My favourite laksa in the world comes from Dickson Asian Noodle House in Canberra, in Australia. It is an absolute monster, stuffed full of delicious morsels of chicken, duck, seafood, pork and tofu, with rice and Hokkein noodles in that famous coconut curry broth. Yum.
Alas, when I moved to Montreal, I quickly discovered that laksa was pretty much non-existant in the city. Sure, Nonya, Montreal's only Indonesian restaurant, makes a small, starter soup version, but laksa is not meant to be eaten daintily, as something to whet your appetite. Laksa is the dish that you crave on a cold winter night, when you want warmth and comfort in your belly, and you want to roll out of the restaurant, oblivious to the chill.
And behold, laksa has arrived in Montreal! The new outdoor eating and seating area at the Atwater market is now home to the Satay Brothers, a Singaporean Hawker-style hut serving laksa lemak! Whilst it doesn't quite recreate the joys of DANH's jumbo laksa, this is a delicious version, with exceptionally high quality ingredients. It is evident, from the moment you order at the counter, that a lot of care and thought has gone into putting together the store, and creating the menu. The laksa can be ordered at varying levels of heat - we went with 2X (the hottest being 3X). You can see the homemade chilli paste resting in the spoon in the picture. It was fantastic and had my lips tingling within seconds. However, I did find that the spiciness masked the flavour of the broth, so I would recommend that if you are new to laksa, try a more mildy spiced version to begin with. Underneath the heat of the chilli, the curry coconut broth tasted just as I remembered it, lip-smackingly savoury and well-balacned. The laksa is served with rice noodles, bean sprouts, shrimp, quail egg, tofu puffs and fish cake ($8). There is an option to add chicken for $2, however, the chicken wasn't available when we visited.
The menu also includes satays, steamed buns, papaya salad and a variety of Singaporean/Malaysian style desserts. Real Singaporean satay..... mmm, I already have my second visit planned! I have a feeling Satay Brothers are going to be a big hit on the Montreal food scene this summer - and deservedly so! Montreal is ready for laksa!
(Their website is still under construction but they have a Facebook page with information and pictures)
@ the new outdoor section at the North end of the Atwater Market
Opening times: Monday 10:30-18:00, Thursday-Friday 10:30-20:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:30-17:00