Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

When it comes to Penang food, laksa is always one of the first dishes to be mentioned (especially by girls, I don’t know why), and when it comes to laksa for many Penangites, the best laksa on the island is this little stall located all the way at the other side of the island at Balik Pulau’s Nan Guang kopitiam.

some say this is the holy grail of all asam laksa
some say this is the holy grail of all asam laksa

This place too has been around for a while, my first visit there was when I was a little boy probably close to 25-30 years ago. Going to Balik Pulau from my grandma’s place at weld quay was a pretty long journey then, before the relatively recent improved road system, but it did not deter my aunts & grandma then.

When you want your laksa, you find a way.

two "normal" asam laksa, and one "lemak" version
two “normal” asam laksa, and one “lemak” version

On our last visit back to Penang for Tim & Audrey’s wedding, we took the opportunity to take an hour’s drive (traffic…) to Balik Pulau for some laksa goodness.

While it wasn’t RM 0.80 a bowl anymore (they are RM 3.00 per bowl now), the laksa still tasted as good as it was. Other than the “standard” asam laksa with plenty of vegetable, cucumber, mint, and fish meat laden asam soup, they also serve a different variant – the “lemak” laksa.

The laksa lemak tastes closer to Nyonya laksa, with added santan (coconut milk) in the fish-based gravy to give it a richer taste that is slightly less sourish than asam version. It was a little different, and I really liked it.

Cheesie, Haze, Li Ling, Michael, and I, we drove almost an hour for this
Cheesie, Haze, Li Ling, Michael, and I, we drove almost an hour for this

When you go to Penang, always try to make sure laksa is your last meal, and bring a cooler too. That way you can buy some to go for later consumption in KL (or wherever you’re from), and they make excellent gifts too (my braces dentist was overjoyed). Soup, vege+noodle, and the prawn paste is always separated for tapao too, very convenient.

map to asam laksa at Balik Pulau

Nan Guang kopitiam
67, Jalan Balik Pulau,
11000, Balik Pulau, Penang
GPS: 5.351844, 100.235845
Tel: 012-428 6235

Discuss : KY eats – Kim Laksa, Balik Pulau, Penang

  1. iamthewitch

    Yum yum Penang assam laksa is the best! Can never find anything close anywhere else! Hehe

  2. Smitten By Food

    Look extremely lemak and delicious =)

  3. i think it’s because girls like sour stuff more! i know there’s a lot of comparison between your penang assam laksa and sarawak laksa (actually more aptly called kuching laksa as i’ve never had a good bowl outside of here) but they both are such different dishes it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

    anyway i digress. this looks good. reminds me… I NEED TO MAKE THAT PENANG FOOD TRIP SOON!!!

  4. We brought back 21 packets to kl that day. Crazy.

  5. ooo, i’ve only been to balik pulau once, to go to the magistrate’s court there to accompany a friend who was caught by police for driving a motorbike without a license. it was a miserable afternoon, and we should have headed here for some laksa to ease our suffering! 😀

  6. I can buy the ready made Assam Laksa paste in Asian supermarket but doubt it will be the same taste as the original home cooked version…lucky people!!!

  7. I’m not so familiar with the island, but when I went to Nibong Tebal, I was amazed with the variety of laksas within one small part of Penang. I liked the one in a village house, with special prawn crackers.

  8. Yeah, asam laksa, that’s the good stuff, I don’t like santan based laksa or Sarawak laksa, this despite me hailing from Sarawak – my favorite dish is kampua and kolo mee instead of laksa.

    However, I do like Penang’s asam laksa, asam laksa is awesome! 🙂

  9. Yup, I have to agree…you can’t separate ladies and assam laksa. I wonder why…even my wife who don’t really like spicy food will sometimes have sudden craving for assam laksa.

  10. Wong Pow Long

    I like the Laksa there in Balik Pulau. Nearly everytime i go makan durian, i will go there and makan Laksa to digest the durian.

    which laksa you like most in Penang? Balik pulau 1? or some other place?

    • ong Pow Long: haha eat something to digest another? that’s a new theory 😛

      • Wong Pow Long

        It work well, digest the durian with some asam haha.. and drink some sour ambra drink in this shop too.. home made… and natural.

  11. wah i’m craving for some assam laksa now… why never ta pao?!!!

  12. Instead of travelling all the way to Penang, I would recommend you guys to try the Penang assam laksa at Cafe Bonjour, Megan Avenue II, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in KL. One of the best assam laksa in town so far.

    • Siah: ah, thanks for the pointer. I’m actually from Penang and so I do go back every once in a while. 😀

  13. Dude, I just did a quick google and found this page. That laksa is the best!! We argued the whole time over which was better, assam or lemak. I’m guessing we all wont mind a second round of debating over this. Also, awesome map, although we got a bit confused when we saw the roundabout haha. Thanks!!

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