My earliest memories of eating Sarawak Laksa are of my mum taking me to the Satok area, eating laksa and then going marketing at the old Satok markets. My aunt and uncle were laksa hawkers, and every other visit usually had a meal of laksa thrown in. I always remember my laksa being spooned into a small bowl for my small self to eat, and yet, I would always only get halfway through that small bowl before I got a runny nose from the heat of the soup. I always wanted more anyway because it was just that good. At the end of our meal, it would always end up in a mini fight between mum and my aunt and uncle as mum tried to pay but they would always refuse. Mum always found a way to sneak payment to them somehow anyway.
Then more than a decade ago, I ended up being shipped to Perth to complete my studies and was not able to go back to Kuching for a solid four years due to the exorbitant cost of flying back in those days. Since then, every time I could head back, I’d stock up on laksa paste to hoard in Perth, only to be taken out and cooked once in a blue moon as a special treat.
Recently, a cousin alerted me to the existence of the Lee Fah Mee Instant Bihun1 Laksa. Sadly, this post is not a review of that specific product as I have yet to find it here in Perth. This post is about the Lee Fah Mee Sarawak White Laksa Instant Noodle, a completely separate product.
A Kuching family recently took over an Asian grocer in Canning Vale, and they’ve been bringing in more Kuching stock (yay!). This was where I stumbled across the Lee Fah Mee Sarawak White Laksa Instant Noodles.
(Oops – I forgot to note the price, but will update here once I visit the shop again.)
We bought a few individual packs to try instead of committing to the full five pack.
This obviously is not rice vermicelli and instead, it is your run-of-the-mill wheat-based instant noodle.
From left to right:
- Coconut cream powder – standard coconut cream powder.
- Seasoning – this smells a little like Maggi’s curry noodle seasoning or even the Shin Ramyun seasoning, probably because it shares similar ingredients like chilli flavouring, veggie stock powder and MSG.
- Spice paste – this is where the gold lies in this dish. Unfortunately, I think there needed to be more of this, as the laksa fragrance was very faint.
The final cooked product:
So what was my verdict?
Errr… okay lah, but it is not Sarawak Laksa and it will not fill any laksa-shaped void for Sarawakians overseas. It might just lap around the edges of that particular pit, but that’s about as far as it goes.
The soup was mildly spicy and prawny, and the included coconut milk made it hearty. Overall, it was fairly tasty but the actual Sarawak Laksa flavour was extremely faint.
For an instant noodle, it was very tasty. For something calling itself Sarawak Laksa, it left a lot to be desired. I’ve got a feeling that’s where the vermicelli version comes in and will post a review when I’m finally able to get my hands on some.
Where to find it in Perth (that I’ve found so far):
Tan’s Seafood and Grocer in Canning Vale. It’s next to Tan’s Food Court where the stall Sarawak Hawker Cuisine also serves a decent bowl of Sarawak Laksa.
For further reference, this is a picture of actual Sarawak Laksa from my last trip to Kuching last year. The below bowl was damn delicious.
1 Bihun – Can also be spelt “Beehoon”. Hokkien for rice vermicelli noodles.