I recently made a little “field trip” out to Elmhurst, Queens, in the name of soup. But this wasn’t just *any* soup – it was one of my favorite Singaporean dishes, laska. The venue in question? A hole-in-the-wall joint called Taste Good (I’m not making this up). I wrote about my experience with the real deal in Singapore (and that wasn’t even my FAVE laksa place in Singapore!), so I was quite eager to see how this version compared. Taste Good’s laksa is listed in New York Magazine’s selection of the City’s 50 Best Soups – so it has to be good, right? I was about to find out…
But first, we started with one of my old faves – roti canai. This flaky, chewy pancake with chicken curry dipping sauce is always a welcome hit, and Taste Good’s version didn’t disappoint:
Four our mains, in addition to the bowls of laksa, we ordered the Hainanese Chicken with Rice. Prepared with a method that distills the very essence of chicken flavor into tender, perfectly seasoned meat, this dish is accompanied by aromatic rice that is prepared with the chicken fat and stock. Delicious.
Taste Good also ordered a hard-to-find dish that we simply had to order – sambal stingray. Sambal, a sweet sour chili sauce, covers barbecued stingray meat. The stingray itself is surprisingly tender, not gamey at all, and hearty.
As a vegetable, we ordered my favorite (when it comes to veggies; it’s all relative, right?) – the kangkung belacan:
This is another dish that I’ve mentioned in previous posts – Chinese water spinach with spicy shrimp paste. It’s got a just a tad of heat and briny, shrimpy flavor. Mmm.
We also ordered the beef rendang, which I’m generally not a fan of (there’s an unknown ingredient in the dish that is appetizing to others but not to me). However, this version was flavorful, not overwhelming and tender:
And what did I think of that bowl of laksa? Well, see for yourself:
I cleaned that bowl UP. With tofu, shrimp, chicken, fishcake, egg, onions and more in a rich, spicy coconut curry broth, Taste Good’s laksa was as close to the real deal as I’ve had in NYC thus far. Do yourself a favor and spice it up even further with the chili paste provided at the table – you won’t regret it. You are in for the soup experience you’ll remember for a while.
Unless you live in Elmhurst, Taste Good is a bit of a trek – however, the authenticity and great prices make the trip worth it. If you like Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine, you’ll get a kick out of Taste Good!
8218 45th Ave. (Elmhurst, NY)
Lives up to its name!