Lum Kee Laksa: 40 year-old halal stall that specialises in 4 noodle dishes
Tucked away in a corner of the Seksyen 14’s Medan Ria food court sits a noodle stall, still and pristine. Behind the noodle stall sits an 82 year-old man, eager for the lunch crowd to arrive.
Since the 1970s, Lum Kee Laksa has been serving different types of laksa to the people of Petaling Jaya. This humble stall specialises in only 4 dishes: asam laksa, Siam laksa, curry laksa, and prawn noodles.
Their Halal certificate is displayed at the stall’s window, so don’t worry.
The moment we approached the stall, the owner greeted us and promptly explained his menu, telling us that most patrons come for his curry laksa. Oh, we were even more eager now to try.
What I tried at Lum Kee Laksa
Visually, their Asam Laksa (RM8) is your standard sweet and spicy noodle dish. The broth was a deep reddish brown and the laksa noodles a milky white, topped with a fresh mix of cucumber, onions, pineapple, mint leaves, and sliced chillies. There was plenty of shredded fish in the bowl to get that full bite.
As a big fan of asam laksa, I was ready for the familiar sour and spicy kick to envelope my taste buds. However, my first sip of broth was dominantly savoury. I tilted my head in mild confusion as I scooped another spoonful of fish soup. Same thing. It was missing the strong tanginess I associate with asam laksa, as the first word in the dish’s name suggests.
This could be attributed to the shrimp paste that was already on the spoon when served to me. Without a second thought, I mixed everything in to meld the flavours together. The saltiness of the shrimp paste could have overpowered the tang of the broth.
The laksa noodles were perfectly cooked, as expected from someone who had been manning his own stall for around 40 years. They were springy and soft, allowing for a delightful chewing experience.
Moving on to the Curry Laksa (RM8), the curry taste was quite mild. The santan made for an extremely creamy and smooth broth, but flavour-wise, it didn’t pack a punch. This curry laksa is perfect for those who can’t tolerate spice, as this dish wasn’t spicy, even after mixing in the sambal.
The stall is generous with their toppings of sliced fish cakes, tofu, and green beans.
One thing that sets Lum Kee Laksa apart from other noodle stalls is their cockles— look at how huge they were! Certainly double or triple the size of the ones you’d find in your usual plate of char kuey teow.
When asked about it, the owner said that these cockles were difficult to source, making his stall special. The cockles start off pretty mellow when you first bite into them, and then the brininess hits after you’ve chewed for a bit.
Much like the previous dish, the yellow noodles of the curry laksa were well cooked. They did have that slight aftertaste— as Malaysians call it, the kapur or chalky aftertaste. Thankfully, it wasn’t too prominent and I could easily get past it.
As someone who loves strong, intense flavours, this stall didn’t really hit the spot. It is, however, perfect for those who like more calm and mild flavours. While the asam laksa and curry laksa were not as satisfying as I had hoped, I can understand why locals have been frequenting Lum Kee Laksa for decades. The food tastes homemade and exudes comfort. Even the food court feels nostalgic; it’s a good break from the modern, minimalist eateries of today.
Expected damage: RM8 per pax
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