Air Itam market – Laksa by the drain

Long before there was email forward, there was rumour spread from person to person. Air Itam laksa existed for maybe 30 years already. When the stall was very famous, a lot of people claimed that they put rolls of toilet papers into the soup to thicken it. Then, another rumour was they used chicken feeds as the smell or rather the stench of the soup is very strong, similar to chicken feeds.

However, inspite of all these rumours and the fact that the stall perched on a drain, next to a smell wet market, Air Itam laksa is still famous until now. I think I have never sat by the drain to eat the laksa before. However, I got a hankering for laksa tonight so we went to Air Itam market. I did not want to sit by the drain so hubby and I sat at the hawker’s place across the street.

air itam laksa

They will deliver the bowl of laksa over to the hawker’s place as well.

air itam laksa

The laksa gravy is not as thick as I remembered them. Anyway, I don’t even remember when was the last time I had Air Itam laksa.

air itam laksa

Taste wise, it is nothing fantastic as most hawkers at other places have copied the style of Air Itam laksa. But if you want some authentic, dirty Penang eating places, then eat there for bloggable materials sake.


The Air Itam market hawker place at night is a dinghy, sad looking, dark eating place. There are not many hawkers around. However, the Hokkien char (fried noodles) stall seems to have a lot of customers. So, we ordered a packet to ‘tapau’ home. We had to wait for a looooong time due to the many customers.

I didn’t take a picture of the Hokkien char as the tapau packet of noodle was rather dried up as the noodles had absorbed all the gravy. But you know what? The Hokkien char is darn good as they use a lot of bak eu phok or fried lard. No wonder there are so many customers.

Beside this Hokkien char stall, there is a char hor fun stall and some curry fish head stall.

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Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

8 thoughts on “Air Itam market – Laksa by the drain


    (November 3, 2008 - 11:20 am)

    We call this hawker area Ban San Lai (literally: Inside area of the market)

    Go in the morning, there’s Koay Teow Th’ng with bak cho (minced pork). It’s good plus they cook individual bowls.


    (November 3, 2008 - 11:37 am)

    the hokkien noodles sound good 🙂


    (November 3, 2008 - 12:33 pm)

    I had it once on my primary school days, that was first and last, I can’t stand the drainage smell and yet dont understand why is it so famous.


    (November 7, 2008 - 1:53 am)

    Found your site and I like it very much. This site is definitely better than or kampongboycitygal. The story is good and most important the photos are excellent – clear shots, good cropping, shots of hawkers, close up shots etc. I have only time for one food blog from Malaysia and this site will be it. Great job!!


    (November 7, 2008 - 1:11 pm)

    Eh Penn – Let me get one thing straight. Don’t start comparing cos we food bloggers are not amuse. We don’t blog to entertain you, ok?


    (December 1, 2008 - 12:44 pm)

    Wah, woman, you’re some kind of psycho or something is it?

    People say they like your website more than the others….and you said dont compare, and you don’t blog to entertain….so sensitive ah u? Super ultra duper extra sensitive.

    If I didnt know you had 4 kids, I’d surely sum up you are one of those old unmarried old maids.

    But then again, maybe you are something similar. A woman without a husband. Lacks the romance and care of a man. That’s why you cant accept praises and cant stand criticism.

    Get one thing straight, lady. The web is a free space. If you aint able to take a praise or accept a criticsm, get out of the web loh.


    (March 4, 2009 - 12:40 pm)

    yummmmmy…i like this assam laksa so much……

    Penang Hawker Food Blog

    (March 9, 2010 - 12:54 am)

    You have a very nice site. Thanks for standing up for the rest of us bloggers. I do it just for fun and for the love of our penang hawker food. Keep blogging!

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