On the weekend, Singaporean foodies flock to Johor Baru for yummy eats on the cheap.
One of the must-eats for many of these day-trippers is a piping-bowl of assam laksa from D'Laksa, a stall in KSL City Mall. The smell of the laksa soup is known to permeate the basement floor of the mall.
Fans of the noodles will be happy to know that D'Laksa has opened a branch here at Hougang Mall - not quite centrally located, but there is no need for Customs clearance.
Unlike the Johor Baru original, which offers seats for dining in, the month-old stall here serves food only for takeaway in bright yellow paper bowls.
There are two items on the menu: assam laksa ($3.50) and fish balls in assam laksa soup ($2.50 for five balls).
The assam laksa soup here tastes the same as the one served across the Causeway - fresh and tart, and veering on the sweet side. I would prefer it a little spicier.
B1-K7 Hougang Mall, 90 Hougang Avenue 10
Open: 10am to 10pm daily
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
But the stall does not stint on ingredients - each bowl is filled with rice noodles, chunky bits of mackarel fish, and topped with fresh pineapple, onions, cucumbers and a dollop of prawn paste.
Eat the noodles as quickly as possibly because they get soggy after a while. There are no tables near the stall, but there are a few seats at the shaded atrium outside the mall.
Those who plan to eat the noodles at home can ask for the soup to be packed separately.
One bowl of noodles is enough for a light lunch, but those with bigger appetites can order fish balls on the side. They are big and springy.
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