I’ve mentioned before that I am a seasonal creature with seasonal tastes, but if there is one dish that I’ve loved since 12, it’s Assam Laksa.   When my mum makes it, she boils a huge pot of broth, almost 10 litres for a family of 6, because we enjoy drinking the soup on its own.   In fact, it isn’t uncommon for us to drink several bowls in one day, minus the noodles, as her soup is always thick and flavourful thanks to the abundance of mackerel chunks in it.


I don’t live with my parents anymore, and I can’t always ask for Assam Laksa on my fortnightly visits home, so I’m pretty pleased that I can get great Assam Laksa right here in KL.  The newly opened Rice Cafe on the other side of Jalan Maarof serves an assortment of local meals from Nasi Dagang to Singapore Fried Bee Hoon.   Despite being new to the restaurant industry, the owners have shown that a lot of hard work and interest in the food that they serve goes a long way.   A wise man once mentioned to me that another eatery that he frequents serves the same kind of dishes, but they don’t taste the same despite having the correct ingredients.  He then concluded that the dishes missed one element.   Love.   Now, you may choose to laugh at him or spit on him, but I do believe that having an interest in 1. food, 2. your restaurant, and 3. the people whom you serve, goes a long way and that love is reflected in the end product.

The Assam Laksa at Rice Cafe has a thick broth and is overflowing with aromatic ingredients – mint leaf, bunga kantan, daun kesum – and has the right amount of tanginess from tamarind and sweetness from har ko (prawn paste).   If you’re not one for Assam Laksa, try the Nasi Lemak which comes with extremely crispy and tasty fried chicken.  The extra special version which Nigel and Frat Mustard ordered came with chicken that was marinated with lemongrass and galangal and served with crispy bits of the same concoction…to die for.  Lisa also seemed pretty pleased with her Singapore Bee Hoon.

The restaurant currently serves local favourites, but will soon venture into chinese dishes as well.

Rice Cafe
Lorong Maarof (If you’re coming from Jalan Bangsar into Jalan Maarof, at the traffic light near McD’s turn right, then make another right turn and you’re there)
Bangsar, KL.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Also check out Fatboybakes and Cumidanciki.

(Note: Thanks, Fatboybakes + Ciki, Nigel + Lisa + Frat for the birthday treat here on two separate occasions…so sweet of you.)