[Closed, Updated May 2021] The famous Penang Assam Laksa stall at Air Itam has ceased operations due to dwindling business caused by Covid-19 and unpaid debt.

Their last day of operations was 18 May 2021.

The hawker thanked customers who have loyally supported his business ,and neighbours in the same market for helping his stall flourish over the years.

Other than the falling business due to travel restrictions imposed, family issues and defaulted huge debts owned by the son was part of the reason for this closure.

Good memories. It was one of the best Penang Laksa I ever had.

[Below was a review on Pasar Air Itam Laksa] Penang Assam Laksa… CNN Travel ranked this 7th out of the 50 most delicious foods in the world.

If I am going back Penang again, and can only eat one item, the Assam Laksa will be it.

This popular stall at Jalan Pasar next to the Air Itam market, at the foot of a main tourist attraction Kek Lok Si Temple will be the place to try it.

You would notice this uncle (the owner) scooping up the aromatic soup in and out the bowl in quick succession, and he does this repeatedly so that the thick vermicelli gets covered thoroughly in the gravy and the dish stays hot.

He has a chain of staff helping with assembling the other key ingredients of cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, mint and ginger.

RM4! Each bowl only cost 4 Malaysian Ringgit (SGD$1.60, USD$1.30) which is such a steal.

Finding a couple of seats on a crowded weekend afternoon may cost some sweat and time, but rest assured this is well worth the wait.

The bowl arrived, brimming with Penang’s signature ‘hae ko’ (thick sweet prawn paste) and shredded mackerel fish. As you scoop up tablespoons, the strands of thick rice noodles are covered by the generous ingredients.

First bite… Umami! So Shiok, can! The soup is thick with balanced taste of sweet, sour and spicy, added with lingering touch of the prawn paste. It’s a small bowl, but satisfying, and some may want seconds.

Some other places of Penang Laksa include Joo Hooi Café at Jalan Penang, Taman Emas Coffee Shop at Jalan Gotlieb, Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Kafe Lok Pin at Jalan Anson and Balik Pulau.

Just thinking about Air Itam Laksa makes me want to fly back there. I am sure I can’t find such a flavourful bowl of Assam Laksa back home.

[Closed] Pasar Air Itam Laksa
Jalan Pasar Road, 11500 Air Itam, (Beside the Air Itam Market)
Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 8pm Daily

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  1. […] Penang Laksa I personally think Penang Laksa is the defining, must-eat, have to try food when you travel to there. There are many laksa variants around Asia, but Penang’s Assam Laksa is one of its kind. Containing mackerel fish flakes and signature thick prawn paste (I don’t think you can get such good ones anywhere else in the world), this is a bowl of tangy, savoury, sweet and spicy all together. One word – Shiok! Delicious lah! (Read: Pasar Air Itam Laksa ) […]

  2. Its like orgasm in a bowl…

    Been eating there since i was a 8 year old boy. Now, i live in Canada and whenever i visit my hometown i will always stop by to have at least 4 bowls..

  3. I find the soup is too watery and it’s not ‘kaw’ enough. You should try the stall located directly opposite of this stall, which is located inside a pasar or food court (i can’t really remember since my last time to Penang was many years ago.) The stall is owned by an old uncle and it was only sold at RM2.50 a bowl while this stall was RM3.00 that time. If this stall is still there, I strongly recommend everyone to try it, the asam laksa stall inside the pasar / food court. There is also a very delicious char kuey teow inside this pasar / food court.

  4. Our Uber driver brought us to Air Itam Laksa when we were in Penang a couple of weeks ago. We were trying to go to the Curry Mee Sister’s stall nearby, but unfortunately they were closed that day. The Laksa was delicious, so we were happy how things worked out in the end!


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