I had the chance to visit Singapore in 2011 and immediately fell in love with the place and the food. It was the first time that I tasted hokkien mee, popiah, handmade xiao long bao, nasi lemak, and laksa just to name a few things. I’ve been craving for those dishes ever since but living in Calgary means those dishes just aren’t available. We were planning on visiting Singapore again this year but the flight and hotel prices seem to have risen substantially. Two weeks in Singapore would run us an astounding $10,000. I recently discovered Tropical Delight Noodle House and was ecstatic to find out that they served laksa. I’ve been dying to try this place but never had the chance to as they’re only open from 10 – 5:30pm Monday to Saturday.
The restaurant is located in the NE industrial area but don’t be fooled by it’s location because they serve awesome food! There were 4 things that I wanted to try on the menu and although I knew that we would not be able to finish everything I had to order them anyways. The restaurant owners are super friendly and immediately had a high chair ready for us when we entered the restaurant – now that’s service I can stand behind.
The Laksa soup $7.50 was delicious and the spicy broth had a light coconut flavor to it. It was filled with tofu puffs, fish balls, shrimp, boiled egg, imitation crab stick and lettuce. The tofu puffs were perfect for soaking up all the delicious broth and the shrimp still had that bouncy texture to it. You get to choose between 2 different noodles, lai fan or vermicelli and I chose the lai fan as it’s my favorite. After we had our first taste, we both wished we had ordered our own bowl. It immediately brought us back to Singapore and although it didn’t quite match up the ones there, it was still very good. We also loved their housemade sambal.
The owner recommended the Chicken Roti Canai $8.99 as it was especially good that day. I wanted to try it anyways so that was perfect. The chicken curry had a nice balanced curry spice flavor without the heat. It reminded me of the chicken curries that my mom makes. The roti came wrapped in wax paper and once opened revealed warm pieces of “bread” that were tender and chewy. Unlike naan bread, roti is more similar to a crepe/pancake and is buttery and crispy. We really enjoyed dipping it in the curry.
The Wonton Kolo Mee $7.50 was another winner. This dish is simpler with its flavor relying on the flavor of pork. The springy and chewy noodles are coated with pork fat and topped with minced pork, fried shallots, green onions and deep fried wontons. They arrived with a jar of pickled green chilies. I quite enjoyed this dish as well and it also reminded me of something that my mom used to make for me. The pickled green chilies really help to cut the richness of the dish. The fried wontons were average, nothing really stood out about them. The bowl of broth on the side helped to cleanse the palate and prepare us to try the next dish.
The last dish we ordered was the Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang $8.99. The dish is coconut rice accompanied with anchovies, hard boiled egg, and sambal nanas. The rice had a nice fragrant coconut flavor and I loved the sweetness of the sambal nanas. The beef rendang was very tender and filled with flavors of coconut, lemongrass, star anise, tamarind, cinnamon, ginger, chilies, and garlic . I really enjoyed this rice dish and the leftovers tasted even better. No surprise here as most stew dishes taste even better the next day.
The service was excellent and I’m already planning on returning and ordering my very own bowl of laksa soup. Now if only they served an array of Malaysian desserts as well…I’d be in heaven.
4604 12 St NE
Calgary, AB T2E 4R3