[Pork-free, lard-free] Jom Balik Pulau, makan laksa! Our first stop during our recent Penang trip was at Kim Laksa in Balik Pulau.
Located inside Nan Guang Kopitiam in Balik Pulau, Kim Laksa serves one of the best assam laksa in this part of Penang Island.
For the uninitiated, Balik Pulau literally translates to “back of the island” as it is located southwest of the island and further away from the mainland. However, Balik Pulau town centre is only a 40 minute-drive away from George Town. The district also makes up one-third of the total land mass of the island.
We recommend a visit here for a change of view from the bustling George Town centre to a more laidback backdrop of beaches, padi fields, and kampung houses in Balik Pulau.
Kim Laksa in Balik Pulau
Whenever we travel to Penang, we always make sure to check out some of the food spots away from George Town (where we usually stay during our trip).
Last year, we checked out the popular Nasi Dalca Khalis in Bayan Lepas (see our post here) – and this year, we decided to drop by Balik Pulau to try this famous assam laksa.
Located on the main street of the rustic town centre, Kim Laksa has been serving its popular noodle dishes since the 1940s and is currently run by second-generation owner Christine.
Kim Laksa serves Assam Laksa and Siam Laksa
Kim Laksa serves Assam Laksa and Siam Laksa, with an option to combine the two broths into a dish.
We arrived at 2pm on a Friday afternoon.
While the place was busy (there was a durian stall filled with customers just next to the kopitiam), we managed to secure a table right away and promptly ordered a bowl of Assam Laksa and Siam Laksa each.
For the portion, we thought the prices were affordable at RM5.50 for a small bowl, and RM6.50 for large.
Assam Laksa is delicious
We really enjoyed Kim’s offering of Assam Laksa.
The assam laksa here is served with lots of vegetable garnish, a good amount of fat rice noodles, and a generous spoonful of hae ko (fermented black shrimp paste).
When mixed with the hae ko, we found the broth to be thick and perfectly balanced with a good amount of savouriness, sweetness, and mild tang from the asam keping (tamarind slices). We also enjoyed the flaky textures of the mackerel paste.
We liked that the tanginess of the broth is not sharp, with a bit of freshness coming from the sliced cucumber, pineapple bits, and lettuce. However, the bunga kantan garnish was not as prominent as expected.
The noodles here are excellent as it had a nice bouncy bite.
Siam Laksa is decent
In comparison, we thought the Siam Laksa here was just decent as we found the broth to be slightly diluted (and not as punchy as the Assam Laksa).
While it had the same toppings as Assam, we found the Siam broth to be milder with turmeric as a base and added santan creaminess. We prefer the Siam Laksa served at Lum Kee in PJ (see our post here).
Overall, we highly recommend the Assam laksa here, as it was our favourite bowl during this Penang trip. We enjoyed the well-balanced broth and flakiness of the mackerel bits.
While the Siam Laksa was decent, you could also order a combination of both broth for a unique taste.
Kim Laksa Balik Pulau
Address: Nan Guang Kopitiam, 67 Main Road, 11000 Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang
Hours: 10am-5pm (Wed-Sun)
Phone: +60 17-446 4959
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