Enigmatically poised somewhere between a comforting soup and a kick-ass spicy noodle dish, laksa is the absolute mother of the everything-in-one-bowl meals. It has a silky-smooth texture from its velvety coconut milk broth, infused with a feisty punch of chilli, lemongrass and ginger.
Pappamia knows a thing or two about laksa's restorative powers, serving up a dish with that elusive balance of sweet, spicy, salty and sour, all at once. You can taste the time and patience that has gone into creating this bowl of soul food.
Like most of our internationally adored favourite foods, there are many theories as to laksa's origins, with several countries fighting for custody of this zesty noodle soup.
However, in a very civilised manner, it's generally conceded that laksa owes something to all of them. This delight is a fusion of flavours and influences from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and of course Singapore.
To curry or to asam?
There's two basic types of laksa. Curry laksa, which is the coconut curry creation, and asam laksa, which is made with fish and gets a much sourer taste from its tamarind and gelugur companions. Both are usually made with fat laksa rice noodles, but thin vermicelli rice noodles, more commonly known as Bee Hoon, can be swapped in too.
There are also endless variations of each. Laksam is one of the most famous versions of curry laksa, and a speciality of the north-eastern Malaysian states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. It uses very thick flat white rice flour noodles, served in a rich sauce that's traditionally super thick.
And you'll probably already be familiar with katong laksa, where the ingredients are chopped up small enough so it can just be eaten with a spoon alone – and nothing says comfort food more than hot soup in one hand and a spoon in the other.
Happiness in a bowl
As a charming and chic restaurant, you'd expect no less than for Pappamia to put its own spin on this Asian fusion classic.
They serve up a hearty bowl of tender noodles in its signature coconut laksa broth that we know and love, but when it comes to the protein part, they refuse to settle for just the one. Pappamia's laksa is made with succulent and fragrant chicken, topped with juicy prawns and a seasoned egg, and finished off with a Chinese fish cake.
It's the last word in uplifting comfort food. Pour yourself into cosiness.