Thousands of litres worth of laksa has been tried and tasted and now the results are officially in – Chow: A Taste of South East Asia is this year’s Golden Bowl trophy winner for the 2021 Darwin International Laksa Festival.
The waterfront business’ signature dish secured the top spot after a blind tasting yesterday by an expert panel of judges. This official process followed the work of our Laksa Ninjas, who stealthily made their way through 41 laksa entries to compile the spicy soup shortlist for the panel.
The back to back winner for the previous two Golden Bowl trophies, Chok’s Place, didn’t walk away empty handed – the business’ acclaimed recipe was awarded People’s Choice Best Laksa. The festival veteran was also awarded People’s Choice Inspired by Laksa for its ChikLaksa Pie.
The high volume of entries in this year’s Best Inspired by Laksa category saw the competition split winners into savoury and sweet. All up there were 54 laksa-inspired dishes – the highest number of entries on record.
Fannie Bay Butcher’s Laksa Sausages took out Best Savoury Dish Inspired by Laksa, whilst the Trailer Boat Club’s Laksa Cheesecake takes the cake for Best Sweet Dish Inspired by Laksa.
This year’s newest category, the Best Regional Laksa, was awarded to the Katherine Country Club.
As for what to wash it all down with, Charlie’s of Darwin took out the Best Laksa Cocktail, with their Spirit of Laksa Gin.
Over the past month, thousands of laksa and laksa-inspired dishes have been purchased around the Territory. Importantly, this has helped encourage more people to dine out at restaurants over the traditionally quieter season supporting local jobs and business.
Works are already underway to make next year’s festival even bigger, better and spicier, with dates set for Monday 31 October to Sunday 27 November 2022.
Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:
“Congratulations to the team at Chow – today’s result shows the competition just keeps heating up.
“To the other winners and contenders, thank you for putting on a feast for the senses. Also a big shout out to our regional entries for getting involved this year.
“Territorians have been the best at backing local throughout COVID-19 and we’ve seen it once again during this month-long festival – when you buy a laksa in the Territory, you’re supporting Territory jobs and keeping the economy turning.”
Quotes from Minister for Small Business Paul Kirby:
“It hasn’t been easy for small businesses throughout COVID-19, but initiatives like the Laksa Festival help encourage foot traffic into the CBD and support local.
“This year has seen the highest number of participating Territorians, which means we’re supporting even more small businesses through the initiative and keeping more money flowing locally over the traditionally quiet shoulder season.”
Northern Territory Government