The strong aroma of the herbs, the sourness of the soup and the quality of our Penang prawn paste makes our Penang hawker food, the Assam Laksa so different from the others. There are many places around town that sells this noodle and the more well known Assam Laksa is from the stall beside the Ayer Itam Market.


A dish that tantalizes the taste buds

For those that have not tried this dish, it is definitely worth doing so. A bowl of sourish sweet Assam Laksa has smooth Lai Fen (noodle) with topped on ingredients of bunga kantan (ginger flower bud), onion, cucumber, lettuce, red chili, mint leaves, chili padi and drizzle with Heh Koh (prawn paste).




Condiment of Heh Koh (prawn paste)

A pot of boiling fish stock with plenty of fish flake with the distinctive flavor from the assam (tamarind), lemongrass, galangal (lengkuas) and chili.


The soup has a thicker texture compared to many others

The owner was seen busy preparing a bowl of Assam Laksa. To make sure the noodle is serve piping hot; the owner will pour the soup into the bowl and out back into the pot several times.



It is indeed mouth watering just looking at the bowl of Assam Laksa with the thick rice noodles in the fish soup brimming with flavor.



The stall is right beside the small market place but it can accommodate groups of visitors and tourist arriving in bus loads visiting the nearby Kek Lok Si Temple. It’s very difficult to say whether this is the best Assam Laksa or being over rated by some, but with the amount of customers day in and day out, I guess its popularity is there.


The stall is open from lunch hour right up to around 8pm. Click here for the Map Location. As for me, I am going for my bowl of Assam Laksa later. Hopefully get to hear about your favorite Assam Laksa stall too.

Assam Laksa Air Itam Market
Pasar Road (Beside the Air Itam Market)
11500 Air Itam

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 12:10 am and is filed under Air Itam, Assam Laksa, Hawker, Noodles, Penang, Street Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

42 comments so far


Oh no! It made me feel so hungry and drooling now. Also homesick too! :P

August 24th, 2009 at 12:36 am

a bowl of laksa that makes my day!

August 24th, 2009 at 6:57 am

you really sat down there and enjoying the bowl of laksa? don’t you find another stink smell from the dirty drain??

August 24th, 2009 at 8:07 am

i only had a fix there once.
a little unhygienic, true, but nothing beats slurping on that piquant, tangy bowl of noodles beside a drain. :)

August 24th, 2009 at 8:19 am

I like how the stall owner pours and re-pours the soup back to ensure the noodles are really hot when served. I’m guessing some food hygiene officer might object that process, but for foodies, it’s a sign of perfectionism! :D

August 24th, 2009 at 8:35 am

It looks so good! Although I’ve never eaten assam laksa yet but seriously.. it looks so good! :)

August 24th, 2009 at 9:14 am

They open until 10pm ler ….

August 24th, 2009 at 9:56 am

love it with more kantan flower and eat it with fried popiah from the neighboring stall.

August 24th, 2009 at 10:42 am

I lurve laksa!!! You made me craving for a bowl now :(

August 24th, 2009 at 11:03 am

make me drooling~~~ I ‘m a super fans of asam laksa!!!

August 24th, 2009 at 11:14 am


i had my first penang assam laksa in that stall :D and..i had laksa twice in the same place, in the same day! i customized my order by asking them not to put the FUN in the soup. i lurrrrrrve the soup!

August 24th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

This is my personal favourite – never miss it whenever i’m in penang! had a good bowl last weekend there!

August 24th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

my fave!!! this is a must visit place every time i visit to penang!!! we even da bao back to KL

August 24th, 2009 at 6:06 pm

i’m salivating now, can gorge down at least 3 bowls of it! argh, this is torturing, can only admire the pics but can’t eat :(

August 24th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

food-4tots – When will be your next trip home? We can go for hawker food.

Big Boys Oven – Me too!

New Kid On The Blog – It is relatively ok compared to other places.

J2Kfm – A little bit unhygienic but is bearable.

Life for Beginners – This method only applies to the Assam Laksa.

Selba – This is one dish that you must eat when you visit Penang.

August 24th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

email2me – It depends on the business for the day…on a good day, it will close early at 8pm and other days till 9.30pm.

foodbin – Thanks for introducing the fried popiah stall. Will get some on next visit.

allie – Oh dear…

mimid3vils – You have to visit this stall which many claim to have the best Assam Laksa.

xin – I like your customized order…without fun.

Pureglutton – Many KL people like to visit this stall.

ai wei – Good idea…can get to eat it when you reach home.

adel – That’s a bit of over eating lor….

August 24th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I love this place!

August 25th, 2009 at 1:07 am

i haven’t had the chance to try this laksa, though everyone has been talking about it :P

all the time when i am back in penang, it’s either the shell laksa or the penang road laksa, lol.

August 25th, 2009 at 10:17 am

I have not try this yet as I need to find one day when my gal is not following me to try it out! As parking is also a problem there. ^-^

August 25th, 2009 at 10:52 am

There’s a branch stall of this Laksa stall in Genting Coffee Shop in Island Glades..

August 25th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

pigpigscorner – Really missing the laksa ya?

satkuru – Do try to visit this place… the soup is slightly thicker than most places.

Food Paradise – Parking can be a problem and I only managed to find one after a few rounds.

JL – That’s great news to share with all of us…thanks!

August 25th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Oh yeah I tried this with the PigPig before. Really good asam laksa, one of the best I ever had.

Sitting next to the drain gives it extra “aroma” haha. Its no fun eating hawker food in sanitized malls la.

August 26th, 2009 at 2:17 am

Duly noted! My better half and I had the opportunity buying very cheap tickets on AirAsia for in about 3 or 4 weeks. We’ll be spending some quality time during a week testing lots of new food places. This one will be checked!
BTW, if no objection I will link your blog to mine. It’s an old one that was “parked” for more than a year. I’ve been cleaning itup and revived it since a few days.
Traffic is very low but I hope within a year to increase the visits. For the moment it also is free of publicity.


August 26th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Wild Boar – Nice having you in my blog and sharing your point on the environment of the food stall.

Jay-P. – You have a nice blog and its a good thing to revive it. It just need some time to bring the traffic in. You are most welcome to link to my blog.
Btw…you must try this assam laksa.

August 26th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Incredible DEPTH of field on that assam laksa shot, looks like its MILES above the bowl. Fabulous :-) I could taste it all the way over here in the desert of Abu Dhabi!!

August 28th, 2009 at 12:22 am

Julian – Just playing around with the lens, glad you could taste it and smell it in the desert…haha

August 29th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

oooh myyy gooodnessss i want it noiw!! :D

August 30th, 2009 at 5:11 am
Ah Boy

Nothing beats the laksa in Balik Pulau, especially the one at the coffeeshop next to the old market. Also try the kopi-o as well as nutmeg and ‘umbra’ juice there!

September 2nd, 2009 at 8:46 pm

christock – Just take the weekend off and drive up here for a food trip.

Ah Boy – Thanks for the info. Will keep that in mind.

September 2nd, 2009 at 11:47 pm
Ah Hai

I think the laksa man pours and repours the soup in order to “trap” as much of the minced fish meat as possible; and also to heat up the noodles, I suppose.
But I used to like the laksa in Kek Seng coffee shop. But the shops cleanliness, or lack of it, was too much for me. Not even it’s durian ice-cream could lure me back unless they clean up the place.

September 3rd, 2009 at 10:12 pm

There were much raves about this place but it’s not as good as before. My Ayer Itam-born friends claimed it as well. I used to stay in the area for several years. So, I had enough of this famous ‘Murky’ Assam Laksa by the market. :-D When I’m in Ayer Itam, I usually go across into the fruit market opposite this seller. The Fruit Market I referred to is where the known Cooked Koay Teow Soup and Charcoal Char Koay Teow (beware if you order his Char Koay Teow, it’s really slow but yummy! You can get it quick if there’s not much customers though) located. This Assam Laksa seller is mute but he does understand your orders :-) For me, I like it better then the famous seller because the soup is not murky and you can see the chunks of fresh fish in your bowl. I mean the fish meat is fresh not dried and dark. Place is clean too :-P This is my opinion ya…:-)

September 12th, 2009 at 8:02 am

BTW… I do agreed the Balik Pulau Assam Laksa and Laksa Lemak is great too. I used to eat Laksa Lemak at Lorong Selamat but each time I went there, the stall closed. Must be too famous I think :-P

September 12th, 2009 at 8:07 am

Ah Hai – I think it is more of heating up the noodle rather than trapping the fish meat…haha.

pixen – Will sure to try out the laksa introduced by you…thanks!

September 14th, 2009 at 12:28 am

Oh, how I long for Penang Assam Laksa!

I always thought they were banana flowers, not ginger flowers. Interesting.

September 16th, 2009 at 11:10 pm
Chan Swee Leng

I can say the laksa at this place is not as tasty as before. I would nauseate upon being greeted by the stench of the drain there. This is not going to help my taste buds. Surely there are better places to have laksa.

October 3rd, 2009 at 8:15 am

hi. i was recommended by malay taxi driver that this Penang Laksa is good in Air Itam Market. I ate it and the ‘heko’ was good quality. Thumbs Up!

December 4th, 2009 at 4:40 pm
Addicted to FOOD

I suddenly have a craving for Assam Laksa now!! Thank You for Sharing!!
Greatly Appreciated!!

March 1st, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hey nice pics! Made me hungry just looking at them, good info, nice job…I love a good laksa and I’m putting together my ultimate laksa guide, you can see it here if you like!

thanks again.

March 9th, 2010 at 10:29 am

I’ll be visiting penang on this friday.Thanks for your sharing over here.Hope i can find all this great place to eat :)

June 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

The best Assam Laksa in Penang is at Hot & Spicy Cafe, Jalan Air Itam main road, opposite Public Bank Air Itam branch, in front of the old Choong Nam cinema (now a church), just a few doors away from Shell petrol station. It’s many times better than Air Itam laksa!!!!!

Just RM3.00 per bowl. It’s yummy, yummy, yummy.

The stall also sells yummy Ice Kacang & Ai Yi Bing (Taiwanese jelly dessert)!!!

July 8th, 2011 at 4:03 pm
san lim

i want to taste the “laksa” le…. look so nice le..

December 6th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

WTF!!! I came to visit Pasar Air Itam Laksa because somesay the laksa is one of the must try food in Penang. My wife and I wanna save room for some other delicous food in Penang, so we just order 1 laksa and we share it. My friends also ordered 1 laksa and share with his wife.

Out of sudden the beverage stall worker automatically put 3 sugar cane ice and force you to pay. WTF! Why must I drink sugar cane in the first place! I was intented to order coconut ice because the weather is hot and try to cool down the heat but… F***, I rejected him and he try to threatened me by saying “You must order drink in order to have laksa here”… !@#$. I don’t like to be forced to do something that I don’t want to and still I rejected him again. !@#$.

Finally the laksa is served and it cost RM3.50 each and my wife gave the old lady RM50. After waited for like 20mins, the old lady still hasn’t returned RM43 and I called the lady for my change. The f***ing old aunty return me just RM3 and insist she accepts only RM10 from my wife. WTF, RM50 become RM10!! I argue with her and she runs back to the stall (maybe trying to get cover from the stall owner). I followed her to the stall and start asking for the change from the owner. F***, the owner said that the aunty will only accept RM10 from customer and for RM50, other worker will collect from you. WHAT?! I was stunned and this is the first time I heard this kind of reason to cheat money. The stall owner also said I should have asked for the change immediately. !@#$ F***, they have many customer and very busy so it is normal for them to take time to return my change. Their worker start to accuse I have made a mistake. F***!! No point to keep arguing with this kind of rude people, my wife throw back the RM3 at them and stormed out….. F*** spoiled my holiday mood…. Rm50 for 2 F***ing asam laksa!!
Your food is famous doesn’t mean you have the right to treat customer in such manner.

November 19th, 2012 at 11:52 am

6 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. See what makes Penang a favourite vacation destination! | Moms Travel Tips    Sep 03 2009 / 8am:

    [...] Penang Assam Laksa @ Air Itam Market | What2See : Best of Penang Food! [...]

  2. Koay Teow Th'ng with Duck Meat @ Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre, Penang | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Dec 03 2009 / 7pm:

    [...] as KTT is a popular hawker food for Penangites besides the overwhelmingly famous Char Koay Teow, Assam Laksa and Hokkien Mee. Lately I have been patronizing the Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng at Lum Lai [...]

  3. Penang Assam Laksa in Perak Road with Fish Ball | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Jan 19 2010 / 4pm:

    [...] its tangy and sourish taste. My crave for Assam Laksa would have me going all the way out to the Air Itam Market and at times visiting the stall in Gottlieb Road and Johor [...]

  4. Tasty Fried Buns - Air Itam Market, Penang | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Apr 02 2010 / 12am:

    [...] I bought some of the fried buns home to share with my relatives and they loved it. You too can try out this fried buns from the lady manning the stall parked by the left hand side of the main Pasar Road, directly opposite the famed Air Itam Laksa. [...]

  5. Char Koay Kak and Tong-Sui in Air Itam, Penang | What2See : Best of Penang Food!    Jun 20 2010 / 6pm:

    [...] My latest food outing had me patronizing the Char Koay Kak stall which is located along the bustling Air Itam main road, in front of Suiwah Supermarket. There is an upbeat vibe to this road with so many hawker food stalls around – the tasty fried buns and tantalizing Assam Laksa. [...]

  6. Ultimate Penang Food Guide | Food Point of Interest    Feb 22 2012 / 8pm:

    [...] [Kek Seng Kopitiam] Ais Tingkap [Chowrasta Market] Apom Guan [Burma Road] Apom Chooi [Burma Road] Asam Laksa [Air Itam Kek Lok Si Bus Station Market] Asam Laksa [Weld Quay Next to Okio Dessert Van] Asam Laksa [Balik Pulau Sungai Batu House Operated] [...]

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin