My favourite laksa restaurant is 328 Katong Laksa, a small place on East Coast Road in Singapore.
It’s very old-school. They cut the noodles so you eat the laksa with a spoon (they’ve been cutting the noodles for years, although I’d prefer if they didn’t cut them – it’s more traditional not to). The dish is delicious, and that’s down to the quality of the laksa gravy – the best in Singapore. It has a nice long finish in the mouth.
My wife found 328 Katong Laksa. She’s Singaporean. That’s also why I love this dish – it’s homey comfort food for me. My mother-in-law does a good laksa, too.
I usually go back to Singapore every couple of months – and always eat laksa. The last time I visited, it was just for two nights, and for our anniversary we ate in a French restaurant, for a change. The next day, we ate street food: but no laksa. I had to make up for it by ordering one at the airport the next day before my morning flight. (It wasn’t good, but I needed my fix.) Laksa is to Singaporeans what pain au chocolat and croissants are to the French.
The crab laksa on the menu at Caprice is inspired by my trips to Singapore, and the flavours of my favourite laksa. I came up with it with my sous chef while on the casino floor in Macau – I was working at Michelin-starred The Tasting Room restaurant in the city at the time. The dish is Singapore meets France. The Singaporean version has noodles, but at Caprice we don’t serve it with noodles. We use the gravy as a base and bring a different texture to it, more in the French way – so it’s not as spicy.
Guillaume Galliot is the chef de cuisine at Caprice at the Four Seasons Hong Kong.
Laksa is one of the signature dishes at the new Cathay Pacific lounge in Terminal 4 at Singapore’s Changi Airport.