt a little safer. There are many competing laksa restaurants on this street. The hostel picked out a number of them and one of them was storefront number 49. There were lots of pictures with local celebrities and Chinese newspaper reviews posted on the walls. It was a hole in the wall kind of place. The laksa was actually pretty cheap and enough to be filling. Katong laksa looks like a curry noodle soup with short noodles. I’m not sure if it’s actually noodles or not. There are shrimps and cockles in the broth. The owners also put some sort of paste on the spoon with some laksa leaves on top. I took the soup soon and mixed it all together. May lightning strike me if this isn’t one of the most divine culinary creations ever. EVER! I have tasted so many different types of foods but the world just pulled away. There was silence, me, and this bowl of noodle soup. Before I knew it, the bowl was empty and the sounds of the streets returned. I paid for my food and thanked the owner.

I was full but I wanted to try a different stall. I picked one at random where I saw lots of people. I ordered up front and sat inside where there was air conditioning. A group of school students had taken the back of the restaurant so I just sat at the front. It looks like they were having a good time. My second bowl of laksa came to me. It has only been five minutes since my last bowl, but I wanted it. The flavor of the second bowl of laksa was creamier. Maybe they added more coconut milk but it was still delicious. I watched the group of school children goofing off while I ate my warm bowl of noodle soup.

After two bowls of Katong Laksa, I was sufficiently stuffed and ready for the night to be over. I was in a food haze and needed sleep. I walked past the few blocks and, what I now believe to be, hookers toward my hostel to recover. I chatted with some people in my dorm before falling into a restful stupor from all food I ate.

Parting Words

The Betelbox hostel that I stayed at also had many other suggestions that I didn’t have the chance to try. If you ever stay at this hostel in Singapore, I would suggest the food tour. It seems like the hostel staff is really passionate about the food surrounding the hostel. If you do find a new favorite, please do share!

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.