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What Are The Popular Laksa Food In Melbourne?

One of the most popular noodle soups in Southeast Asia is laksa, and for good reason. It's decadently creamy, seductively spicy, and oh-so-comforting.

In Malaysia, you can choose from an infinite number of different takes on two main types of laksa. For starters, there's asam laksa, the sour relative of curry laksa. The Asam laksa uses a fish and tamarind soup base for a more tangy, fresh noodle soup than the laksa most Australians will be familiar with.

The staples of lemongrass, galangal, chilli, and curry powder give the broth its signature auburn glow in the traditional curry laksa, the more popular variant in Australia, before the creamy balance of coconut milk is added.

No matter how cold it gets in Melbourne, a bowl of this fiery soup will quickly bring comfort. The best curry laksa in Melbourne can be found at these restaurants.

Though it may seem obvious, a laksa can be evaluated based on its visual appeal. Is it a bowl of burnt-orange Jackson Pollock topped with more chilli and toppings than a Super Supreme? If you think that, you should reconsider.

The best laksa (curry laksa, to be specific; there are many iterations of this Malaysian favourite, but for the purposes of this list, we'll focus on the most well-known) are always a little sloppy in appearance. Some of Melbourne's finest and messiest curry laksas are listed below.

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Laksa Food In Melbourne

Rich, lusciously aromatic and decadently creamy, curry laksa is undoubtedly one of the best winter warmers. Glistening bowls of auburn soup are filled with half-sunken, flavoursome ingredients and laden with slurpable, curry-soaked noodles. 

Kiss the cold goodbye—here are some of the best places in Melbourne to get reacquainted with curry, Assam and Sarawak laksa. Searching for Melbourne's best laksa requires dedication, a huge appetite, and a willingness not to care if you get bits of spicy coconut broth all over your clothes. 

We've done the hard yards for you – now go forth and slurp the popular Malay-Chinese noodle soup to your heart's content. If your favourite curry laksa is not on the list, we'd love to hear about it!

Laksa King

The king of laksa opened its doors back in 1998, and the queues that snake along the streets of Flemington remain to this day. Every element of Laksa King's laksa is made from scratch, from the flavour-packed spice paste to the simmered chicken broth for hours. 

Each bowl comes with the unbeatable combo of delicate rice vermicelli and thick Hokkien noodles — because who can say no to double carbs? Next, they add on tofu puffs, eggplant, crispy fried shallots, fresh mint and your choice of protein, with options ranging from roast duck to a succulent seafood mix of king prawns calamari, mussels, scallops and fishcake.

Lovers of laksa flock to Laksa King, where there are ten kinds of stuff to choose from. Repeat visitors have been known to work their way through the menu, starting with the standard combination curry laksa – with chicken, chewy fishcake and tofu puffs – and ending with a decadent roast duck or seafood curry laksa. 

Purists might argue that the broth is on the thin side, but others find that means they can enjoy eating more of it without the Christmas Day-full feeling that laksa often brings. Decide for yourself while you're digging into a bowl or two. It's worth booking a table, as the big, airy space is usually full.

Malaysian Laksa House

Often flagged as one of the best curry laksas you can find in Melbourne, it seems like there are never enough tables in this tiny shopfront along Elizabeth Street. 

The vegetable laksa comes with an insane amount of toppings, and you can expect huge pieces of eggplant, puffed tofu, green beans, broccoli, spinach, sambal (Malaysian chilli paste) and half a boiled egg.

Coconut House

Regulars at Coconut House may be a little upset to see this one-topping our list, but only because they want it all for themselves. Considering, however, that Coconut House opened a second space only a few doors down when the original became too busy, regulars can relax – or at least hope that Coconut House will do the same again when the second room starts to fill up. 

No doubt about it, these authentic curry laksas are the coconut cream of the crop.

Melbourne has loads of good laksas, but you'd be crazy to miss the brilliant ones at this wallet-friendly student hangout. 

The place is always busy, but it's worth the wait for the bigger-than-your-head bowl of hawker-style curry laksa. Regardless of which variety you choose – vegetarian, beef and seafood are just some of the styles on offer – you'll want to come back for more. 

The current fave is the House Laksa Special, in which shreds of fresh mint leaf add a bright note to the thick, deeply flavoured broth. (Side note: there's so much laksa paste in the incredible, addictive broth you could almost chew it. Yum.) 

Silky-smooth steamed chicken and spongy tofu puffs play nicely with the requisite mountain of noodles, firm-fleshed prawns add sweetness, and the dish is crowned with a deep-fried halved boiled egg topped with fiery bright red sambal. Heaven in a bowl? You bet.

Hawkers Corner

Located at the concourse of Marvel Stadium, Hawkers Corner is a hit with office workers around the Docklands area. The laksa is served with a generous amount of fresh vegetables, thick Hokkien noodles and a well-balanced broth. Then, order a hot cup of their sweet Teh Tarik (pulled milk tea) for a match made in laksa heaven.

The Grand Tofu

An absolute institution that has held its ground against the ever-changing shuffle of restaurants on Glen Waverley's Kingsway strip — these legends know exactly what they're doing. Reminiscent of the Dragon Hot Pot joint a few doors down, it's a choose-your-own-adventure vibe. Start by selecting your soup base — if you haven't noticed the pattern yet, we're picking laksa — then pick six pieces of Yong tau foo (fish paste-stuffed vegetables, beancurd and tofu) to drown in the creamy broth. 

Take a seat and wait mere moments before a steaming bowl of deliciousness is placed in front of you. We highly recommend also ordering some of their crowd-favourite Singapore fried noodles. Previously, the business may have changed hands at Madam Kwong's Kitchen, but the owners know the age-old adage: if the laksa is not broke, don't fix it. 

The interior is almost non-existent, but that hardly matters once a bowl of rich, fragrant curry laksa is plonked in front of you at lightning speed. A range of traditional Malaysian groceries and sweets are also available if you ever want to attempt (although we’d recommend against) DIY-ing laksa paste.

Shakahari

Vegetarians swear by Shakahari's laksa hebat, a standout dish on a menu full of exceptional offerings. This vegetarian institution is not afraid to do things differently, so its version of laksa contains organic udon noodles, mushrooms and spinach. 

The coconut broth has a slightly Thai flavour thanks to lemongrass and ginger flowers. The protein is provided by fried tempeh and seitan (wheat gluten is often used as mock meat in vegan dishes; Shakahari's seitan is quite possibly Melbourne's best). If it sounds far too healthy, don't worry – this nutritious dish is also delicious.

Pappa Rich

A restaurant chain?! Yes, because they do a damn good authentic curry laksa. Occasionally a touch on the brittle side, Pappa Rich’s hawker-style curry laksa is generously topped with crispy foo chok (beancurd skin… it’s delicious, don’t rag it till you’ve tried it), and filled with thick Hokkien noodles dripping with oozing soup. Laksa virgins will also appreciate the milder heat in Pappa Rich’s laksa if you need a reason to drag the butts of your unadventurous friends along.  

Mr Lee Malaysian Cuisine

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Located on the ever eclectic Lygon Street, Mr Lee is loved by many due to their generous portions and high-quality ingredients. 

They serve up a soft shell crab curry laksa that ticks all of the boxes — crunchy, slurpable and delicious. Our top tip is to add on a serving of their epic char kway teow, the wok hei (the smokey flavour that comes from cooking over high heat) is out of this world.

Kuala Lumpur Restaurant

According to the Dr Demento song "Fish Heads", there's plenty of things fish heads can't do – wear sweaters, play baseball or drink cappuccino, for example. However, one thing they can do is be a tasty addition to a curry laksa. Don't believe us? Feel a bit yuck at the thought of eating a roly-poly fish head? 

Get over your squeamishness because fish head laksa is divine – particularly the one locals are addicted to at KL. A pyramid of fish heads sits atop a steaming mound of noodles, green beans, chunks of eggplant and tofu puffs, the whole lot swimming in a rich, spicy broth. Getting the sweet, succulent flesh out of the fish head with chopsticks is a bit fiddly, but it's also part of the fun. As the song says, "Eat them up, yum."  

Chef Lagenda

Laksa King might be missing from this list, but there's a delicious explanation: Chef Lagenda. Chef Lagenda, whose restaurant is located right next to Flemington's long-reigning laksa institution, is like the bookworm little sister of the Laksa King whose parents never appreciated her talent in the arts.

However, locals are starting to catch on to Chef Lagenda's reliably delicious home-style laksas, so you'd better hurry if you want to get a seat. Since 2003, Melburnians have been able to order a hot bowl of laksa from this popular chain.

You can order yum cha, lobster tail, and laksa (among other things) from their delicious menu at the same time. Fish head curry laksa is our favourite of the five laksa options offered by Chef Lagenda. The others feature chicken, vegetables, or seafood. The rich, creamy flavour of the deep-fried Rockling fish head is a game-changer for the broth.

Even though Laksa King has a massive fan base, its neighbour Chef Legenda is quietly but surely amassing a legion of loyal Laksa eaters. The head chef was born and raised in Malaysia, so the food in front of you is guaranteed to be authentic Malaysian. Chef Lagenda's signature curry laksa is the only saving grace of the Melbourne winter, and it's loaded with shrimp, fish cake, and chicken. This old-school eatery also serves a sour Assam laksa based on fish.

Canton Malay Cuisine

An unsuspecting crowd favourite located within QVM's food court, don't expect any frills from Canton Malay Cuisine. Instead, we're talking bright red canteen trays, plastic cutlery and clean-it-yourself tables — but that's all part of the charm. 

The combination curry laksa is piled high with pieces of chicken, roast pork, bouncy fish balls, fish paste, eggplant and tofu puffs for a price tag of $12.80. We recommend scouting for a table before ordering. Otherwise, you might have to slurp your bowl of laksa while standing. So ditch your five-course menu and shed your seven-piece cutlery set for a plastic food court tray. 

Don’t be deceived—this is one of the best places to get a bowl of dragon-red curry laksa. Nestled unassumingly in Queen Victoria Market’s main food court, the spice-shy are not welcome at Canton Malay (previously, and rather appropriately, named Canton Fast Food). 

Seriously—the seven (SEVEN) curry laksa options include classics with tender chicken, soft eggplant and chewy tofu dunked in the soup that falls somewhere on the spectrum of blazing hot to the spiciest stuff you’ve ever eaten. It’s glorious.

Vy Vy

If Chef Lagenda is Laksa King's little sister in Flemington’s family tree, then Vy Vy is the distant cousin it only sees at weddings. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. An endearingly no-frills venue, Vy Vy probably serves up the most utilitarian curry laksa of the lot. 

With just the basic toppings and super friendly waiters, who kindly ask how hot you'd like your laksa, this one's particularly good for timid laksa virgins and the chilli-shy among us.

Viet Rose

If you're looking for authentic laksa or pho in Fitzroy, don't be put off by the restaurant's unassuming name. Viet Rose has you covered. Rice or egg noodles, as well as various vegetables and plenty of beancurd, are included in the crowd-pleasing vego laksa.

You can get Vietnamese spring rolls as an appetiser to complement your curry laksa, which is something you won't find at many other Melbourne restaurants. We'll count that as a victory.

Laksa Bar

If you're sick of the standard curry laksa or fancy yourself a bit of a laksa connoisseur, Laksa Bar will surely have something on the menu to surprise you. 

Perhaps the most impressive offering here is the house curry laksa with soft shell crab, all the usual toppings, plus some tomato and a fried egg to boot. With a rich, complex broth and a good amount of spice, this one's a sure inner-city winner.

Canton Fast Food at Queen Victoria Markets

Snobs needn't bother with this laksa – it comes in a plastic bowl with plastic cutlery, and 'eating in' means sitting in a busy food court. 

But don't be fooled by this contender’s humble setting. Not for the faint-hearted, the $9 curry laksa at the Queen Victoria Markets food court comes with 'the lot'. That is fish cakes, fish balls (there's a difference), chicken, pork, eggplant, tofu, beans and enough chilli to make you look like you just left a funeral. Bring it.

Blue Chillies

Starting at $14, the laksas at Blue Chillies could be described in a word as 'upmarket'. However, made to a fairly traditional recipe, the laksas at this Brunswick Street mainstay are wholesome, reliable, and full of flavour. 

So come for the laksa, stay for the great service and ambience and linger over the whitebait and sweet potato fritters and glass of wine you ordered on the side. Delicious.

Sarawak Kitchen

Curry laksa’s geeky, awkward cousin, Sarawak laksa, traditionally hails from the island of Borneo. This intensely aromatic, slightly sour soup is also made with a base of coconut milk and tamarind and lemongrass. 

Sarawak Kitchen serves their laksa with rice vermicelli, strips of egg, fish cake, chicken, prawns and bean sprouts. Vegetarians are also catered for, with the vegetable Sarawak laksa a popular choice on the menu. BYO bib.

Roti Bar

You might struggle to find a seat here at Roti Bar if you try to pop by for a quick weekday laksa fix — you'll be competing with a crowd full of hungry office workers. Their menu is entirely halal and keeps it simple with three types of laksa on offer: prawn, chicken or veggie. Don't forget to order some of their signature roti (flaky, buttery flatbread) to soak up all of that broth.

Passage Through Malaysia

A gem of the eastern suburbs, Passage Through Malaysia offers nostalgic tapas-style dishes alongside hearty bowls of laksa. Take your pick from their seven curry laksa options (yes, SEVEN), so whether you feel like crab and cuttlefish balls ($15) or pieces of succulent duck ($14.50), they have you covered.

Penang Coffee House

Over the course of more than three decades, Penang Coffee House has served as one of Melbourne's premier Malaysian restaurants, satisfying the appetites of countless patrons. The low-priced, upbeat atmosphere hasn't changed much; the simple decor is typical of restaurants in Penang, where the quality of the food is prioritised over the elegance of the restaurant itself.

In a stroke of good fortune, the restaurant's menu hasn't changed much either, so you can still order the laksa lemak you loved as a kid (or a college student). Savor the rich, earthy broth, tender chicken, and slippery noodles while watching your skilled chefs prepare your meal in the open kitchen. Don't leave the table without trying some of the incredible roti; it's perfect for sopping up any extra broth thanks to its crispy exterior and soft interior.

Penang Coffee House's neon signs beckon hungry, laksa-deprived Melburnians from the cold outside. Laksa lemak (it's curry laksa DON'T PANIC) and laksa Assam are just two of the flavorful dishes that bring people to this Hawthorn favourite. Siamese Laksa (not the cat), a richer, creamier version of Assam laksa, is just one of the many delicious specialities of Malaysia. The answer is yes; Melbourne is replete with laksa options.

Ayam Chef

Expect street-style food in a distinctly un-street style setting at South Melbourne’s Ayam Chef. Locally designed murals, timber feature walls and stretching, lively communal tables punctuate this laid-back, sleek space. 

The dinner menu is divided into share-style and hawker delights. Unfortunately, the messy, splattering nature of curry laksa means it is sent to the not-share-friendly section of the menu. More spicy soup for us, we say!

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Madam Kwong’s Nyonya

Previously, the business may have changed hands at Madam Kwong's Kitchen, but the owners know the age-old adage: if the laksa isn’t broke, don't fix it. The interior is almost non-existent, but that hardly matters once a bowl of rich, fragrant curry laksa is plonked in front of you at lightning speed. 

A range of traditional Malaysian groceries and sweets are also available if you ever want to attempt (although we’d recommend against) DIY-ing laksa paste.

FAQs About Laksa Food In Melbourne

Laksa King is a superb dining experience and one of Melbourne's most popular and best value establishments. Its high popularity says it all. Voted as the best cheap eat in Melbourne. Aussies seem to love laksa, and you can imbibe in the Melbourne weather no matter if it's hot or cold.

Spicy and slurpy, with a jumble of elements in a dish that’s creamy, hot, crunchy and comforting – we love Laksa. There are many versions of this Chinese-Malay classic, and it’s the curry laksa we know best in Melbourne, with galangal, garlic, lemongrass and chillies tempered with the sultry bass note of smooth coconut milk.

Laksa lemak, also known as nyonya laksa (Malay: Laksa nyonya ), is a type of laksa with a rich coconut gravy. Lemak is a culinary description in the Malay language that specifically refers to coconut milk, which adds a distinctive richness to a dish.

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