The list of signature dishes associated with Penang is a long one. One dish that hovers close to the top is the island’s famous Asam Laska, and it is readily available in every food court, and numerous food carts throughout the island. However, if you want what is reputed to be the best, a trip to the small town of Air Itam is in order. Located on Jalan Pasar next to the town market, you can’t miss the red LASKA sign, or a food stall that is always bustling with workers and customers, alike. You can combine your quest for Penang’s best Laska with a visit to the largest Buddhist Temple in South East Asia, Kek Lok Si Temple.First the laska! You’ll need energy to climb all those steps to the top of the temple!
Hard at work…
Everything I read told me that this place would be packed, but I lucked in. Yes, it was busy, but not packed. I was able to sit at a table right next to all the action.
Great logo on all of the tables!
I have the feeling that a big part of their delicious secret lies in the bubbling vats of broth.
The laska arrives, a wee bit messy around the edges, but that’s forgiven with the first slurp. My mouth explodes with a perfect combination of sweet and sour. The aromatic lemon grass, and a perfect drizzling of prawn paste kicks in with the spiciness of the chili to produce this taste bud nirvana.
I would definitely go back again, in a heartbeat!
If you want to try this iconic dish, I highly recommend that you board a bus in downtown Georgetown for the 25 minute ride. Either the 203 or the 204 will drop you in the center of the small town, directly at the market. There are two bus terminals in Georgetown; Komtar and Weld Quay. You can catch the 203 or 204 at either location.
Pasar Air Itam,
11500 Air Itam,
Bus 203 or 204 from Georgetown’s Komtar or Weld Quay (2 Ringgit)
Hours: 11:15am – 7:30pm (They don’t list a close day.)
Price: 4 Ringgit ($1.26US)