Laksa has been the favorite of so many that a lot of restaurants in Metro Manila have included it on their menu. This soup (which originally came from Malaysia) is bursting with flavors and leaves your palate and tummy satisfied. Like Japanese ramen, Vietnamese pho noodles and Chinese mami, it has become a popular soup dish among Pinoys whose discriminating palate never ceases to hunt for delicious food.
Laksa has conquered other countries in Asia which explains why there is a Singaporean Laksa, a Malaysian Laksa, a Thai Laksa and so on. We wouldn’t wonder if later on, there would be a “Pinoy Laksa“. It is actually not surprising that Pinoys would take a liking to this amazing soup because its main ingredients are also found in some of our most loved dishes: it uses curry and “gata” (coconut milk), it has noodles and it has pieces of either seafood or beef.
It is for this reason that we dined at popular restaurants serving laksa to find out who serves the best. Our BEST LAKSA list does not come in any particular order. To us, they simply serve THE BEST laksa in Manila and we hope that your favorite restaurant is on the list as well. We know that there are many other restaurants out there so let us know and we will consider it on our next update but for now, here’s our list…
Gourmet Gypsy’s Seafood Laksa – PHP 235.00 ++
It has the right amount of coconut milk and curry. There is a tinge of delicious saltiness in it and the spicy after-taste is complimented by the taste of the basil leaves. There were fish balls too that went well with the rice noodles.
Gourmet Gypsy is at 25 Don A. Roces Ave, Diliman, Quezon City.
Nonya Laksa by Toast Box – PHP 235.00 ++
This traditional Laksa from Toast Box has shrimp, tofu cubes, half boiled egg, slices of fishcake, bean sprouts, noodles and herbs. Not too spicy.
Toast Box has branches in Trinoma, Greenbelt 5, BGC, SM Aura, Promenade, Solenad 2 (Laguna) and SM Seaside City Cebu
Laksa by Donald and Lily (Makansutra) – PHP 250.00
Donald and Lily is a restaurant in Melaka, Malaysia that serves traditional Malacca / Nonya food. They opened their stall in Megamall, Mandaluyong for Filipinos to sample their famous Laksa soup. It has fresh shrimps, fish balls and cucumbers. Those who like really spicy food will love this one because their laksa is extremely spicy. Those who are “beginners” need to watchout! This was the hottest version of Laksa we have ever tried.
Note: most of our foodie friends said that Donald and Lily Laksa was not actually very spicy (even in Malaysia) as compared to what we were actually saying. So maybe there was just one too many chilis on it.
Donald and Lily (Makansutra) is in Unit 209 AB, 2nd floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Curry Laksa by High Street Cafe (Shangri-La at the Fort) – PHP 650.00 ++
Our journey to find the best laksa brought us to High Street Cafe in Shangri-la Hotel (BGC). Friends have told us that we MUST try their laksa – not the laksa on their buffet, but the laksa on their a la carte menu…and so we did. How was it? Well, it was really rich in everything: rich in flavor and ingredients. The presentation was elegant (it is The Shang after all!) and the serving was very generous. The soup was curry-creamy-nutty and thick. Deeelicious! For those with a big appetite, this is enough to fill your tummy. It is definitely, value for money.
High Street Cafe is in Shangri-La at the Fort: 30th Street, corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Eat Fresh Hong Kong Famous Street Food’s Laksa – PHP 235.00
This Laksa Soup in a steam boat is delicious with a generous amount of coconut milk. They added famous street foods in the soup like fishcake, fish/squid balls, this orange shrimp like dumpling and a boiled egg to replicate what is being served in the night market of Hong Kong.
We were impressed because they used this hot pot steam boat / simmering metal pot (with fire) to retain the boiling temperature of the soup. It’s very important especially during nights when hot dishes easily lose their desired temperature due to the cold weather / air-conditioner.
Eat Fresh is at Maria Clara Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City (near Banawe Street). There’s also a branch in 691 Jose Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City.
Ninak’s Singaporean Laksa – PHP 390.00 ++
Ninak’s Laksa with a Singaporean twist was made with chicken meat, shrimp, squid balls, tofu, bean sprouts, coriander and noodles. Their homemade laksa paste made the broth a little bit lighter in texture but the creaminess of the coconut milk made this soup dish special. Laksa lovers will find this their new “comfort food”.
Ninak has just reopened its store in Ayala Mall’s The 30th shopping mall: 30 Meralco Ave, Pasig City near Saint Paul College Pasig
Laksa by TTK Food Services – PHP 238.00 ++
Singaporean Laksa that is so creamy and fulfilling. Can be shared with up to three people. It has crab meat sticks, squid balls and fresh shrimps. We are always craving for it whenever we are in Makati and it is so easy to visit the place (in front of Shopwise in Chino Roces – Makati).
TTK Food Services is at Noli Santos International Tower, 1061 Metropolitan Avenue, Santa Cruz, Makati City.
Blaksa by Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room – PHP 355.00 ++
Toast is a new restaurant in Ayala Mall’s The 30th (Meralco Ave. Pasig) that offers a wide selection of Asian cuisine. One of their bestsellers is their very own version of the Laksa soup, which they called “Blaksa” (Black Laksa). It seemed like a seafood laksa because it had squid strips, shrimps, clams, coriander and fish balls. On this photo, the squid ink which is supposed to make the dish look black was not yet obvious.
The squid ink becomes evident after mixing the soup thoroughly and we all know the distinct flavor that squid ink leaves on our palate. One thing we noticed is the tenderness of the squid meat from the Blaksa soup. It was incredible! They really know how to cook squid meat properly.
And the verdict for the Laksa + Squid Ink combination? Definitely approved and we are coming back! We almost forgot to take pictures of this soup because when we took our first sip, it was followed by several sips and then we noticed that we almost finished it. The picture tells our tale. LOL…
Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room is in Ground Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City, Philippines
Curry Laksa Base Noodles (Seafood) by Laksa King – PHP 295.00
No wonder why it’s called “Laksa King,” this specialty restaurant serves six types of curry based Laksa noodles.
It was served super hot with fresh shrimp, tofu and crab meat stick on the top. The egg noodles were cooked right as well. The combination of the curry, seafood and spices was unforgettable. If you are a Laksa fan, don’t miss out this one!
Tried all of their Laksa variants? You should check out their Prawn Soup Base Noodles. The flavour was so strong and the shrimp paste (bagoong) was very evident with every sip. It’s a very unique and surprising combination for a soup dish but take note that the soup base would tend to be very salty. You may request to add extra hot water to balance the taste.
Here’s the complete selection of Laksa King noodles. Menu from Zomato.
Laksa King is at 56 Granada, Quezon City which is less than 2 kilometers away from Greenhills Shopping Center (San Juan).
Nav Modern Thai Cuisine’s Thai Laksa – PHP 350.00 ++
If you will ask us, which is the best laksa, it’s none other than Nav Modern Thai Cuisine. This has got to be the most unique laksa noodle soup variant in Manila and we simply love it! It’s not your traditional laksa because the base is made with Thai red curry with creamy coconut milk and instead of the commonly used seafood ingredients (shrimp, fish/squid balls, etc), they used tender beef cubes which made the broth ultra tasty and delicious.
The son-in-law eggs they put were perfectly fried until slightly golden brown. To make it more special, they added galangal (yellow ginger) for a unique aftertaste. The right amount of bean sprouts, the coriander and the kaffir lime leaves gave balance to the umami taste of the soup. Note that this Laksa is the “Thai” version. It’s not your traditional Malaysian Laksa. This is our favorite. Love…love …love this!
Nav Modern Thai Cuisine is at 6 United St, Pasig City (in front of Ace Waterspa Pasig). There is also a new branch in Mega Fashion Food Hall, SM Megamall.
Other Laksa Dishes Outside Metro Manila:
Rumah Sate’s Seafood Laksa – PHP 390.00 (If in case you are in Baguio)
This soup is perfect for the cold weather of Baguio City. The broth was made just right with a good balance of salty and spicy taste. There’s coconut milk so no need to worry about the creaminess that you already love about Malaysian Laksa. Other toppings include fresh shrimp, tofu and basil leaves. Definitely recommended if you are visiting the summer capital!
Rumah Sate is in Ketchup Food Community Baguio: Romulo Dr, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines (walking distance from Wright Park)
Trying out laksa soon? Tag your friends in the comment section and post your food photos / stories in social media. Don’t forget to use #eatsasmallworld to get featured. Also, let us know if we have missed out anything on the list. Happy eating!
This review is the opinion of the author based on actual experience. The establishments may have changed in terms of ownership, prices, decor, service, food preparation and food presentation after the posting of this review. This is not meant to influence the reader’s decision.