Chef Lagenda – curry Laksa in Flemington
Given the increasing back log, and my impending ‘gourmet’ trip to Japan (which is what I have been spending a lot of my precious time doing lately), my blog from hereon will take on a slightly different approach – write first and revise later. Certainly there will be some silly typos and incoherent grammar, but hopefully it will keep it all from snowballing to a chaotic mess. And keep everyone fed well!
It is by no means a chance that I dine Malaysian here on Pin Oak Crescent all the way on the west side – Flemington. It is however, by chance that we dine at Chef Lagenda as opposed to the neighbouring not so identical twin – Laksa King. Both have received much rave and much debate between as to which is the crown of laksa in Flemington. When we arrived and found parking on a Sunday night, we find ourselves torn between two lines extending from inside to out. We chose the one with a “slightly” shorter line, and stuck with it. Chef Lagenda it was to be.
This is not a particularly balmy night by any means, and sneaking inside the doors to the warmth was necessary.
Inside one is met with the bustling and quite rowdy kitchen, wafting the aromas from an audible wok-heat. Décor is simple but chic, almost too chic for hawker style food, but we are in Australia not Malaysia for that matter.
Spring rolls – crispy and lightly browned. As simple as that may sound, achieving this light golden tinge, whilst still having that perfect brittle crunch, suggests the oil used to fry is changed fairly frequently and hasn’t been double / triple or even quadruple fried. Can’t exactly recall whether it was pork, but the filling was moist, and flavoursome.
Chicken curry laksa – waiting a good 30 minutes whilst sniffing the wafting aromas of laksa is such torture. I don’t know if it is the hunger playing a huge part of the positive memories of this laksa, but I can clearly remember the heavily coconut infused broth is creamy but not too sweet, lightly spiced and still delicate in taste. There is a generous serving of prawns, chicken, tofu, and eggplant. I suggest asking for a spicier version for those wanting a less watered down version.
Dad opted for one of the Lagenda meal deals inclusive of chicken done two-ways (steamed & roast), and vermicelli in clear chicken soup. Neither of these are by any means the drawcards for Chef Lagenda, and certainly not something I would’ve ordered. But reality is, it is a difficult life always being the menu-control-freak, and it is easier to let someone order exactly what they want. All comes to mass catastrophe, you can at least say – “I told you so!”
Assam laksa – with its sour fish broth this laksa failed to entice either of my parents, both complaining it was incredibly tart. Having not had many assam laksa’s in our time, I cannot ascertain the true extent of sour. But I can comment that the thick, dark brother did offer the pungency of fermented prawn paste and tamarind, and a generous touch of crunch from the comparably sweeter cucumber and pineapple.
Rating: Yummy+0.5 for my curry laksa. The contest is only half way through, for I have yet to taste Laksa King’s rendition, therefore the true crown (as named by me) on Pin Oak Crescent remains to be named.
Where: 16 Pin Oak Cres, Flemington, VIC 3031
Contact: 03 9376 2668
Note: be wary of the hordes of peak hour hungry diners. It might be a good way build your appetite, but also your patience =P.