One of the must-eat item (especially for females, I don’t know why) in Penang is the Asam Laksa. The most famously stall would be this one at Air Itam, walking distance from the Kek Lok Si temple, by the alley across the morning market.
a walkway packed with hungry people
The place is not particularly hygienic or comfortable, just some tables and the stalls by the busy road, partially exposed to the element. But hey, we’re here for the food anyway.
The Penang Laksa, popularly referred to as Asam Laksa in other parts of the country, comes in a sourish fish (ikan kembung) based soup with thick rice noodle, plenty of shredded pineapple, lettuce, red chili, cucumber, onion, galangal (curry flower), and lemon grass. All these are topped with some mint leaves and the thick shrimp paste with a very distinctive love-it or hate-it smell.
Our order was served up in just a few minutes’ time. Simmering hot and oozing with the glorious laksa smell, we attacked the bowl like a vengeance. There were nothing left 5 minutes later. The combination of sour and spicy soup with the fresh produce and the thick rice noodle was perfect. I never waste the soup either, thick with shredded fish, it has a very unique texture and taste that I find very nice.
the map of air itam laksa!
The smallish bowl of laksa is yours for RM 2.40. I would never recommend this as a main meal due to the sour and spicy nature of the dish, but it does make a nice afternoon snack. This Air Itam stall serves in the afternoon to evening.
Ayer Itam, Penang
GPS: 5.401386, 100.277377