I've been jonesing for some Malaysian Laksa soup for months. The first time I tried this delicious concoction was in Vancouver last September at the Banana Leaf on Denman. For some reason it took me until last night to start my informal tour of Malaysian/Indosian restaurants in Calgary in search of the best laksa in Calgary! Turning to Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) I found that there was a handful of local restaurants that fit the bill and the closest to me was Indonesian Kitchen on 17th Avenue SE (aka International Avenue). I read the mixed reviews and figured it was worth giving it a shot.
Ordering take-out I asked for laksa and was told that they don't have it on the menu (the Zomato listing needs to be updated...) but the young lady at the front of house said it shouldn't be a problem and would ask the kitchen if it could be made. Less than 30 seconds later another lady comes out from the kitchen asking if I liked laksa with seafood! This gets me all sorts of excited, I say yes and additionally ordered vegetable egg rolls, cassava fries and a pineapple juice. Yes - I was really hungry. Then, after just a few minutes the pineapple juice arrived and it was so fresh and delicious! I perused through the small grocery-style store front and was excited to find lots of sabal spice pastes and sauces. I will definitely be back to stock up on these!
When the order was nearly done the lady from the kitchen came out with a sample of some spiced pulled beef which was amazing as well as a sample of the laksa soup she had whipped up for me! It was not the same as I'd had in Vancouver but nonetheless amazingly tasty! She was worried that it was too spicy for me but it was completely on point and the heat would surely make whatever cold virus is currently going around my work office beat it out of my immune system!
As we got chatting I learn that the lady from the kitchen, Kartini, is not only a wizard in the kitchen but also holds cooking classes in the restaurant and just opened new location downtown near the Harry Hays building (you can bet that I'll be checking out this place soon too)! She offers yet another pre-dinner snack, cassava coated peanuts, while explaining which spice pastes to use for a variety of Indonesian dishes as well as mentioning that there is a food tour on International Avenue! However, there's a wait list for the package so I'm thinking I'll just have to create my own ;)
Finally after offering thanks and much gratitude for her knowledge and special laksa creation I head home to Netflix (High Fidelity!) and proceeded to stuff my belly to the max. I am so impressed with this little gem that I will certainly be back along with a restocking of much needed spice pastes!!