Saturday, 6 January 2018

Cheap and Good Laksa at Taman Serene Food Centre Johor Bahru

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Kumar introduced me to this laksa at stall #7 at quiet little Taman Serene hawker centre, off Jalan Biru in JB. That was in 2012, and I am back 5 years later in 2018.

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Mr Kong 龔 runs this little stall with a helper. When I visited him in 2012, two of his sons were helping him at the stall.

Taman Serene food centre is a dingy small eating place popular with locals (the most famous stall here is Tan Kee ice kacang and rojak but the other stalls all have their loyal fans).

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Mr Kong 龔, 73, hails from Kuala Lumpur. He has 13, yes thirteen, children. Seven of his own and 6 boys whom he adopted. Mr Kong came to Johor Bahru nearly 30 years ago to be near one of his children who went to work in Singapore.

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2012 photo

When I was last here in 2012, Ah Kit 亚杰 was helping out at the stall together with another of Mr Kong's adopted sons. Ah Kit had since gone to work in China.

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Mr Tan's laksa is as good today as it was when I first tasted it in 2012. There's a lot of good stuff in that bowl for RM5.50.

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There's fried fish balls, fried wanton, char siew slices, blood cockles, fried tofu skin and even an authentic Hakka yong tau fu stuffed with minced pork.

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The curry broth was heavy, full bodied. It is made with chicken and anchovy stock, thicken with coconut milk and spices added to produce that creamy tasty broth. A bit of lime was what Mr Kong added to justify the "Thai" Laksa tag. The zesty lime does "lighten and livened" the creamy broth a bit (but not much) 😄

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The laksa broth is already quite robust but it gets another boost from this house made sambal chili which Mr Kong makes everyday with lots of dried shrimps and chili.

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I also like Mr Kong's Penang Hokkien mee - it's simple and no frills, but it is delicious. It's as good as most of the Hokkien mee that I have tried in Penang (not comparing it with those with luxury add ons like this one).

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The light soup is made by boiling pork and chicken bones with prawn heads and shells. The layers of savouriness is balanced with a bit of sugar and spiced up with hot spices like chili. I enjoyed this soup.

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Two good size prawns, couple of lean pork slices and half an egg in the RM6 serving.

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I appreciate it that Mr Kong fries his own aromatic shallots (when many stalls have already resorted to just buying bags of tasteless fried shallots from suppliers).

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4-Star (out of 5). Fully loaded laksa at a modest price in a humble neighbourhood food centre off the beaten track. The authentic (i.e. no frills) Penang prawn mee is pretty good too.

Next time that I am at Mr Kong's stall in Taman Serene, I will try laksa with egg noodles (I think they will go well together).

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Restaurant name: Restoran Tan Ngi

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Address: Jalan Biru (stall in Taman Serene hawker centre opposite San Low seafood restaurant), Taman Serene, Johor Bahru  
Map: http://g.co/maps/3mbu2 
GPS: 1.471995,103.774527 
Hours: Daily 7:00am to 5:00pm 

Non Halal  

Date visited: 22 August 2012, 5 Jan 2018

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2 comments:

  1. Did you visit in 2017 or 2018?

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL it should be 2018. Thanks for pointing out.

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)