What is Penang without a good bowl of assam laksa? Don’t you dare boast about your Penang trip if you’ve never tried assam laksa. Mouth-watering soup noodle broth made up of mackerel, tamarind, chili and peppermint leaf, just to name a few. It’s the pride of Penang, and could easily be found in almost every coffee shop. But today, we’re bringing you with us on a unique laksa hunt, and that is Bisu Laksa. Continue reading to find out why is it so special.
About Bisu Laksa:
When it comes to Penang Assam Laksa, people would first thought of the famous Air Itam Laksa. Truth be told, it’s not the best. In fact, you could easily find better assam laksa elsewhere. Did you know there’s another laksa stall in Air Itam area? It’s called Bisu Laksa, located just right opposite the famous Air Itam Laksa. Before you judge, read up its brief history down below.
A family-run business founded by the father, Bisu Laksa already existed in the Air Itam Market Food Court since 1948. “Bisu” literally means muted in Malay. Why? Currently run by a brother-sister duo, the brother couldn’t speak nor hear since birth. The name “Bisu” was established a few years back so that customers would understand and use “hand signs” while ordering instead of using voice and just walk away right after.
The brother wasn’t happy about it when “Bisu” became the name. He’s really independent and didn’t want people to come over to support just because of his disabilities. Instead, he wants people to taste good assam laksa and appreciate his skills. Located in the Air Itam Market Food Court who’s known only by the locals, especially the older generation, we thought he needed more attention.
The Taste of Bisu Laksa:
We went in the afternoon and it was a bit quiet. Knowing the rule beforehand, we went up straight to the uncle and pointed to him what we want. The aunty was there as well to help us with our order, though the uncle actually understood us.
We ordered two bowls of Bisu Laksa (S) which costs RM4.50 per bowl. The uncle would simmer the noodle with boiling broth before pouring it onto the noodle. This helps the noodle to soak up more flavors. The uncle even helped us to find a seat and cleaned it up for us!
Just look at the generous amount of ingredients put in one bowl. The vibrant, orangey broth of Bisu Laksa smells so good and hearty. First mouth and you could already taste the flavors. Tangy, sweet fish taste paired together with fresh vegetables, so good. The generous amount of mackerel put into the broth to cook made the soup thick and added texture and flavors. The texture of the noodle was just right thanks to the simmering step.
Our Last Thought on Bisu Laksa:
Known by the locals and not tourists, we’re glad that we found this hidden gem in Air Itam. The warm, hearty bowl of assam laksa tastes like Penang, our home. We thought it’s a regular bowl of good laksa, it’s the hospitality of the duo that made us want to come back for more. In Air Itam looking for assam laksa? Don’t hesitate to give Bisu Laksa a try. Remember to be patient and nice to the uncle okay?
*Assam laksa is pork-free*
Address: Air Itam Market Food Court, Penang.
Operating Hour: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Daily)
Ambiance: 7/10 (For Coffee Shop)
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