Friday, March 11, 2011

Toast Box redux: Sampling real laksa

One evening, Mabie had dinner with her friends, so I had a couple of hours to kill around Greenbelt. I hadn't had any supper myself, so I spent most of the time walking around in circles and attempting to get gloriously lost. Most of the places I first considered dining in were too expensive, and at that time I was more interested in stretching my money due to the numerous expenses I'd had.

I ended up trundling back to Toast Box. We've sampled some of their wares in a previous visit, but because of an upcoming Singapore trip, Mabie and I had an interest in the stuff the hawkers there would sell. Also, I'd already sampled instant laksa before - I wonder how the real thing would play on my palate?

Nonya Laksa with hot barley - PhP245 as a set.

So off I went, sat and ordered a bowl of Nonya Laksa with hot barley. The latter is new to my eyes as well; barley is better known to most as one of the four key ingredients of beer. I got it as a set for PhP245, with the drink discounted.

The instant version just doesn't come with this many toppings

The main difference between Koka's instant laksa and the real thing is the noodles. Nonya Laksa has what you could call rice-based spaghetti. Also, the genuine article comes with a host of toppings: fish balls, shrimp, tofu, ground meat and some herbs. Koka's instant laksa is a good imitation, but Toast Box's version is much more filling and delicious. It tastes more like its own dish and less of a distant relative to tom yum goong.

Oh yes that's hot.

What about the hot barley? It literally is hot, served in a vessel that's the love child of a mug and a jar. A long-handled teaspoon is provided for scooping the soggy barley grains with. I was surprised by how sweet this drink tasted. It's not the kind of sweetness brought on by sugar, but a more natural, more pleasurable taste. Once it sufficiently cooled down, I gulped it down with gusto and fished the barley grains out as Toast Box slowly closed another business day.

This was a sufficiently satisfying meal, although I did get food allergies in bed that night - no fault of the restaurant. Of course, the next step for me is to try authentic laksa in its place of origin...we'll see how it compares.

The jelly-like barley grains waiting for you at the bottom!


  1. for sure looks yummy for me as I love curry laksa very much.

  2. @Nava.K:
    Thanks for the comment!

    I checked your profile and noticed you're Malaysian...would you have any idea what "nonya" translates to? :)


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