Laksa. This high-in-calories and sinful but indulging and addictive bowl of Peranakan-based noodle dish has captivated the tastebuds of many local foodies.
Come lunch time, this stall with a bright yellow signboard that screams Claypot Laksa never fails to attract a queue with foodies who are after this delicious and spicy bowl of heaven.
Originally from Depot Road, the original lady boss of Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa sold her business to the current couple owners around 8 years ago. That said, the change of owners didn’t affect the taste of this already-famous Laksa.
The main difference between this compared to traditional laksa would definitely be the use of claypot during the cooking processing.
Peering into the stall to understand how this delicious Laksa is being prepared, there are mainly two pots of main ingredients to create this masterpiece. First, a huge pot of light laksa sauce mixed with fresh “tau pok”, allowing them to soak in the full flavour of the laksa sauce. The second pot is where the secret recipe is being prepared. Of course, since it’s a secret recipe it’s supposed to be a secret but according to the owner, lots of herbs, spices and coconut milk are used to create that distinct fragrant and thick texture.
The use of claypot helps to lock in the original flavours as well as keeping the dish piping hot throughout the meal. Noodles are first added into the claypot, topped with a generous serving of shredded chicken and fish cakes. The first pot of light laksa gravy with tau pok is then poured into the claypot before being heated up by the chef, followed by the addition of prawns, cockels and last but not least, huge scoop of thick coconut-based grave to complete the recipe.
The lid is then used to allow the claypot to cook even further. The end result? Piping hot and flavourful Claypot Laksa ready to be served.
Being a huge fan of tau poks, I really love the compressed fried beancurds found in the claypot. Each of the sliced tau poks are huge and generous in size. Absorbing the essence of the gravy during the cooking process, the tau pok simply lets out all the fragrant laksa sauce with each bite. The cockles used are generally smaller compared to those found in other stalls and I can’t help but wonder if other additives were used to make the prawns to appear so silky white in color?
Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa is definitely one of the best Laksas I’ve tried. I have absolutely no complains about the ingredients used. However, I personally find the gravy to be a tad too spicy for my liking but that probably has to do with my average threshold for spicy food. Removing the chilli off doesn’t help either for me. One thing’s for sure, the generous use of coconut milk is definitely not for the health conscious. The coconut-based gravy is also a bit too thick that towards the end of the bowl I find it very heavy on the stomach. If calories and cholestrol indicators are not of any concern to you, I am sure you wil have a guilt-free indulge!
Ratings: 4.5 foodiedoos out of 5.0
Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa
120 Bukit Merah Lane 1