Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa in Penang is pretty much what the lots would call a hidden gem that often would be overlooked by people. However, if it is to look closely, the place seems to provide Penang’s famous dishes that the crowds around cannot afford to miss including the famous peranakan dish – the assam laksa. One of the stalls in Sin Hwa that sells asam laksa is manned by a man named Max that is ever-generously will add huge chunks of condiments in every asam laksa he makes which without a doubt the dish really distinguish itself among others. This dish comes in two flavours, either in assam soup base or in coconut milk soup base. The fish used, on the other hand, differs from one soup to the other depending on the cook himself but the most common ones used by any stalls would be the yellow tail scad and Indian mackerel. Some are of the opinion that wolf herring fish would make the best laksa but considering the amount of tiny bones to work with, opting for the first two formers would not do harm and in fact they are as delicious with the likes of any other.
Sin Hwa Coffee Shop’s asam laksa can be said to be quite uncommon in taste due to the fact that the cook, Max, would use tamarind juice instead of the usual tamarind peels of which the likelihood of what other stalls would use. The amount of sourness differs a little and tad more delicious one might add. This goes with the saying ‘what makes you different, makes you beautiful’.