Jonker’s Nyonya Deli

We know our assam laksa—slippery rice noodles in thick fish gravy—or at least we know what really amazing, runny nose-inducing assam laksa should taste like. You could say that we came to Jonker’s with high expectations. It’s had a couple of mentions in the media so it should be great, right? No, not really. While the signature Nyonya assam laksa had lots of texture in the gravy with generous amounts of cucumber, ground fish and pineapple slices, it wasn’t spicy or sour enough to send us to the moon. But their itik tim special was positively divine. We’ve encountered many places where the broth was spoiled by excessive amounts of MSG and became inedible after it cooled, but Jonker’s version of the delightful double boiled duck soup was tasty yet not overly salted. We only wish we had a little bit more of the pickled mustard greens. Served in a set of five, the Penang kueh pie tee contained fresh and crunchy filling in crisp cups (which is more than we can say for the night market types). We don’t know why but milky desserts and drinks go so well with Nyonya cuisine, so end your meal with a delicious glass of nyonya cendol. If you can look beyond the minimal floor space, you’ll notice something unusual about the service. The staff are chirpy and cheerful (though not forcefully) and take their customers very seriously. If we’d cut ourselves with wooden splinters from the chopsticks, they would have performed first aid on us (if we’d let them). For that, we’ll be back anytime; even if it takes us quite awhile to get here.