MUST TASTE AH GONG’S LAKSA IN JOHOR BAHRU

January 6, 2018 Restaurants

 

 

“Laksa” is one of the signature food which can be found everywhere in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. Throughout the decades, the recipe of laksa has been changed in order to suit the taste of the locals, which is explainable as to why the taste of laksa in different states of Malaysia are so much different. Here in Johor Bahru, we have discovered and successfully recognised one of the laksa specialist “Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa”, operated by two young partners Mr. Kee Lai Hock and Ms. Wong Li May.

Mr. Kee Lai Hock and Ms. Wong Li May are the founders and owners of “Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa”. Together they have been operating this restaurant since 2011 and it has since received positive response from the customers for not only their delicious laksa, but also other food introduced in the restaurant.

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Mr. Kee Lai Hock was born in 1987 at Johor Bahru, Johor. He first stepped into the F&B industry when he was 20, operating a cafe in Kulai. Later he closed down his cafe and began his laksa stall in 2008 in order to let more people know about his grandparents’ laksa. However, he still did not have the recipe for the laksa, so he spent a year to develop and discover the recipe by himself before starting his first stall in 2008. In 2011, confident and experienced, “Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa” was officially established by him.

Ms. Wong Li May (born in 1987), the partner of Mr. Kee, was originated from Johor Bahru as well. She worked as a public relations practitioners in Singapore before stepping into the F&B industry to support her partner in 2007. She has been supporting her partner ever since her partner started working in the F&B industry and together they have experienced all the pains and struggles. She also helped in the management of the “Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa”. In addition, along with her partner, she also helped in inventing and discovering the recipes, especially their signature laksa.

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The first recommended selection will be its signature “Ah Gong’s Traditional Laksa”. 17 ingredients are used to prepare the laksa paste. The main ingredients include dried chilies, garlic, shrimp, onions and lemongrass and shrimp paste. The 200kg worth of ingredients are cooked over a slow fire for 8 hours and the laksa paste will be completed. Water and coconut milk will then be added to the paste to become the laksa soup. Top quality laksa comes with top quality noodles and the owners always pick use of the best noodles from the state. According to the owners, the noodles does not have odd taste (alkaline taste or bitter) which makes taste more delicious and better texture. The noodles is then topped with handmade fishballs, fried wonton wrapper (with fish paste), bean sprouts, tofu puff and fresh cockles.

Next is the “Granny’s Special Laksa”. Although the ingredients used for this laksa is similar with “Ah Gong’s Traditional Laksa”, the two differences are that the laksa has a lemon which can be squeezed into the soup and the cabbage topped onto the noodles. This laksa was inspired by the non-local customers who preferred to have lime juice squeezed into the laksa, but the owners later improved it by using lemon instead. In addition, the cabbage added will enhance the flavour of the soup, making it sweeter.

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The third recommended is the customers’ favourite “Ah Gong’s Stewed Pork Rice”. The selected pork is fried with Taiwanese soy sauce, rock sugar, shrimp and mushrooms until the aroma of the cooked ingredients and the pork comes out. In order to suit the locals’ preference and taste, the owners have adopted the Teochew style stewed sauce. Rock sugar and oil are fried together until the sugar melts and then added with cinnamon, star anise (spice) and five-spice powder to enhance the flavour and stewed together for half an hour. The tofu has to be fried first before it is being stewed. The pork and the stewed sauce only taste perfect with Japanese rice, and it is finally done by adding the stewed egg and salted vegetables. The texture of the pork is just like the marshmallow which instantly melts inside your mouth when eaten and the savoury and fresh sauce fits perfectly with the pork. The dedication of the work put into this food makes it one of the customers’ top favourite.

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Besides that, the owners also recommended their “Fresh Durian Cendol”. The secret to the perfection comes from the pandan leaves. Pandan leaves are used in the process of preparing the coconut palm sugar to enhance the flavour of the sugar. There are four types of sugar used altogether, Indonesian palm sugar, Melaka palm sugar, Indian palm sugar and brown sugar. As for the durian, the meat is extracted and instantly frozen to preserve the freshness and quality of the meat. The shaved ice, decorated with homemade red beans, green jellies, durian meat and corn, is poured with the cooked coconut milk and palm sugar syrup and this fresh and sweet Cendol is completed.

The fifth selection is their “Sabah Lychee Kong”. The “main characters” in this dessert are the Lychee and Taiwanese grass jellies. In short, the foundation of this dessert is the barley water, which will then be added with Taiwanese grass jellies, fresh Lychee and barley. The spoonful of lychee, grass jellies, barley water and barley gives the utmost satisfaction of how a dessert should taste, fresh and sweet.

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The sixth selection, “Fried Fragrant Clams”, is also among the popular food in “Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa”. To make sure the clams are always fresh when cooked, the owners have kept all the living clams in a “pond”. They are fried with dried chilies, garlic, lemongrass, curry leaves and curry powder for five minutes. The hot and spicy fried clams come with fresh and sweet taste and those who prefer to eat seafood are highly recommended to try this.

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Their “Braised Pork Slices” is among the recommended food too. Perhaps the most direct method to cook this is to boil the pork. However, the proper method to make the meat juicy and have a “Q” texture remains undisclosed by the owners. These pork slices are best dipped with their spicy, sour and sweet homemade sauce.

Last but not least, the owners also recommended their “Stewed Pork Leg”. They applied the same Teochew stewed sauce into this dish and the pork legs taste absolutely amazing and the texture of the meat is undeniably soft and smooth. And for the sauce, it tastesdelicate and brothy.

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Restoran Ah Gong’s Laksa

1, Jalan Harmonium 35/1,

Taman Desa Tebrau,

Johor Bahru, Johor

 

Operating hours : 8.00am – 6.00pm

 

 

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