When I left Singapore I knew there was no way that I could find a decent substitute for my favourite Kovan curry mee, so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard there was a place in Harajuku the place where all the make up heavy gyarus go, selling their rendition of Singapore’s popular dish, laksa.
It took me a while to find the shop (for some reason Google maps couldn’t direct me properly, one of the rare times it failed me). When I did find it after wandering in circles in the summer heat, it was in a little alleyway near JR Harajuku station. Once you exit the station, take a right turn and walk all the way uphill, pass the drug store Matsumoto Kiyoshi. You should see Gindaco takoyaki in your left and that’s where you will find a little alley. The shop will be right inside, a few steps away.
From the outside it looked more like a cupcake stand but once you go in the familiar smell of curry and coconut milk will be instantly recognisable for laksa lovers.
The menu itself is easy enough to order with only a couple of options to choose from and I was happy to know they offered a mini chicken rice as well to further satisfy my cravings for Singaporean food.
I went for the medium laksa and chicken rice set and sat myself in a little corner and within a couple of minutes the food was served.
The laksa gravy tasted pretty good, rich and fragrant and clearly the owner had put in some effort to recreate as closely as possible the original taste of Singaporean laksa. The gravy was spicier than I expected, but nothing that anyone with prior experience with laksa couldn’t handle. I was however surprised somewhat by the level of spiciness since the Japanese palate isn’t exactly tuned to the zing of chilli.
While I wasn’t expecting cockles, what was rather disappointing was the lack of ingredients, with just some thinly sliced fish cake to go with the noodles and gravy. Granted the laksa in Singapore isn’t ingredient heavy as well, but surely there could have been at least more fish cake, or even some shredded chicken tossed in to make up for it. That being said, I appreciated the fact that the gravy wasn’t a watered down, souped up version of laksa.
The chicken rice was nothing to shout about especially when the chicken was shredded chicken and nowhere near the standards of singaporean chicken rice but to be able to even catch a whiff of the fragrance of chicken rice after so long meant that I enjoyed the mini bowl more than I probably would have.
I’m not going to talk too much about price because obviously you would expect to pay a premium for such food overseas. I would probably visit again if I had a strong craving for Singapore laksa and the convenient location means it’s easily accessible for anyone within the Harajuku and Omotesando area. It’s a decent punt for a Singaporean expats who miss the taste of good ol’fashioned local food.
Definitely worth a visit at least once.