Lik Ming Laksa: Probably Best Laksa In Toa Payoh By 2nd-Gen Hawker Since 1980s

Lik Ming Laksa

I chanced upon Lik Ming Laksa while on a lunch romp with my coworkers, and I was glad I did. Hidden in a hawker centre at Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, the storefront is plastered with all sorts of newspaper clippings singing praises of the stall’s food—but how good is this crowd favourite that’s been proclaimed to be the best in Toa Payoh? 

Before diving into the food, I decided to have a chat with the 62-year-old stall owner, Mr Tan. Along with his wife, he has been running the stall for almost 40 years now. His father was the one who came up with this recipe of laksa in 1965, and he has never changed the recipe since. He did tweak it a little, but only to include less oil in our increasingly health-conscious society. 

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Working at his dad’s stall in his adolescent years, there was no time for him to go out and play like all his other peers. In fact, he started by washing the dishes and cleaning up tables at the mere age of eight! 

Right now, he wakes up at 3am in the morning just to prepare all the ingredients and the broth for the day. With the dedication and passion for his job, it’s hard not to respect someone like Mr Tan. Everything offered at Lik Ming Laksa is handmade—ingredients are sourced selectively and they make the noodles and chilli themselves to guarantee freshness and authenticity of the laksa

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Watching Mr Tan at work, I could tell that he was incredibly skilled at what he does—he has been working for the same joint for decades, after all. Swiftly scooping up the richly-coloured broth into the ingredients, he served up multiple bowls of piping hot laksa to hungry customers. 

One interesting procedure that Lik Ming Laksa carries out is they deliver the food to your table, as compared to other typical hawker stalls where it’s self-service. This was why there was no queue forming at the stall, and yet Mr Tan was hard at work. Gone are the days with long and congested areas at hawker centres—truly a great idea to implement, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. 

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I decided to opt for the S$3 option. The bowl of laksa came in a vibrant shade of the rising sun, brilliant and captivating. A strong aroma came with the dish—a hint of coconut and chilli.  

Topped with fishcakes, coriander, tau pok and a gobbet of Lik Ming Laksa’s signature belacan chilli, the white wheat noodles were submerged in the beautiful orange broth mixed with a generous portion of cockles. 

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The white wheat noodles were pretty mundane on its own, but when soaked in the rich and heavy broth, they were divine. Cooked till al dente, the noodles were springy and had a nice bite to them. 

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If I haven’t mentioned how much I love tau pok in soupy dishes, I’ll say it again—the tau pok in the laksa was amazing. Absorbing large amounts of soup with its porous nature, the tau pok provided bursts of spicy coconut flavour in my mouth with every bite. 

I would say this might very well be my favourite part of the dish, aside from the broth. Chewy yet retaining the taste of the intense broth, tau pok is definitely a staple ingredient in laksa.

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I was surprised that there were no prawns in the laksa, given that most places serve up fresh and delicious prawns as the main source of protein in their laksa. Apart from that, I also saw fresh prawns at the counter when I was speaking to Mr Tan. 

Customers have a choice whether they want cockles or prawns in their noodles for the S$3 option, and you’ll get all the ingredients added in if you order the S$4 portion. Without giving a specific preference, I got cockles in my laksa—which is probably the default since I didn’t tell Mr Tan my protein of choice. 

Relatively small in size, the cockles were littered all over the dish, some hidden and submerged under the rest of the ingredients. They were extremely soft and triggered an explosive flavour of brininess in my mouth. 

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Mr Tan mentioned that the secret of his laksa lies in the chilli. Upon inspecting the chilli in the bowl, it was drier than the standard belacan you see at normal laksa places. It bore strong hints of dried shrimp and spiciness. 

The good thing about this broth is that it’s not overwhelmingly spicy. The coconut flavour was extremely strong and the spice was barely there at all, so if you can’t tolerate spice, this might be the best laksa for you. 

For those looking for a stronger kick, you can ask for more of Mr Tan’s signature chilli in your laksa—he doesn’t mind when it comes to people appreciating his cooking!

To me, this was indeed one of the best bowls of laksa I could find in Toa Payoh because of how different the chilli is compared to the rest of the laksa I’ve tried. I’m more inclined to have this dish with a stronger coconut taste, so this was perfect for me. In my opinion, this is the perfect comfort food and is perfect on a cold, rainy day

Head down to Lik Ming Laksa to dabao the “best laksa in Singapore” today, and let us know what you think. Do note that the joint closes at 1.30pm on working days so head down early and #tapauplease!

Expected Damage: S$3 – S$4 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Lik Ming Laksa

93 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Blk 93, #01-48, Singapore, Singapore 310093

Our Rating 4/5

Lik Ming Laksa

93 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Blk 93, #01-48, Singapore, Singapore 310093

Operating Hours: 6am - 1.30pm (Fri to Tue), Closed on Wed & Thu

Operating Hours: 6am - 1.30pm (Fri to Tue), Closed on Wed & Thu