Only 70 servings of Nyonya laksa are produced daily by Limapulo executive chef Tan Kim Chye, fondly known as Uncle John. Voted as the Best Curry Laksa in the Klang Valley in The Star People’s Food Awards, the 73-year old veteran cook reveals the laksa recipe was his mother’s legacy.
The bright orange-yellow gravy redolent with complex spice flavours sets the tastebuds alight; the rich rempah paste made from scratch – a meticulous blend of dried chillies, shallots, galangal, turmeric, candlenuts and lemongrass – forms the vital basis of the creamy coconut milk-enriched laksa broth. That is why the Nyonya laksa is served on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in limited servings.
At RM9.90 a bowl, the noodles come laden with finely shredded cucumber and chicken, tofu puffs, beansprouts, hard-boiled egg, fish ball, fish cake and a dollop of sambal. Squeeze some kalamansi lime juice over the ensemble and you’re good to go. The broth is so tasty, you’d be induced to lap up every drop.
Limapulo is the atmospheric domain where Baba Uncle John can cook - dishing up his much lauded Melakan Baba-Nyonya specialities. The interior is a nostalgic haven of repurposed furniture, old-school knick-knacks and vintage stuff which would have old fogeys like us and our parents reminiscing about our childhood days.
Since men and women can't live on memories alone, Limapulo takes everyone down the culinary lane of yesteryear with a simple selection of timeless fare. The evergreen fave of Nasi Lemak (RM9.90) comes with pandan-scented rice, stained pastel green from the inclusion of pandan juice alongside the usual condiments of sambal, peanuts & fried anchovies, cucumber slices, hard-boiled egg and a bowl of Nyonya curry chicken.
For groups of three or more, it's better to order some dishes for sharing accompanied by white rice. Piquant curries such as Gerang Asam Fish (RM25 onwards), Pineapple Prawn Curry (market price) and Chicken Berempah (RM17) are some of the tempting options served. Of the three, our vote goes to the appetite-whetting fish.
Jaded palates can easily be revived with Limopulo's rare but heavenly treat of Mango Patcheeri (RM2 per piece). The tantalisingly tangy-sweet-spicy curried young mango don't look very fancy but the symphony of robust, zesty flavours serenading the tastebuds will leave you asking for more.
Other precursors you may wish to savour range from Pie Tee (RM10 for 4 pcs) and Cucur Udang (RM9.90, served for lunch only). While the little crispy 'top hats' passed muster, it was my first encounter with fried prawn fritters served coarsely chopped up amidst chunks of cucumber, fried tempeh, fish cake and hard-boiled egg. Laced with chilli sauce, it reminds of an inventive 'rojak' of sorts. (Note: The portions depicted here are larger, to cater to our dining party.)
Also recommended is Sambal Terung (RM15) - tender finger-thick cut brinjal stir-fried with piquant, zingy sambal. The alternative is Bendi Kukus (RM15) - steamed ladyfingers/okra complemented by a side dish of fried sambal dip.
Scorching hot weather these days call for sweet solutions and Limopulo has some perennial faves to cool you down. Take your pick from Cendol (RM3.50), ABC (ais batu campur RM4.50) or Sago Gula Melaka (RM3.50).
For reservations, call LIMAPULO tel: 03-2698 3268. Address: 26, Jalan Doraisamy, KL. (easiest landmark: beside Sheraton Imperial KL, along the Asian Heritage Row)