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.

[Chef Lagenda]
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.

You may also like other Malaysian eateries: Chin Chin, Chilli Padi, Red Bean Kitchen, Monk and Me.

Chef Lagenda on Urbanspoon

5 Responses to “Chef Lagenda – curry Laksa in Flemington”
  1. Michelle says:

    I prefer curry instead of curry laksa. Wonder if they have curry noodles only or not…

  2. Patricia says:

    We found the laksa not quite creamy enough, and yes, not as spicy as expected.

  3. Chef Lagenda’s laksa tops Laksa King IMO. I visited both of them, as well as Chillipadi, to try and see which one really deserves the crown, but I am still undecided now! It’s definately between Chillipadi and Chef Lagenda though. I want to go back to all three and start a laksa battles series!! Obviously more restaurants would be included, also 😛

    • Maria says:

      Having tried Laksa King when it was a tiny little place in a flemington arcade and not being impressed then, I was always hesitant about trying it when it revamped itself and suddenly became cool with all the hipsters. I am so happy that Chef Lagenda is two doors down, i just shake my head when I look at Laksa King. You are right about the Chicken Curry Laksa but I always always always ask for more spice and some extra chilli oil on the side just in case, seems to work, I also get them add bbq pork to it.
      Then again Penang Coffee House in Hawthorn kicks everyone’s ass when it comes to laksa. Just saying 🙂

  4. There’s a temptation to stick to the curry laksas, of course, but then you would be missing out on other specialties at this Malaysian joint. There’s the pork spare ribs, fried kway teow (stir-fried flat rice noodle) and ice kachang, which includes shaved ice, palm sugar, rose syrup, peanuts, condensed milk, jelly, red bean and lychee. Although it’s been open for 20 years, LK moved to a brighter location a year ago. Given you can get a laksa for less than $10 in an appealing, not-too-crowded setting, this one’s worth the trek. There’s also a Laksa King outpost at Highpoint shopping centre, in Maribyrnong. BYO wine only.

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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