Sunday July 24, 2011 - The Star Publications

CNN survey: Assam laksa is worth going the extra mile for

PETALING JAYA: Penang's famed assam laksa is one of the dishes worth traversing the world for, according to a CNN International food survey.

Under its CNNGo guide to lifestyle, shopping, hotels and restaurants, Malaysia's popular dish is also seventh among the world's 50 most delicious food.

CNNGo describes the dish as “poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles.”
It added that the Penang assam laksa was especially great when fused with ginger “that'll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips.”
Mouth-watering: Assam laksa is seventh among the world’s 50 most delicious food.

Unfortunately, however, the dish is the only one from Malaysia that is listed among the great foods of the world although the country is known as a food heaven.

Thailand, which tops the bill with its massaman curry a spicy, coconut-flavoured, sweet and savoury curry that is described as having “more personality than a Thai election” has also three other favourites in the list: tom yum goong (no 8), nam tok moo (no 19) and som tam (no 46).

CNNGo said the The Land of Smiles isn't just a marketing catch-line. It's a result of being born in a land where the world's most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.

Penang assam laksa, however, outdid other world famous food like Shepherd's pie from Britain, French croissant, pho from Vietnam and Iranian kebab.

Singapore got two placings with its chili crab (no 35) and chicken rice (no 45), although the two dishes are often on Malaysian menus as well.

Other dishes familiar to Malaysians, including Hong Kong's French toast, Italian lasagna and rendang from Indonesia are also on the list.

A bizarre food on the list is stinky tofu, which is placed at no 41, and described as “the most iconic food in South-East Asia, just like durian.”

“The odour of fermenting tofu is so overpowering, many aren't able to shake off the memory for months.

“So is the legendarily divine taste really worth the effort? Sure it is,” added CNNGo.

Commenting on the listing, netizen Hpy_85 said Malaysia's assam laksa was the best food to be tasted while Liewchowhann said: “I think all food are good, listed or not, but to have Penang assam laksa as no”
(note: Photo from mymalaysiabooks)

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