Can you figure out what it says on the wall? In that heart sign is a word. Let me tell you a story.
Once, I was helping out at a friend’s wedding. At the check-in desk, was the name of guests and a list of dietary requirements. There was also space to scribble down notes. Someone saw their name and promptly wrote next to it, at this dining venue where there wasn’t much choice, ‘lobster only please’.
Other guests were somewhat aghast but how I laughed about that.
That’s what I think of every time I see an “L” word in a restaurant. I pine in hope of that delicious crustacean. However, in this place, my hopes were sadly to go unfulfilled.
Malaysian style kang kong, chinese spinach fried with sambal. After my enforced vegetarianism in Nepal for almost a month, I have gained new appreciation of the vegetarian kind. Spicy and fragrant, this was good. Kind of a steep spice though.
Penang Asam Laksa, fish broth with lime and tamarind, udon noodles, flaky mackerel, red chilli, shrimp paste, pineapple, cucumber and onion. Deep fragrant taste. Now this is what we came here for. According to my diner, who is a bit of a laksa connoisseur, this was the real deal. I am relieved that at least some things are true in this word of hyperbolic authenticity and fake news. Luscious fish broth, chunky mackerel and excellent noodles made something which is hard to find outside those dirty (but excellent) hawker stores in Malaysia. You know how they say the dirtier the store, the better the food? Well, I’m just happy that the same is not true in London as Laksamania is spick and span.
Nasi Goreng, fried rice with vegetables, ikan bilis, lettuce, egg and prawns. I was surprised here. Not by the generous portion, the biting freshness of the prawns or the runny yolk, but instead by the rice. Fragrant with a delicious coating of spices, this was so very good. Not as good as the laksa but still a star.
At the start of my meal, I had searched the menu high and low for any sign of my desired shellfish. Alas, such hopes were to remain unrequited as in the end, I was still disappointed that I did not get lobster. Then again, with food like this, it was a survivable blow and I learnt something. Next time I want some good Malaysian food without having to queue round the block (Roti King, I’m talking about you), I might just stop by Laksamania. Some things are perhaps worth going crazy for.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Dinner (1.5 courses) was GBP20 excluding drinks and service.
92 Newman St, Fitzrovia,
London W1T 3EZ