Kuala Kangsar Famous Laksa Pak NgahJune 18, 2010 | 10,606 views
Finally it’s the weekend again, eh? If you’re heaving a sigh of relief, rest assured you’re NOT alone on this. Yesterday, we went for a short excursion to Kuala Kangsar, the Royal Town of Perak situated about half an hour away from Ipoh. You can reach this town using the North-South highway, exiting at Kuala Kangsar/Gerik (Timur) toll exit, OR you can opt to use the trunk road that connects Chemor-Sungai Siput-Salak-Enggor-Kuala Kangsar. Scenic, yet a little mundane ……
The famous Laksa Pak Ngah of Kuala Kangsar; since 1955. That’s a couple of years BEFORE independence, people!
Earlier we had our lunch at Sudut Nyonya Restaurant; possibly the only Nyonya restaurant in town. Or anywhere outside of Ipoh in the state of Perak, for that matter. A satisfying meal nonetheless, we were still craving for more. I had the urge to try the popular Pak Ngah Laksa behind of Tsung Wah secondary school. Just ask anyone (especially your Malay friends) from Kuala Kangsar or beyond, and I’m sure most would agree that a visit to this royal town is never complete without a packet or two (or dozens of them, from what we saw) of Pak Ngah laksa back home ….
Restoran Pak Ngah Laksa; you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re attending a Malay kenduri or something ….
This laksa is so famous, that they provide catering services for functions, courses and seminars. And they have even appeared in some royal functions, it seems.
But to find this place might take a few turns. IF you’re not familiar with the roads in Kuala Kangsar, especially. It is located exactly behind of Tsung Wah secondary school on Jalan Dato Sagor. You’ll see a small signboard pointing to a detour into a small lane. And then bear witness to the vehicles parked almost haphazardly, chickens running around, ducks paddling in the murky waters, and the ‘restaurant‘ with an erected canopy against a backdrop of coconut trees.
Clockwise from top left : The brain behind the concept; Pak Ngah immortalized in a photo on the wall, You can also order Ramly burgers if you’re not fond of laksa, The easily-missed signboard indicating the turning, and a still-functioning JUKEBOX?!
The layout of the eatery is simple. You can either sit inside the compound of the house, equipped with ceiling fans, or you can choose to be seated under the white canopy fronting the residence. Either way, you can expect service to be prompt, and customers-turnover to be rapid.
Most people come and take away a few packets of the laksa and choose to eat in the comfort of one’s office or home. Reason being; the place can be a little sweltering hot in the midst of the afternoon.
No menu, obviously. You can opt for laksa, burger, and some other items I could not remember. So we ended up with three bowls of laksa, although initially we pledged to share, after the rather heavy meal at Sudut Nyonya.
The starchy, coarse and white strands of rice noodles, or ‘lai fun’ as we call them in Cantonese. But this one’s different from the laksa we’re used to.
Most importantly, the VERDICT.
Yes, the bowl of laksa at only RM2.20/USD0.70 was real value for money. Though I read from somewhere, they were sold for RM1.20 a bowl or something, not too long ago. You don’t get dainty portions, but instead presented with heaps of rice noodles that is different in texture compared to the smoother ‘lai fun’ used in Assam Laksa. Some may not like the noodles for the taste and coarse texture was indeed something that needs getting used to.
But I was fine with the noodles, and even began to like the raw, natural flavours of the rice noodles. But the broth was something else. First sip; it was salty. Then the tangy nuance kicked in, but still …. the laksa soup was too watery and bland. I was expecting a thicker, fuller broth with chunks of mackerel or whatever fish they decide to put into the soup. But I was wrong, for the fish was very finely ‘blended’, and the lack of prawn paste (‘har kou’) was evident. Although in their defense, there were several containers of the pungent paste on some tables.
What else was there? Half a boiled egg, julienned cucumber, onions, red chillies, and the usual spices and condiments in assam laksa.
Don’t take them lightly though, for Pak Ngah Laksa’s charm transcends generations and borders.
Like what KYT said; the laksa here pales in comparison to Penang’s indomitable Assam Laksa. For me, I still prefer my Nyonya Laksa/Siamese Laksa.
Do share your experience here if you’ve tried Laksa Pak Ngah, and dying to let the other readers know about your thoughts. After all, taste is a very subjective matter.
LAKSA PAK NGAH (HALAL)
Behind of Tsung Wah Secondary School,
Jalan Dato Sagor,
33000 Kuala Kangsar,
Telephone : 605-775 7986, or 6012-684 7986.
Business hours : 9am-7pm daily. Closed on Wednesdays.
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to Laksa Pak Ngah
Directions : As you exit the Kuala Kangsar toll, go towards the direction of Kuala Kangsar town. You will soon come to the traffic lights, after passing under the archway. You should see a Goodyear tyre shop on your immediate LEFT. Turn right and you will see Tsung Wah secondary school. The small lane behind of the school with a Restoran Laksa Pak Ngah is where you wanna go.
## For your information, aside from this location, you can also find mobile versions (small trucks) of the Laksa Pak Ngah in several spots at Kuala Kangsar and even at some night markets in Ipoh. ##